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  • Dave Kinzer

How to Cut the Cord and Save Big Money

I subscribed to cable tv for my entire adult life, up until about fourteen months ago. The price just kept going up, and my life kept getting busier.

I realized I wasn’t watching much tv besides baseball and football, my wife only watched about two channels, and my kids were happy with a couple shows on Netflix ($15/month). So why were we paying $90/month for cable? We finally decided it wasn’t worth it, so we joined the “cut the cord” movement.

When we canceled cable, we compensated by immediately signing up for the Disney Plus bundle, which gave us access to Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus. Our expense for tv watching went from $105/month to $25/month, a savings of $80/month.

Those three streaming services, along with Netflix, give us plenty of shows and movies to choose from, and we save $960/year.

But what about sports? Well, since it appears the Chicago Cubs won’t win another World Series anytime soon, I’m not really worried about missing baseball. I do love to watch the Chicago Bears though.

Since the Bears game is always one of the televised games here in Springfield, I can watch most of their games for free on CBS, NBC, or Fox. To do this though, I needed to buy an antenna.

Before this, my last experience with tv antennas was with the rabbit ear kind about 35 years ago. TV antennas have come a long way since then.

Some of the most popular antennas today look like a black or white rectangle-shaped piece of vinyl about the size of a sheet of printer paper. It will have a cable to attach to the tv. That’s pretty much it.

My antenna, a Mohu Leaf 50, has worked remarkably well. It has the ability to pull in channels from sixty miles away. (Click on the link to take a closer look at the Mohu Leaf 50. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

The picture is clear, and I currently am able to watch eleven different channels. I get major networks like CBS and Fox, but also several channels I’ve never heard of, like Laff, Charge!, Comet, and MeTV.

You’ll need to do a bit of troubleshooting to figure out the best place for reception. For us, it turned out to be high on a window right next to our tv, but some people report that it works best lower to the floor, or laid flat on a bookshelf, for example.

One of the factors to consider when placing your antenna is nearby buildings. If you live right next to a tall or big building, it might block the signal of most channels. I would still give it a try though. If it doesn’t end up getting a lot of channels because something is blocking reception, I bet you would be able to return it for a refund.

One downside to cutting the cord is that you will not have an easy way to record live shows anymore. If you want to record shows with a DVR, you will have to purchase one. I found DVRs priced anywhere from $30 to over $200. Of course, the more it costs, the more features it will have.

Most antennas are priced between $30 and $75. Some of them seem expensive until you consider the price of cable. If you were paying $90/month for cable, then after you cancel, you can purchase the $75 antenna, and you’ll still come out $15 ahead for that month.

Since I seem to only use the tv for NFL football games anymore, buying an over-the-air antenna was a great solution. If you want to cut the cord, but still want to be able to watch the news and other local content (as well as NFL games), I recommend you buy one.

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