Why Our Family Cut The Cord On Cable

In Motherhood, Parentingby Jen43 Comments

The beginning of the end happened one Sunday night about a year and a half ago when our older children, Jen’s Guy and I sat watching our favorite TV show, Once Upon A Time. As the show cut to commercials, the very first one was for a horror movie called Mama. My husband quickly muted the TV as I told the children to cover their eyes. It was a pretty scary commercial and this was during the 7 p.m. viewing hour.

I took to Facebook with a mini rant the next morning.

I then wrote a letter to ABC asking them to please be careful with the commercials they aired during “family” TV shows.  Not surprising, but almost two years later and I still have not received any type of response from them.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only inappropriate commercial that was thrown at us and all of it combined, began the slow demise of our feelings towards cable.

As parents, my husband and I are very aware of the fact that there is a whole slew of things that we cannot control outside of our home. I cannot control what people will say to my children when they are away from me or what they will hear from other children at school, but I can make sure that they will not have nightmares caused by a commercial they saw while sitting and watching TV with me!

Because of our cable related experiences my family became much more careful in our TV viewing. We began using the DVR to record shows so that we could fast forward through commercials and most importantly so that my husband and I could preview the shows before hand to make sure that they were appropriate for our children.

We invested in Netflix and also added some new features and products namely a ROKU and Hulu Plus. Slowly we noticed that our children would flip onto Netflix rather than watching cable TV and that we watched less and less cable networks.

About six months ago our cable receiver box broke and we didn’t even realize it had happened until the cable provider sent us a letter notifying us that it had been well over two months since it had worked properly! Talk about throwing money away…..

We decided at that point to go ahead and finally cut the cord on cable!

Now don’t think my kids sit around watching only educational shows and have no access to outside media. They are pretty tech savvy. They have a Wii U, Xbox 360, Kindles and laptops. It’s just that now they are able to watch the (parent approved) shows that they want on a time frame that works for our family and without the nasty commercials.

Interestingly, we aren’t the only people to do this. According to Nielsen’s latest report on the video streaming market over 40% of US homes have a subscription based streaming service and that traditional TV viewing is declining.

Slate has a calculator available that you can use to decide whether or not you should cut the cord on cable. When my husband and I used it we found out the following information.

Times these estimated savings by 2 years of previously limited TV viewing and a broken box for months, we were pretty dumb to not have cut the cord sooner.

If you are thinking of cutting the cord, but worry you might not be able to get the shows you want, then check out some of these links:

For  TV

For Movies

For Sports

Our family is now happy to say that we are cord cutters and won’t be turning back anytime soon!

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen

Comments

  1. Yay – think of all the donuts you can buy with that!

    We did the same years ago, finding we were paying hundreds a month for a service we watched once a week. Now, we stick to the fastest Internet speed money can buy, along with Netflix, Roku, and Amazon (Prime) and we’re saving so much money.

    One word of caution: if new to streaming, some people might have to ‘up the level’ of their connection speed, paying attention to ‘download’ more so than ‘upload’ speed.
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…My Take – FROZEN SequelMy Profile

    1. Author

      You are so right on the internet speed! That is vital.I received an email from my internet provider today telling me we were nearing the end of our allotted bandwidth and we might need to add more. Obviously cable TV is not the draw around here and never was!

      Before cutting the cord our DVR was full of shows that we would just end up watching on Netflix. What took us so long to just bite the bullet and do it?
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  2. I would love to dump cable! My husband refuses because of football season. He says there is no other better way for him to watch the games. We spend a ridiculous amount of money on it. I’ll have to check out that calculator. Once Upon a Time is one of our favorite shows :). I’m glad you wrote in about the commercials. It’s something that has always really disturbed me too. Those Mama commercials scared me too! Another pet peeve of mine is if you don’t switch over nickelodeon at exactly the right time at night, very inappropriate cartoons kick in. I think it’s nick, but it’s definitely a kids channel!
    Candace recently posted…Fears of a BloggerMy Profile

    1. I think ESPN and some other networks are going to start a streaming only package for about $20 a month called Sling TV. I read about it on the Washington Post site. That might work for your husband. :)

      1. Author

        Thanks! I just looked into Sling and it sounds pretty neat! He generally follows 3 sporting teams religiously and luckily so far has been able to watch the the games for these teams via online streaming.
        Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

    2. Author

      There are a lot of good options out there for watching sports now that helped make it much easier for him to cut the cord. Truthfully though the 2 year old jumping on him anytime he sits to watch any sporting event might have helped make TV sporting time a little less relaxing!
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  3. Yep, we so know all this. Terrible service too. They want everyone to jump on board, but are not willing to do the right things to make that happen.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Awww MondaysMy Profile

  4. Holy Mac and Cheese!!!! That is amazing, and who would have thunk it!!! Definitely going to do my research on this one and see if we too can “Cut the Cord”…. great food for thought. Especially because we are rarely home, and when we are it is not watching the cable, it is movies and such.

    Thanks Jen….

    xoxoxo
    BritishMumUSA recently posted…Setting Goals & Achieving GoalsMy Profile

  5. When we moved from an apartment (free cable) to a house (no free cable) about 5 years ago, we just never hooked it up. Back then, we didn’t have Netflix or Hulu and just relied upon a pretty big DVD collection. Now, with Netflix and Hulu, we’re spoiled for choice and have never looked back. I don’t miss it at all. I love being able to avoid commercials in general and not have to worry about what’s going to pop up on the screen next. Believe it or not, though, I still have a landline and no smartphone. So it’s a mixed bag of technology around here. :)
    Katie @ Recipe for Perfection recently posted…Easy Apple Crumble Recipe with OatsMy Profile

    1. Author

      Haha! I like your mixed bag of technology. I have a piece of crud smartphone that needs to be replaced.

      We just added Hulu Plus right before we cut the cord on cable and I love it! Just like you I feel spoiled! What was I doing hanging on to traditional cable for so long??
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Gingi! Once you cut cable and start looking at streaming it just seems like you don’t even miss it! The plus side is that I have found some great new shows with Hulu and Netflix that I didn’t even know existed before.
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  6. Good for you! Something we are going to have to explore soon enough. At 6 & 3 we are still tuned into Sprout, Nick Jr. and Disney Jr…but soon enough they will want to watch “big girl” shows. I already nixed the teen shows – deplorable behavior on Disney XD. I applaud your efforts…I just need cable for Sports! How does your hubby catch the highlights with no cable? Just curious…
    Kristen recently posted…What No One Tells You About Losing A PetMy Profile

  7. I would love to be able to do this! We have DirecTV and DVR most shows that we watch. There are certain things that hubby is afraid to miss, though, so he has been hesitant to cut the cord. We need to re-visit this discussion.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Wonderful Women!My Profile

    1. Author

      Sounds familiar, our DVR was full and we just got too busy to watch. Before cutting the cord we found out that most TV shows can be found on Hulu and Netflix and there are some other great options for sports on Sling TV.
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  8. I think a lot of people don’t need cable, but I can’t really see my family getting rid of it anytime soon as they do like certain shows that you won’t be able to watch for awhile without it. At any rate, it’s a good idea to check costs and see what works best for your family!

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyMy Profile

  9. We actually did the same just a short few months ago. I don’t share that much because I feel like it brings a negative connotation with it, however, we haven’t missed a thing about it! Although, we are also obsessed with Netflix, our ROKU and any shows that we do take interest in on TV (airing now) are on non-cable channels. Haha. Who woulda thunk?
    Breaking The Momma Mold recently posted…The Horrifying Moment I Became a ‘Typical’ MomMy Profile

    1. Author

      Yay we are not alone! It is the best thing we have done ever! I am obsessed with Hulu, our ROKU and Netflix! I even went shopping last month for clothes with the money we saved. That was a double bonus!
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  10. We don’t have a TV in our house and my kids say that their friends at school are always like “What?!? You don’t have a TV?” But I know lots of people who don’t have TV anymore simply because they can watch everything they want quicker and more conveniently on the Internet. Who watches TV anymore?
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…Please Stop Giving My Kids TrophiesMy Profile

    1. Author

      Good for you! Quick question? How do you guys do Conference? I am little worried about it this year. We obviously will watch it on the laptop, but just blare it with plenty of conference activities like before, but any ideas would be great!
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  11. Oh, I’d love to cut the cable cord, even it means my Internet bill will go up since it would break the package deal. I love the list you have here. I mentioned to one lady that Sling TV might work for sports. Thankfully, I don’t need to worry about sports in this household, but there are a lot of shows on Cable Only stations that aren’t streaming, yet. I keep watching to see if they will be, though!

    1. Author

      That is a concern. We broke up our package right before we finally nixed cable and actually we are saving quite a bit on our internet bill as well. Plus we notched up our speed for streaming. Thanks for the Sling suggestion that is great!
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  12. Hi Jen, funny how these companies can contact you when they need to! Companies should take more care about the adverts they show and when. Family time is not when they should be showing adverts fr horror films!

    We haven’t subscribed to satellite television for years as I wasn’t overly impressed with it and it was a lot of money for not much quality. Now we choose what to watch and when to watch it, with no inconvenient adverts. We subscribe through the internet to a couple of sporting channels that we enjoy, which works out so much cheaper.
    Debbie recently posted…My Daughters First School Trip AwayMy Profile

    1. Author

      You hit the nail right on the head with that one! These companies don’t tend to care what we think as long as we keep paying our bill. Isn’t it funny how easily and happily we can survive without them though? Glad you agree that freedom of choice for “TV” viewing is quite liberating!
      Jen recently posted…Why Our Family Cut The Cord On CableMy Profile

  13. Jen, I have had exactly that same experience with tv. We have limited channels now, only because it is cheaper to get them with our internet package (go figure…) but the only thing I watch is occasionally “The Voice” and my little ones will watch Wild Kratts. I have never tried hulu. We love Netflix! Great post. I agree. Cutting cable is so worth it!

    1. Author

      When we tried to cancel DirecTV during our contract period it was going to be $450 bucks! That is so crazy!!

      I did loose HGTV and I was a little sad about that at first. I can catch the Property Brothers and Rehab Addict on Netflix at least. I am looking into Sling TV, because I think we can get all the sports the hubs would want.
      Jen recently posted…Man Day Post: The Jen’s Guy Blog Tour, Part 2My Profile

  14. I finally convinced Hubby to cut the cord a year ago and couldn’t be happier. No more $110 bill! He was very hesitant because of football season but we still get the basic network channels through some new age version of rabbit ears. I think cable companies are really starting to take notice that more and more people are cord cutting. I am sooo with you on the commercials too! I am so tired of the viagra/cealis commercials and the like. Also, I would have to block at least half the channels like FX and comedy central due to vulgarity and obscenity. I am a Huge American Horror Story Fan…but I was shocked that it was even allowed on TV when I first saw it. Welcome to the club!
    Rachel recently posted…Merry Monday #46My Profile

    1. Author

      I am really starting to feel welcomed by all of the super cool cord cutters I have met because of this post! I don’t know what took me so long to just do it, but like you I am loving the fact we no longer shell out the big bucks for a service we even rarely used!
      Those Viagra commercials were gross, loved that my kids would ask what the medicine did? Sheesh, not a conversation I wanted to have with my 7 year old!
      Jen recently posted…Man Day Post: The Jen’s Guy Blog Tour, Part 2My Profile

  15. We’re locked into our current cable provider until December but my hubby and I decided that we’ll be cutting the cord too.

    My children never get to watch cable anyway (because I hate the commercials feeding them non-stop as to what they should want/have). We’re always watching Netflix or videos from the library.

    I can’t wait to cut the cord!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely week.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…Mom Life or Party Life? You Decide.My Profile

    1. Author

      It’s terrible, but our cable provider was going to charge us $500 to cancel. We told them that cable was a service we were not even using and yet we had to pay for it?! Their answer, yup or pay the $500! We were ready to cut that cord for sure after that!

      Glad you will be joining the cord cutting family soon :) You won’t miss it a bit!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

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