Someone who read my book told me she took note of the part about free TV, did what I did and now has 30 channels and no cable bill. Here’s that part of the book:
“At my new condo cable wasn’t included in the condo fee. That wasn’t a good time for me to pay a monthly fee just to watch TV so I went to Walmart and bought a digital antenna. They had models that cost $10, $20 and $30. I went with the $30 since it was a one-time purchase and I hoped it would get me the most channels. www.antennaweb.org may help you find out what channels an antenna is likely to bring you in your area, and what kind of antenna will be best.
I enjoy shows like Psych, Big Bang Theory, Castle and NCIS. They don’t come through with the antenna. www.cbs.com, www.nbc.com, www.hgtv.com, www.usanetwork.com and many others are great about airing recent episodes of their current prime time shows online. They have fewer commercials than watching it on television. I let a few weeks go by and then get comfortable and watch a mini marathon of my favorites, on my laptop. I know there is a way to connect my laptop to my television so that shows from the internet will play on my TV. I searched www.youtube.com for “how to connect your laptop to your TV” and found a video about it. I understood it but it seemed a bit complicated so I’ll wait and maybe do that later on.
To look for your favorite shows, search “watch <name of show> online”, and look among the results for the originating TV channel. There are many sites that will stream TV shows. A lot of them want you to sign up and download special software. That usually isn’t necessary. If you go to the website of the channel that airs the program you can watch it without downloading anything. Another great resource is www.hulu.com. They have a huge selection of shows, hundreds of them, in every genre. (Throughout this book I use the “<” and “>” symbols to indicate a place where you type in whatever words are appropriate. The “<” and “>” shouldn’t be typed into the search field.)
It’s possible to watch some televised sports on the internet as well. www.firstrow1.eu is a site that lets you stream sports events from all over the world to your computer. Notice the different links for football (soccer) and American football. www.justin.tv is a very interesting site on which people can set up their own “channels” to stream their choice of programming. If you click on Live Channels at the top of the page you can select the type of programming you want, to see what they offer. You may need to download software such as Adobe Flash Player (free) to watch these sites.
Movies are available for free online as well. The free movies are old enough to be out of copyright. They have all kinds of films, ranging from A Farewell to Arms to Cujo to Reefer Madness to It’s a Wonderful Life. They are usually streamed through Google video or YouTube. See for instance www.moviesfoundonline.com/ and www.publicdomainflicks.com/. Or do a Google search for “watch free movies online”. As of January 2014 Redbox offers a free movie once a month if you sign up to get text messages from them. Sign up by texting REDBOX to 727272. To find a current offer, search on “Redbox current offer text”. My public library has a large number of TV shows and movies on DVD. They have tons of music CDs in a wide variety of genres too. They also show very recent movies at the library every Friday for free.
I spent about 8 months having to adjust the antenna when changing channels. I got tired of losing signal every afternoon when it rained. When I junked my car I freed up $300 a year that I had been spending on car insurance. I shopped around the internet for low cost basic cable and signed up with Bright House at $26 a month. My TV is fairly new and has a digital tuner in it so I get nearly twice as many stations as the basic cable plan provides. It gives me more to do now that I’m not going places as much. I know that having even basic cable is not spending as little as humanly possible, but it relieves the isolation of living alone without a car. Also it’s something that Airbnb.com guests expect to have available to them. Like any other service, it pays to occasionally shop around all over again to see if you can get a better deal. If you find a better deal and you like your current company, call your company and ask if they can match the better deal.”
Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely