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Time for another round of Thrifty Little Tips! Quick and simple ways to help you save money on the little things so you can enjoy the life you live in your home to the fullest.

This time around I'm really pushing it...yes, I'm talking about what most of us consider a necessary evil - CABLE TV *insert Norman Bates slasher screams here*

Cable TV rates have grown to a ridiculous all time high, however, it is also one of the easiest and quickest ways to cut household expenses! If downgrading your programming package doesn't trim your budget as much as you'd like, I've put together my Top 7 Frugal Alternatives to Cable TV for you below - everything from the extreme conservative to the my hubby can't live without his sports channel options.

1: Public Libraries
  • COST: Free with exception of possible late fees if you don't return items on time

  • Requirements: Library Card to rent and a DVD player or compatible device to view.
    Many public libraries have full seasons available for popular TV shows, as well as movies - new and old. Obviously the size of the city / library will play a part in your choices. Many popular choices also may have a waiting list and no real prediction of date availability as the borrower may "renew" their rental of the selection. However, if you live in a town that has several local county library locations, they usually offer "inner city transfers" where they will transfer a selection between branches - usually by the next day.

    Amazon Video On Demand and
    Amazon Instant Video

  • COST: Varies, starting at FREE New movie releases and TV shows are available to stream via Amazon Video on Demand and Amazon Instant Video which are also available to Amazon Prime members at no additional cost.

  • Requirements: Internet, a TV and a compatible device, usually priced at $80 - $100. The TiVo and The Roku Player are the most widely used devices. You can also play back your movie or show on a PC. New movie releases and TV shows are available to stream via Amazon Video on Demand. The cost of your Tivo or Roku Player more than pays for itself in a matter of monthes versus the cost of cable tv.
    You can get a FREE 30 day Trial of Amazon Prime HERE and try the service out for FREE before you decide!

    3: Redbox

  • COST: as low as FREE

  • Requirements: Any device that will play a DVD
    - $1 for most rentals per night. New movie releases and some TV shows available - new, classics and favorites in many genres.
    - You can usually get coupons via text and online for Free to discounted rentals
    4: Online TV Networks

  • COST: Varies, starting at FREE

  • Requirements: Internet Connection and a Computer. Many large TV Networks stream shows directly on their websites after the initial air date. Check out my NBC Local Channels with NBC Rewind - Full Episodes of the most popular shows.

    247086_Non-stop kid-friendly shows just $7.99 a month
    5: Subscription services : Netflix

  • COST: $7.99 per month

  • Requirements: Internet Connection and a Computer or compatible device such as an Xbox Game System utilizing the Xbox Live service.
    - My family LOVES Netflix! Each of my kids watch movies on their laptop or TV's whenever they want. Well worth the $7.99 per month! The only downside is that some new releases are not always available for live streaming immediately when they are available via DVD rental or purchase. You can also get 1 Month FREE TRIAL to test it out yourself!


  • COST: .99cent & up

  • Requirements: Computer, FREE iTunes application and an internet connection. Hugely popular and a great way to save serious bucks, especially if you take advantage of the discount iTunes gift card offers that pop up on the daily deal sites often.

    7: Hulu

  • COST: Free to view on a computer. Hulu Plus for HD viewing is $8 per month and can be viewed on multiple devices.

  • Requirements: An internet connection and a Hulu compatible device that can be as simple and inexpensive as a computer hooked up to a TV.

    As you can see - with our ever evolving technology, mobile apps and devices, there really are many frugal alternatives to cable tv that don't necessarily have to cramp your style or disrupt your "viewing" time!

    Do you have your own tips or fave service you use as an alternative to cable tv? Leave us a comment below and let us know!!

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