Just read the 'Cut the Cord' article by Kelly Gurnett on Penny Hoarder today. It's very true that people are spending at least $1200 per year on cable and hate the fact that they are forced to pay for channels they don't want and don't watch.  But with 200+ streaming services out there, it’s difficult to figure out which streaming services to use. 

So I thought I'd pass along that there is a free website and app called CobbleCord, which helps you cobble together the best combination of both free and paid streaming services -- just for you. Answer 4 easy questions on what you like to watch, how you like to watch it and your monthly price range, and CobbleCord’s patented process will recommend the best personalized streaming bundle for you and your family.

And since it’s free,  you can go through the recommendation process as many times as you want and modify your answers to see what else comes up. They also have a helpful search feature that lets you filter on networks, shows, genres, etc. Good luck & happy streaming!

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The best thing about streaming sites is the ability to switch or cancel with a button click. We typically hop between services depending on the season. HBO for GoT, Philio for Walking Dead and Doctor Who, currently using Starz for Outlander and American Gods. Hulu and Netflix rotate in and out too, but my son grabbed a great student deal for Hulu and Spotify so we share that one with him. With a $55.75 internet only from CenturyLink and a couple of streaming sites we are still under any cable package we've been offered.

I looked into Cobblecord, and although a good service, it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.  I cut the cord a couple years ago and save about $150 a month of cable.  I find that I'm good with an HD antenna, Netflix and Sling, while streaming Fox News on Youtube gives me most of what I want to watch. Sling $25.00 and Netflix $9.00.  If I want to watch HBO or Showtime on any given month, I sign up via Amazon Prime and you can cancel at the click of a button (which also has movies) or you can get it standalone which is the same price if you don't have Prime.  Sling has a lot of channels and news channels but not Fox and Netflix has all the movies.  I find Hulu with the movie features at $40 too expensive. The bad part is the cables companies finding that more people are cutting the cord will charge more for internet services in the near future. 

3 months ago we switched from $120 DirecTV to $40 YouTube TV. We get all our locals; FOX News, CNN, etc; all ESPN channels, MLB, Big 10 Network, 4 FOX Sports networks; Freeform; TNT; plus numerous other channels. Only channels we are missing are HGTV and The Weather Channel. Saving $70 per month is awesome!

UPDATE:  So I canceled Sling because it's missing FOX news. I instead am trying Hulu Plus Live TV and I am very pleased with it.  It has movies, Live TV, and much more. It has every channel I like to watch.  So Hulu plus LiveTV $39.99 (going up $4.99 in February) and Netflix $8.99 pretty much sums it up. I also believe Hulu gives you recording and pause, fast forward, etc. I may not keep Netflix because Hulu gives me pretty much all I want.  No contract. So even at $55.00 I'm good and I won't be getting a cable bill that keeps adding $$ every time you look at it.  You start at $99 and after a few months it creeps up to $250 WTH!

Netflix allows up to 5 users on one account. Consider sharing the account (and the cost). Pretty much the same with Amazon Prime. Plus free streaming TV--Pluto TV comes to the top of my mind--is totally free and provides some interesting content. You can also watch a tremendous amount of content on YouTube's streaming app. At Christmas I was surprised to find that my favorite holiday movie (Scrooge, 1970, starring Albert Finney) is available on many streaming services for a fee, but free all the time--and it is the entire movie in color--on YouTube. I currently pay $65/mo. for Cablevision's basic cable TV (for the local news and national networks) + Internet and I pay less than $20/mo. to share accounts with others. The streaming companies don't want you to share accounts (and they don't advertise that you can), but you totally can!

How much do you actually end up saving from month to month, though? I feel like cable companies are getting smart and raising their internet-only bundles so high that it's almost not worth canceling cable. Thoughts? Does anyone save a significant amount of money?

Erin M - we are saving about $80 per month by dropping DirecTV ($120/month) and adding YouTube TV ($40/month). No commitments; there's unlimited recording; you can pause, fast-forward, rewind; have 5 different accounts for $40; and we get almost every channel we got with DirecTV (to name a few: all locals, FOX News, CNN, all ESPN channels, Big 10 Network, FOX Sports channels, NFL, MLB, Freeform, TNT, numerous others). Three channels we don't get are Weather Channel, History, and HGTV; but to save $80 per month, we don't miss those channels. You can try a free trial. I love that I can start watching a show on one TV, then pick up at the same spot on a different TV or my phone, iPad, etc. My family of 5 is very happy with YouTube TV.

Yes, you still need internet and unfortunately, you're right, many cable companies are either raising the rate of internet only plans, or pricing the video/internet bundle so competitively (to slow video sub declines) that they make it an offer you can't refuse -- that is, until the promotional rate ends -- and it always ends.  You should shop around for other internet only packages in your area. Many times, there are smaller companies that offer internet-only services at competitive prices (differs by area). 

But you'll be encouraged to hear that once wireless companies start rolling out 5G wireless to the home (https://www.pcmag.com/news/366...et-on-its-5g-rollout), it will spark price wars between the wireless (cellphone) companies and the broadband (cable) providers for internet/connectivity/data plans.  And that will mean more competition, more options and better pricing choices for consumers. Hang in there!

 

 

UPDATE:  I am extremely happy with HULU Plus with Live TV.  I get the news channels I like to watch plus Live TV and can watch on any cell, TV, Tablet, computer I own.  It's $49.99 for everything I want and like to watch instead of getting 50 million channels I don't care for.  Yes, I pay for internet on the side $70 promotion for a year for fiber optics and yes it's very fast.  After the promo is done I think it goes up to $80 or $90 which  I will then go with a lower service.  I really don't need lightening speed internet, so I will probably end up paying $50/$60 for it.  I still save about close to $100 a month as I was paying between $250 and $275 for cable, internet, boxes, HD, etc. I don't have premium channels.  I get HBO or Showtime if there is series I feel the need to watch thru Prime Video at $15.00 and $8.99, but the series ends so do the premium channels. I pay as I go instead of every month.  It's scary to cut the cord but when you do, you will ask yourself why you wasted so much money on cable. Oh and then there's the other issue of the horrible customer service they all give you. I hope I could be of some help for a would be cord cutter!  Happy Cutting!

Update:  Love Hulu Plus Live TV ($49.99) (I get all news channels, plus a plethora of must watch channels, i.e., HGTV, H, ID, FX, Nat Geo, TNT just to name a few. Still have Netflix ($8.99), but not too happy with the movies on there, so I will probably cancel it.  Love Amazon Prime for the obvious reasons ($10.00) and ATT fiber optics internet for $70.00 promo 1 yr.  After promo I believe it will go up to $80/$90 which I will then maybe go to a lower fast internet.  Unless you have a home business, you don't really need $90 fiber optics. Total $138.00 plus any premium channel I might want to watch on any given month (Showtime $8.99 HBO $15.00) My cable used to be $250 to $275 per month saving me $111.02 and if I cancel Netflix $102.03.  Happy Cutting!

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