Disclaimer: This is in no way sponsored by any company or service. This is just what worked for our family when we needed to look for ways to save money.
When we first decided to cut out cable in our house- you would’ve thought we were moving our kids into a cave! Nooooo, not the DVR!! In our house, cutting out cable came out of necessity. Too many monthly bills and not enough to warrant spending hundreds on a cable bill.
Since cutting out cable two years ago – we have not looked back. Even though we live in an urban area, the options for internet and cable are limited at best. Since we need an internet connection for the kids school, paying for the internet was a necessity. We finally found a company that had fast service for internet, although the customer service…not so much.
We decided to buy a Roku device on sale (Black Friday) and opted for the lowest priced internet plan. There are a ton of media streaming devices out there, but Roku works pretty well. I decided to pay for Hulu and Netflix with a combined total for about $20 a month. Of course adding around $60 for internet. Obviously, regional areas are different, but this is the lowest rate for internet service around us. Crazy, huh?
There are quite a few options for streaming TV and Movies and it depends on your family’s preference. You can always pay for extra channel apps or services, like HBO/Showtime/. There are also a bunch of free and low-cost apps as well. To me it is worth paying a little bit for a bunch of content that my kids will actually watch like Hulu or Netflix.
These are just some that have worked for our family. (Disclaimer: These prices are subject to change. Always check with the company before buying).
Here are a list of apps you can download to a streaming device if you are thinking about cutting out cable for good:
- Hulu – Hulu is a great service at a really affordable price. I got a deal for $5.99/month, but their regular price is $7.99. They have also added a Live TV option. There are alot of TV shows that are on prime time as well, and the episodes come out fairly quickly. There are also a lot of kids shows from Cartoon Network, Nick, Some Disney Jr, as well as some older cartoons (Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, Doug, etc). I have found that their movie selection is not the greatest, as they do not have many mainstream movies but the TV section makes up for it.
- Netflix – Netflix has recently increased their prices to $12.99 a month. I personally think it is a bit expensive, but I like the variety and think they have a larger movie selection especially for kids. They also have parental controls which is helpful and each family member can have a profile where you can set the parental control limits, which I love.
- Youtube – Ah, Youtube. I have a love/ hate relationship with Youtube. If your kids are like mine, Youtube has replaced most channels anyway. There is some great content on Youtube, but there is also a lot of downright bad stuff. Just be mindful of the stuff your kids are watching. There Is a ton of really fun family channels, tutorials, informative documentaries, music videos, active fitness channels, and much more!!
- Roku Channel– There are some good movies on the Roku channel itself and every month they have a section called Featured Free. Featured Free has some popular TV shows and movies that you can stream for free (great for binge watching!)
- Amazon Prime Video – If you already pay for Amazon Prime you can download the app and get access to some great content. They have a a lot of movies for both adults and kids and some pretty good original content (like the show Tumble Leaf for kids) as well. There is plenty of included content with Amazon Prime, including a bunch of old TV shows like Roseanne, Arthur, Spongebob etc. They also an option to rent movies right through your device. This is a great option for forgetful moms like me because I ALWAYS forget to return Redbox movies and end up paying $30 for a stupid movie I don’t even want!).
- PBS KIDS / PBS – If your kids love Curious George, Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street, you can stream them all right to your device. While all the episodes to a season aren’t available for free, there is a bunch of content that is great for kids. The PBS app has a bunch of regular shows that are on PBS as well. It usually isn’t a whole season, but they do tend to have the last 3-5 episodes. I like it because I learn about all new shows that I never got a chance to catch on regular TV.
- Crackle – Crackle has some good movies and TV options. It is mainly for adults though and not really an app for kids shows.
- NBC/ABC/CBS – All of these apps have some of their latest shows and news reports.
- HGTV/DIY Network– There is some free content on the app. If you sign in with a TV subscription, you are able to access more. For someone like me who hardly has time to watch, there is enough free content on there to keep me busy for a while!
- Pandora/ I Heart Music/Vevo/Spotify – Great music streaming channels that you can put right on your TV.
- Pokemon TV – A great if you have Pokemon lovers in your house. This channel has a bunch of free Pokemon shows that they will love.
- Pluto TV – This channel is free and it offers some live TV, although it doesn’t have a lot of popular content. But it’s still worth checking out.
- Haystack TV– If you miss seeing local news events/weather, this is definitely a channel to check out. You can put in your zip code and get some weather/news reports that have previously aired in your area. Although it is not live, it is updated pretty frequently.
As streaming becomes more popular, I think more content will be added all the time. Don’t stress if you are nervous about cutting out cable from the kids. They will adjust and so will you! Kids will find something they like and there is a lot to find. On the bright side, if they can’t find anything to watch they will find something non screen related to do!
Remember some cable plans are well over $100, and you have so many channels you don’t even use. Just think of the money you will be saving!