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Tips to Cutting the Cord on a Tight Budget

Cord cutting at its core is reducing the costs associated with high cable bills by utilizing streaming and an antenna, but you can go even further...

Cord cutting is always associated with being on a budget, or saving money. However for some on very limited budgets, even the typical setup of a Roku + Netflix + Hulu + Antenna is too expensive. That type of "cord cutting" still requires an initial outlay of about $130 for the Roku and an OTA antenna. Then monthly subscription costs of around $12 for every streaming service subscribed to. Most homes that have cut the cord subscribe to two streaming services, so that works out to about $280 a year. Add it all up, and the first year of cutting the cord costs a typcial family $410. And this doesn't even add in internet, which typcially runs between $40-$75 a month!

Now what if you either 1- don't have that kind of money, or 2- don't want to spend that type of money?

Many "Cord Nevers" - or people who have never had a Cable TV bill - simply don't watch a lot of TV. These types of homes have no need for spending $410 in order to have access to TV that they'll never watch.

Beyond the fact that you probably should always have an antenna on hand, there are a lot of ways you can save even more money so you can watch TV as little as you want to.

Refurbished Antennas

Most antenna manufacturers usually have refurbished antennas for sale either on their site or on marketplaces like Amazon.com. NoCable has a whole portion of our shop dedicated to refurbished items. OTA antennas that are refurbished usually cost anywhere from 20-50% less than the brand-new version. NoCable actually ensures that all their refurb antennas are in working condition, so you can rest assured that you'll be getting a working product in return.

Pluto.tv = Free Streaming TV

This is a little known trick among many cord cutters. Pluto.tv streams many major channels 100% free. No subscriptions, no upcharges. 100% free. I use this service on my Roku and laptop and I've never had problems. It isn't choppy or limited in any way.

There are a lot of major channels that stream for free on Pluto TV as well. CBSN, CNBC, NBC News, Bloomberg, Cheddar, Weather Nation, Fox Sports, CRACKED, PopSugar, and many others.

Have a Smart TV?

Some TVs already have streaming services built into them. Now, you still have to subscribe to the service to use it, but this special service means that you don't have to spend extra money on a streaming device like a Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV. Check your TV's manual to see if yours has this capability. I have a small cheap Vizio TV from Sams Club, and its built-in streaming services work just fine.

Get a Streaming Stick

If your TV doesn't already have a built-in service, then maybe a streaming stick will work for you. Fire TV and Roku both have sticks that are simply cheaper alternatives to their more powerful full devices. The only downfall I've ever had with a stick is that they sometimes can be a little slow to load up a show or service. But, for those of you who rarely stream TV, this may be an acceptable trade-off.

 Tagged: streaming antenna budget

Article Author
Chris Cagle
NoCable.org CEO

Chris and his wife started NoCable back in 2015 because they wanted to cut the cord, but there were no resources that provided exactly what they needed.

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