Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tip to Save Money

I have discussed coupon usage, freebies, coupon codes, and rebates which are all ways to save money when buying "things". Well surely there are other ways to tighten our budgets, don't you think? My family and I are trying to cut down in all ways so I thought over the next few posts I would discuss some of the ways we have come up with to reduce costs.

The biggest change we have made in our household was our tv programming. We had, emphasis on had, DirecTv for around $64 a month, that was with a $10 discount. Of course when we started our package wasn't this high. We had the basic package, plus 5 extra channels that included Boomerang, History International, extra Discovery channel, and 2 others. We also added a DVR (got for free with only a shipping charge due to some negotiating at contract time) which added $5 more a month to our cost - all totalling around $64. We had no extra movie channels on our plan just the 5 extra channels, DVR service, insurance and the basic package. Before I mentioned this price was with a $10 discount, let me explain. When we initially did DirecTv I purchased it through Bellsouth and because of the telephone bundle I had I got a $10 discount on my tv service. So instead of $74 I got the great price of $64.

Hidden Freebie: http://www.breatheright.com/ (coupon)
Up until now we have had dial up Internet but because my husband was going to school on the Internet and I was using it more and more to try and save money our need for Internet speed increased but our funds remained the same. What would we do? I have a very wise friend that just built a new home and due to the location of trees and such satellite/cable was currently not an option. She took this opportunity to research digital antennas and digital boxes. She found out some useful information and was gracious enough to share it with me.

We took her advice and enacted some drastic measures. On my friends recommendations, that were based on her extensive research, I purchased an $80 indoor/outdoor digital antenna available only from Radio Shack. Unlike other digital antennas this one has a 50 mile radius allowing us to get more channels. I also purchased a $270 digital box from Sam's. The box is made by Phillips. It is a DVD player/recorder, with an internal hard drive of 160 GB which enables it to pause live tv. It also has a info button which tells you what is currently playing on the channel. During her research she discovered that this is one of very few digital boxes in the United States with the hard drive function. It works just like TiVo but there is no monthly charge. Most of the other companies making this kind of box were sued and forced to remove them from the US market.

Just to give you an idea of channel line up, we get:
6.1 - ABC
7.1 and 7.2 - local station
8.1 and 8.2 - CBS
10.1 and 10.2 - NBC
15.1 and 15.2 - PBS
20.1 - CW (the old WB)
43.1 - FOX
All these channels come in crystal clear with no fuzz. There could be others that I haven't discovered yet.

So after the initial start up our monthly charges look like this:
DirecTv: $64 a month to
Antenna: $0 a month

Not Bad!