Do you want to get rid of your cable and cut the cord this year? There are 16 cable TV alternatives to save money!
For the last five years, I’ve lived without TV. I’ve never watched a lot of TV – I have to admit that I was binging some series online but that’s about it.
If you’re thinking about cable alternatives, in this article you will learn that you can still watch your favorite TV programs while saving money at the same time. Who doesn’t want that?!
Like many people who are looking for alternatives to cable TV, we’ve thought about a whole lot of alternatives.
There are a lot of people who really appreciate cable TV and try to keep their channels at all costs. I remember as a kid, we would go camping with our family, and there would be all these campers with their satellites there. As a kid I thought that was the strangest thing, why would anyone do that?
Now I understand that people enjoy their channels and don’t want to change that part of their lives.
What I want to show you today is that there are so many GREAT alternatives for cable TV. There are options for people who like movies, there are options if you want to watch loads of shows, and there are options if you want to see only sports!
In the Netherlands, people are on average paying €200 per year on TV alone. When you’re living in the US, you pay an average of $1200 per year for cable TV. That’s almost 6x more!
If you are paying for cable TV, think about what you could do with that money. Try one of the many alternatives to cable TV and see what you like!
When you decide to cut the cord and get rid of your cable, you will save a lot of money over the upcoming years. What if you spend that money on something that matters to you? Like retiring (early), traveling the world, doing fun things with your family, and many more things.
Let’s get into the best cable alternatives to have money! This is for anyone that watches from the convenience of your TV, laptop, or even smartphone!
Try These 16 Alternatives To Cable TV
Oh, Netflix. You’re the greatest!
Netflix is one of the first companies to come out with the way we’re watching TV nowadays. It’s one of my favorite alternatives for cable TV on this list.
The great thing about Netflix is that they have the good old series and movies that you want to see, as well as their own series. Popular favorites that are their own content are Orange Is The New Black, House Of Cards, Black Mirror, and many more.
They constantly add more items and remove some items as well, depending on the country you’re in.
It’s great at recommending shows or movies that are similar to the ones you’ve watched. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, because that means you should be careful not to sit and watch Netflix all day.
The Netflix plans start at $8.99/month. If you’re not sure if Netflix is for you, you can always have a 30-day free trial.
When it comes to saving money, Hulu is the cheapest of all! Their plan starts at $5.99/month, which is incredibly cheap. They even have a bonus right now, giving you a 30-day free trial.
This means that if you sign up for the $5.99 plan, you get an extra month of Hulu completely for free. Hallelujah!
Even the cancellation of the description is easy. If you find out that you don’t like it, you can cancel it without any strings attached.
If you want to watch your favorite shows and save some money in the process, Hulu is one of the best cable alternatives for you. Plus, they’ve even been creating their own Hulu Original shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Path.
In addition to this, they offer Hulu + Live TV for $44.95/month. This gets you the entire Hulu library AND you get access to over 60 channels. You can stream news, sports, and watch your favorite shows.
Disney+ is a new streaming service that is launching next month. It will not only offer all Disney movies, but also produce original series and documentaries. It’s compatible with TVs, computers, tablets, phones, and even gaming consoles!
Because Disney owns a shitload of networks and brands, you’ll also get content related to Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and even 30 seasons of the Simpsons.
As it can be hard for families to cut the cable and give up premium children’s networks, Disney+ can be a great option! At $6.99/month this is a great low-cost alternative.
Disney also owns Hulu and ESPN, which means that they’re planning to offer a discounted bundle for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu at $12.99/month.
Go check it out in November 2019!
Philo is a newer service with simple pricing: for $20 you get access to 58 channels for live and on-demand TV. They also have a Philo app that makes you watch it on all your different devices.
It has some of the most popular channels like TLC, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and more.
They have a 7-day free trial, where you don’t have to put in your credit card information for the first 48 hours. That’s a way you can try a service without having to put your info down first!
If you currently already have an Amazon Prime subscription, that means you already have access to Amazon Prime Video. You can just use Amazon Prime Video and that way reduce the number of total subscriptions that you have.
Amazon Prime Video has a lot of classics that are available for you to watch. Besides that, they are making more and more Amazon Original Series.
Amazon Prime Video is included in your Amazon Prime subscription, which is $119 per year or $8.99 per month.
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription yet, start your 30-day free trial here!
6. HBO Now
HBO Now is a service that is available through many other streaming services already mentioned in this article, like Hulu and Amazon Prime.
If you love HBO shows and movies, so you ONLY want to pay for that service, HBO Now is for you!
It can be streamed on multiple devices at $14.99/month. It comes with a 14-day trial, which you can cancel and restart at any time you want!
Watching YouTube videos is always great. I watch a lot of traveling videos and financial videos, but one thing that I always end up watching are these random funny videos.
I love watching YouTube on my laptop on the bigger screen, and you can skip many ads by simply clicking a little past the yellow lines. Some ads you can’t skip, but that’s what keeps YouTube free at this moment – so I’m cool with that.
YouTube has so many videos that you can watch, it’s insane. Clips from comedy series, interviews, cat videos, and online content from many TV channels.
8. YouTube TV
YouTube offers their own live TV service, where you can watch over 70 channels. You can watch National Geographic, Animal Planet, ESPN, TLC, and more.
YouTube TV costs $49.99/month and there are many add-ons available. For example, you can get an NBA League Pass for $40 per month or Fox Soccer Plus at $15 per month.
Try to be careful with adding all these extras, if you keep adding and adding them your monthly bill will exponentially increase and there will be no cost savings whatsoever anymore.
With the Playstation Vue app you can watch live TV on all your devices. The most interesting thing; you DON’T need playstation for this, which is great.
It’s a great option if you want to see a LOT of sports and if you’re not super budget-conscious. Their plans start at $49.99/month for live TV and most popular channels. If you’re wanting to get the sports package, that starts at $54.99/month.
Another great option for sports lovers is ESPN+. It’s one of the lowest cost alternatives to cable TV at $4.99/month.
You can watch live sports events and ESPN+ Originals.
If you’re not sure if this is for you, I recommend you start with a 7-day free trial.
11. Sling TV
This option is only available if you’re in the US.
Sling TV is one of the best alternatives to cable TV for sports lovers. It has ESPN, NFL Network, and more.
Besides that, it has grown in popularity over the last few years. I can understand why, they have packages for any budget.
The basic package (Sling Orange) comes at $25 and you get the popular networks, including live TV. You get ESPN, Disney, Comedy Central, and more.
Just be careful that you don’t start out with the basic package and keep upgrading your package. If you do that, it will still come down to the most expensive option. That wouldn’t make any sense, so beware!
12. The Library
The library is one of the best alternatives to cable TV, because it’s extremely low-cost!
Libraries have a big selection of movies, TV shows, series, and more. It doesn’t only include the golden oldies, it also includes a lot of the new releases that you can watch.
If your library doesn’t have a specific release, you can ask if they have them at any other library around your area. Many libraries have a partnership with other libraries, meaning they will lend books or movies to each other all the time.
Google Chromecast is a super small device, it’s basically a USB cable that you plug into your TV. It allows you to access many streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more.
It’s really affordable at a price of $35 and it’s extremely easy to set up. Basically it’s plug and go. Amazing for someone who’s extremely bad with tech like I am!
If you’re looking for even better quality, you may want to pay $70 and get the Chromecast Ultra. Sounds fancy right?
One big plus of the Chromecast is that you can take it with you wherever you go. It’s a small USB size, meaning that you can put it in your pocket and put it into any TV or computer available to you at that moment.
Another option that basically works in the same way as a Chromecast is Roku. It’s small, you can take it with you, etc etc (think all the things that are said about the Chromecast).
It’s an $40 investment to get the Roku, which is slightly more expensive than the aforementioned Chromecast.
One difference though, is that streaming music is incredibly easy when you have a Roku. It’s convenient since you can get into music apps that offer free membership (like Pandora).
Honestly, that’s the biggest difference, the rest of the specifications are more of less similar.
15. Go To Channels Directly
A lot of channels that you can watch through cable and network have their own website where you can watch their TV shows for FREE.
Not all channels have this, but try it out for your favorite channels and you might be surprised!
16. Do Something Else, Anything!
The best alternative for cable TV is not watching any TV in my opinion.
The average person watches up to 4 hours of TV a day, that’s almost 30 hours per week. That’s a shitton of time. If you use half of those hours to do something else, you could do great things!
I don’t hate TV or people who watch TV. I also have my favorite shows and I can binge-watch series for hours on end.
The thing I’m trying to stay away from is mindlessly watching TV, with time passing by and me not even really liking what I’m watching.
For the most part I see people just flipping through channels, indecisive about what they want to watch. Eventually, they end up watching something they don’t even 100% enjoy watching.
If you have the feeling that your goals aren’t reached and that you’re always short on time, perhaps you could check how much time you’re spending watching TV each day.
The thing is that many of us don’t even realize how much time we’re spending in front of the TV. When you know that, you can start to make changes and take the time back.
Things you could do instead of watching TV are:
- Go for a hike
- Find free things to do in your city
- Go for a run
- Take a bath
- Go for a swim
- Read a book (I recommend Rich Dad Poor Dad and Think and Grow Rich)
- Go for a bike ride
- Visit a museum
- Start a blog
- Read a blog
- Sell things from your house
All In All
Some people LOVE to watch live TV on traditional channels. But many people will be happy to switch to a more cost-effective alternative to cable TV.
Online apps and streaming services aren’t only often cheaper, they are also convenient. You just need to start the app and you can watch from any device that is available to you at that moment. As long as you have WiFi, you’ll be good.
The flexibility and the convenience of streaming outweigh the obligations of your monthly cable bill.
Cut the cord, take the leap, and enjoy living cable-free!
What alternatives to cable TV are you (thinking about) having?