Friday, February 6, 2009

What Do Y'all Think?

Wow! I am so glad I posted yesterday about my savings because of all the incredibly encouraging and warm advice from my houndfriends! Have I told you all I love you lately? I really do! Its so nice to be part of this electronic community and to feel so at home. :)

UPDATE - ok, so here's what I'm thinking. My sleuthing sister found out that a lot of shows I watch on cable are available online now. Hoorah! I wasn't thrilled with the selection of movies and tv shows that are available currently with the Roku, although I'm sure more will become available in the not-so-distant future. So I think I'm going to hold off on the Roku for now and go down to basic cable. That will save me around $40 a month and I can always go back up to family cable if I want to. I have tons of movies already (its a little nuts how many movies I have, I'll have to take a pic to show you all), and there are a lot of shows I love on the basic cable channels. Its a bit of a sacrifice..wait did I just say sacrifice? That doesn't seem like the right word because cable is a luxury in the first place. Maybe I should say its hard giving up a luxury you've become accustomed to. But really, its just tv. There are more important things in my life than Jon and Kate Plus 8 and The Closer and Top Chef. Well, ok, not too many things, but there are some. :) And even though I went back to the Netflix plan I was at before - $14.97 a month (two movies at a time, unlimited rentals), I'm still saving money. I bet more and more shows are going to be available online in the future anyway. There are even some full episodes of Jon and Kate available on the TLC website now! Thank you all so much for your input! :)

One of the comments yesterday was from Lindsay regarding the Roku box. Say what? What's a Roku? Inquiring minds want to know! So I did a little research and here's what I found out.

The box costs $99.99. It connects to your tv and you can choose to watch movies or tv shows from Netflix (and soon to come, selections from Amazon Video on Demand) instantly! You can pause, rewind, fast forward, rewatch, etc. to your heart's content. You have to have a Netflix plan to use this and the one I downgraded to yesterday ($8.99 a month) qualifies. And I'd still get DVD's in the mail from Netflix, which would be nice when DBF and I are in his neck of the woods. The way this would be a good deal for me is that I'd go back down to basic cable. I did this several months back, but I was bored with nothing to watch. That wouldn't be a problem with this system!

So here's the math:

  • Currently I pay $52.95 a month for cable. I could cut down to basic cable for $11.89 a month, saving $41.06 a month. That means the Roku box would pay for itself in three months. Assuming my cable bill changes as of April, I'd be able to save $269.55 this year. Then going forward, I could save $492.72 a year, assuming nothing changes (but when is that ever the case?).
The downsides - I'd have to wait for some of my favorite cable shows to come out on DVD. And no more channel flipping, although with my Tivo, I can't do this a lot anyway because the Tivo is usually recording something. And really, with all the hounding I do, I don't have a lot of time to channel surf anyway. Netflix doesn't have every movie available to watch instantly, but it is a big selection. And I would imagine they'll put more movies and tv shows online as time goes by.

So what do you all think? Am I missing anything?


Amiyrah said...

but wait, how will you watch True Blood once it comes back on? lol....sounds like a good deal for you, since channel surfing isn't your thing and you don't mind waiting to see your favorite premium channel shows.

At least you'll still be able to see Lost :o)

Now, it will pay for itself in 3 months, but how much in total will it save you for the rest of the year? Is that a good enough number for you?

Lindsay said...

I <3 Roku!!!!!

(Even if it's just in addition to cable).

Amiyrah said...

p.s.- did you look at my stop and shop post too? lots of good deals there this week, and i'm going to try out 2 more today to see if they are worth while.

frugalsuz said...

I don't have HBO now, so I haven't seen any of True Blood. I'm waiting for that to come out on DVD sometime in March. I don't really want to wait for some shows, but on the other hand, I really do want to change my situation. I want a house someday and I want to have a hefty emergency fund. And really, its just tv. I'm torn though and I went through this when I went down to basic cable before. I'm so hooked on tv! lol

After the cost of the Roku box and assuming my cable bill goes down as of April, I'd save $269.55 this year. Then going forward, I'd save $492.72 a year ($41.06 savings a month).

frugalsuz said...

I did! They have some goodies, I may stop over during the week. It has to be a really good deal because S&S is a bit out of the way for me. I can go there on lunch but it pretty much eats up my whole lunch hour.

Anonymous said...

Ok. My hubby is tired of not having cable and he wants to sign up for netflix. So if we bought this lil box on the 8.99 plan we can watch as many videos on demand that we want to in a month or is it limited to a certain number based on your plan?

frugalsuz said...

Netflix only has a portion of their video library available to watch on the Roku. I was just looking through and it looks like the majority of them are older movies, not the new releases. That's my only hesitation. But you can watch as many as you want.

Simplysara said...

Don't forget about the free Redbox codes too. You can get "newer" movies from them. We get movies once or twice a week thanks to the free Redbox codes. Also, your library should have tons of DVDs (our does anyway). I only watch TV online these days.

frugalsuz said...

Unfortunately, there aren't any Redbox machines close enough to me to make that worthwhile. I wish there were!

Laurie said...

You should totally go for it. I've been thinking about doing it myself. However, it would be an additional expense for me because I don't have cable at all or a Netflix subscription. I also read somewhere, and I'm not sure if it's true, that you can bring the box elsewhere, so you could bring it to your boyfriend's house. Ryan and I have been thinking about sharing one if this is the case :)

Cat said...

You would be saving a lot of $$ monthly by switching to basic cable, but I thought I'd throw out another option...

I have Comcast cable and a while back, called and asked to cancel (totally bluffing). They asked why, I said money was tight, and they offered to take $30 off my monthly bill for a year. It was super easy, you just have to ask to cancel (rather than just asking if any discounts are available).

I don't know if other cable providers are as willing to drop the price, but it might be worth checking out.

We got the Roku for my MIL for Christmas. She loves it, although she is really into old movies.

Lisa B. said...

I've never heard of roku, I need to check it out.

Melissa said...

you don't need an Roku if you have XBOX360 it works exactly the same with netflix!

frugalsuz said...

Thanks for the tip! I had called the cable company literally about 30 seconds before you posted that comment to just go down to basic cable. lol

No Xbox here. I'm not that really into video games, but thanks for the thought! :)

Heather@Autumn At Oak Hollow said...

We're also Netflix subscribers and are considering the Roku box. We're also planning on dropping down to the very basic cable as well.

We're Mac users in our house and found a wonderful piece of software called Boxee ( It will install a browser onto your computer that will stream Netflix movies, shows from network websites and Hulu. The software is in beta now with their Windows version in alpha, but it really is amazing! You have to sign up for an account and apply for a beta code, but it is well worth it.