In this episode we tell how we became “cord cutters” (people who give up cable/satellite TV) before it was cool. We share about the cable TV alternatives we’ve tried, mostly internet and through-the-air, what’s worked and what hasn’t. And if you’re going to be hosting a big TV event – like movie night or a football bowl game – you need to serve some fun food. So we discuss some of our favorite appetizers for watch parties. Plus, we reveal some of our favorite comedy and drama TV shows – because, how could we not?
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Cable TV Alternatives
When we first ditched cable we lived in Portland where it was pretty easy to bring in the major networks with an antenna. We also used the library a lot to rent movies.
Then we moved more rural and our options were more limited. Luckily, that’s when Netflix started offering more streaming options followed by Amazon. Today those are still our go-to streaming options through the basic $10 monthly Netflix fee and Amazon Prime (you can get a free trial here – we use it for lots of other things like my favorite subscribe and save deals, 2-day shipping, and music without commercials). At $100 a year, Prime is just $8.25 a month which is a no-brainer for me since we use it for so many things.
So, $18.25 a month is a lot cheaper than cable or satellite at the $50-60 “basic” level, especially when you consider that many people routinely pay for all of these each month which easily could amount to $100 or more. We definitely don’t want to invest that much in something we want to do less of!
The TV Setup & Services
In our last setup, we had a set of rabbit ears inside of the cabinet we kept our TV in (yes, even after we got a flat screen – no black holes in our living room!) and an antenna on top (the arrow above is pointing to it). It really bugged me in the decorating realm, but it is what it is, right? (Did you notice I had removed it before taking the previous photo? I had to search to find a photo with the dumb antenna in place, ha!)
Between the two, we could usually bring in what we wanted with just occasional glitches from the weather or whatever bee was in it’s bonnet. We used simple rabbit ears like these, and we don’t really recommend that antenna we used on top, but this set-up has 4 stars with 14, ooo reviews, so it may be worth a look.
The streaming options and devices we talked about as cable TV alternatives:
The one we’re using now that works the best with our sketchy internet: Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. We’ve found it much easier to navigate with the remote than the phone app Chrome used.
Some of our favorite appetizers and finger foods for watch parties that we mentioned:
- Curried Deviled Eggs
- Cheesy Chicken Artichoke Skillet Dip with slices of toasted Easy Artisan Bread for dipping
- Mini Peppers Stuffed with Cheese & Roasted Corn Salsa
- Maple Mustard Bacon Chicken Bites
- Homemade Onion Dip (better than a mix!) with cut veggies and potato chips
This is Really Cool!
This week we brought some recent favorite TV shows to the table:
Brian: The Grinder with Rob Lowe and Fred Savage (1 season)
Jami: The PBS dramas like Foyle’s War, Endeavour, Victoria, and Poldark (all so good, though maybe just the first season of Poldark…) which you can watch on Amazon. Some are included in Amazon Prime, and others you can stream a season for around $8 or watch through the $5/month Acorn TV for Amazon Prime members.
There is also a PBS Masterpiece Channel subscription through Amazon Channels (free trial and $6/month after) that lets you stream all the latest episodes of Masterpiece dramas. I grabbed a free trial of it a few months ago to catch up on Poldark, so think about using the free trials to just catch up on a show!
Get lots of DIY gift ideas through the list in the 31 Days of Handmade Gifts series. Or just scroll through these and more in the Crafts & Handmade Gifts section of the Project Gallery. There are things for every skill level and everyone on your list, so be sure to check it out!
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