Cutting down on expenses: What Cable Bill? Roku to the rescue!

I am sharing this because I happen to find it helpful to have kicked my cable bill to the curve. I have had Roku for a little more than a year and, I must add, it has been amazing. We were paying, with taxes and all, about $60 for the basic channel. This was a promotion they were offering. I realized, we were really paying for nothing. We do not watch television at all during the week. Perhaps, once in a while, my kids like to look at a cartoon or two, but they become pretty restless in sitting for long periods of time watching t.v. I do enjoy watching t.v., but more on weekends when I am free of homework.

Roku: I have found Roku to be a great substitute to cable. I don’t like the word “substitute” because I feel like it is less than adequate. How about “solution?” Yes, I have found Roku to be a better solution than cable. With cable, we never knew what to watch on T.V. I would always go for the History, Discovery  and any channel with documentaries. That was the selling point with the Roku for me. It has so many channels and many are free! Including the news.

Netflix: Now, if you want unlimited movies, tv shows (past seasons), documentaries, comedy shows, and so much more, you have to get Netflix. We pay $8.99 per month because we want to be able to view it on multiple televisions. There are times that I veg in bed, with my husband and Noah, and the girls want to watch something different like You Tube to create those loom bands. This has been a lifesaver as they find it easier than a laptop. Or they like to work out with the “Just Dance” episodes on You Tube. Let me say, for those that like Novelas or Spanish Soap Operas, I have found many old ones. They have my favorite shows like “Love It or List It,” “Ancient Aliens,” “Man vs. Food,” “Restaurant Impossible,” Iron Chef America,” many food network cooking shows, all types of animal documentaries . . . it is endless.

Other Paying Channels: If you like UFC or seek t.v. shows, up to date movies, etc, you can by downloading the UFC channel, Hulu, Amazon, and there are endless amounts of channels that may be to your liking. I will say, however, that my family loves soccer and during the World Cup, we found a channel that streamed it, but it seemed to have been as someone recorded it. Not great. Perhaps I didn’t provide myself enough time to conduct research on the best channel for sports, but that was a difficult one. We were able to watch them via the spanish sports website for free on some soccer matches, but that was on a computer. They even have an old movie channel, which I love.

Free Channels: My kids are big on PBS Kids and they can watch their favorite channels . . . for free! Simply sign up with your email address. We love the History channel and it is also free, but some episodes are limited. They have so many other free channels like Pandora, the TD Jakes channel, some local channels, makeup channels, You Tube, etc. All you have to do is search. The channel, itself, is free, but in some cases it will request for you to provide your local cable information. I’m telling you, I have had this for a little more than a year and I haven’t had time to fully watch all of anything.

What you need: You will need to have a wifi connection within your home. I used to have the tethering and had to bring the wifi service in for school purposes anyway. My wifi service with Time Warner is only $25 a month with taxes. You, of course, need the Roku. I have three, in my home, the $89 one seems to work better from a long distance. You can connect your ear phones on the remote and watch what you want without anyone else having to listen to it. My husband likes this as he likes to watch his KOTD battles on You Tube. Also, it has a feature that continues to play episodes as one is completed right into the next. It includes the fast buttons for three of the channels. We have the cheapest one, $49, in our room and the upstairs loft. Those seem to be a little more finicky if you aren’t at a close range to select what you want. They do not play one episode after another if you don’t select the next episode. Aside from that, everything is great!

Downside: I can’t watch my favorite sport: Boxing and Soccer. I am a huge boxing fan and I have to go over my dad’s to watch the Cesar Chavez fights or other boxing matches. I also have to go over my dad’s house to watch the soccer games. He lets me slide without watching boxing, but soccer, that is a sin in our family. We are Mexican-American so if I’m not watching the Mexico game, I’m toast.

Upside: You save money every month. Especially if you are like us and do not really watch all of those channels nor have time for cable viewing all week. It seems like it is a waste of money. Also, we had so many channels and never knew what to watch as we flipped through the channels.

Is it right for you? Well, look at what you currently watch, research Roku or any of the other devices that Amazon or Apple offer and find out if they provide the channels you need. One less bill you have to worry about.

Let me know what you think. . .don't be shy.

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