Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Plans for this Blog!!! First "Thrifty Thursday"

I've started to have a hankering to blog more.  So I've decided to spread out my interests throughout the week with themed posts.  Here's what I'm thinking (we'll see how it goes!):

Make it Mondays (Crafting, DIY)
Tasty Tuesdays (cooking, recipes)
Whatever Wednesday (haha, maybe a break day for me, or just different topics)
Thrifty Thursdays (couponing, $ saving tips)
Fitness Fridays (exercise, cooking, etc)
Stock Up Saturdays ("prepping"-emergency food storage etc)
Spiritual Pickup Sundays (what better fitting topic?!)

Sooooo......Here's our first official "Thrifty Thursday" post!

How to Save $ and Stay Sane Without Cable

When I was a little kid, we didn't have extra money sitting around for cable.  We were so deprived, we had to do things like build forts, fly kites, make rockets, pretend we were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, have dandelion fights, try entrepreneurial endeavors with the neighbors, play with cars and My Little Pony and other such torturous things.  When I got older and we got cable I became a couch potato, and my body has since been shaped like one... :( 

Fast forward to college and while not the smartest with my money, I did try to live in some of the cheaper housing off-campus and since it was cheap, that meant none of my roommates wanted to pay for cable either.  I served an 18 month mission for my church, no tv there either.  After I moved out of my parents' place and really learned what it meant to stretch a dollar and survive on a budget, I couldn't justify the cost of cable.  To this day, my husband and I do not pay for cable, and we never plan to. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not just the price-let me clarify that.  We choose to not have tv services mostly because of the lifestyle we want to have.  We don't agree with all of the morals portrayed on tv including some commercials.  I don't particularly love my husband seeing another woman in lingerie during a Victoria's Secret commercial, call me crazy.  We don't want our (future) kids to have access to tv shows that we don't agree with and we don't want them fueled by consumerism.  Did you know that young kids can be quite content with handmade and inexpensive gifts?  I don't want my kids "needing" the newest expensive toy just because the commercials said so...and you know what?  They won't miss out on anything by not knowing about them!  In addition to "undesirable" content, I personally decided a long time ago that I don't want to be a slave to my television.  I've had friends that skip out on social get-togethers because their favorite TV show is on.  I know that when my husband and I visit my parents' place, we can watch TV for HOURS-I don't want that to be an everyday occurrence!  Aside from those facts, we would also prefer to save up our money for things like traveling to Europe, lasik eye surgery, buying a house, car repairs, medical bills, and the list could go on!

Doing a quick search online, I found that Comcast has TV & Internet packages for $89.99/month...though that's only for the 1st 12 months..and then it jumps up.  We pay $46.99/month for just their Internet services (my work requires I have internet at home, plus we enjoy the connectivity with friends and family).  That's $43 a month saved, $516 a year!  Without further ado, here is a list of some suggestions I have for you to help you make that transition to awesome savings:

As you can see in this picture, we have A LOT of board games and card games.  This collection has been building for years through our purchases and gifts.  We were gifted some for our wedding and for Christmas this last year, and we love it!  Have actual social interaction instead of staring at a screen.  Exercise your brain!  Invite friends over for a game party (before Halloween last year, we had an "Infection Party"-bought gloves and face masks from the dollar store, decorated cupcakes like bacteria, made "cures" [mixed non-alcoholic drinks], and played Pandemic.  We "rented" World War Z from redbox-see more about redbox below, and had a friend bring another infection themed movie.)

There is so much fun you can do that is good for your body!  In the summer-go for a hike, walk, picnic, bike ride.  In the winter-go sledding, build a snowman, shovel the neighborhood.  Join a gym or just workout at home.  We have a Wii system and while my husband enjoys the occasional game on there, the main purpose of it is for Just Dance and Sports-exercise and fun in 1!

The Library-
My husband has become a bookworm lately, I don't love reading books as much but I've seen more lately that I might just be tempted to go pick out soon.  In addition to free books you can read, they have free DVDs to watch!  We've borrowed probably half a dozen in the last month, it's awesome! Along the lines of the library, why not borrow DVDs from friends and family? 

Invest in DVDs:
Here's a picture of our collection of DVDs.  I look out for sales and splurge with amazon gift cards I get from swagbucks.  If it's something that you know you'd enjoy watching more than once, why not invest?  You can watch it twice or 200 times for the exact same price!  Buying DVDs can of course be an expensive habit if you're getting one every week, so like all things, handle with moderation, look for sales, wait for the price to come down.
 TV Substitutes...
In the end, there are a lot of hobbies that you could do instead of watching TV but sometimes you just want to relax and go on an adventure mentally, and that's ok.  There are free places to watch tv such as hulu and youtube has episodes of some shows.  Go to the network's webpage and they sometimes have free episodes to watch.  We often "rent" redbox DVDs as well but usually just when we get a free code-sign up for their free text promotions for codes or follow coupon blogs such as and they sometimes post free codes!  If you do want to pay for more options, look into Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu Plus (I wouldn't recommend Red Box's streaming plan at all).  Netflix and Hulu Plus offer free trials and Amazon has discounts for students and you get free shipping on tons of things.  Before investing, we did a check on these 3 providers and found that more of the shows we would want to watch were on Amazon Prime and we get free shipping as well!  Amazon Prime costs $79/year, so $6.58 a month, still $27.42 cheaper per month than cable...of which we wouldn't even watch half of the cable channels!

Hope that list helps give you some ideas if you want to break out of the expensive cable mold!  If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!

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