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calling all frugals $$$
Old 07-10-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
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calling all frugals $$$

So there are all these home data packages that have phone/tv/high speed internet. A lot of different players are in the game now. There're a ton of offerings and different types of offerings. Has anyone a system they can share for lowering one's bill?

I am unwilling to give up at least a few premium tv channels (Fox, MSNBC, Nat Geo, TCM, A&E, Animal Plant) and high speed internet. The phone is a nice-to-have due to the FAX machine. Here's a link featuring mainstream packages and rates: Broadband

I am especially interested in creative/less mainstream things like streaming certain tv shows, pay per channel (a la carte), etc. A means to record like DVR is essential due to not being around when the shows I like are on....otherwise, in my mind, why have a tv?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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Yes, why have a TV?

We have free HD TV from airwaves, but don't really watch it. Netflix and Redbox seem OK.

Landline Phone supports DSL. Also it is a so-called "safe-line" with toll-free calls free, but all others are 50 cents a call. All incoming calls (you know, politicians and charities) are free. DSL is held down in price by threatening to go elsewhere every year. So phone charges (landline, DSL) are about $35 a month which I guess covers phone, internet and TV.

Cell phone is free from my employer.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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DS goes with just Internet service and a cellphone. There's plenty of TV stuff on the web, including episodes of network TV available the day after they air, right from the networks' web sites. Depends on how cheap you want to be and what you can find.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Here are some ideas that I use:

- Over the air (OTA) free HD TV; all major networks, plus CW, PBS, etc. Most of the OTA channels have multiple stations (e.g. PBS has 56.1, 56.2, 56.3; so total of 3 PBS stations). You can get an awesome antenna on Amazon for around $100; mine is installed in the attic.

- TIVO at $12.95/month as DVR. I like the older Series 3 HD Tivo which you can pick up on ebay. If you are lucky, you might find one with a lifetime subscription (more expensive).

- Playon.tv ($59.99 lifetime or $29.99/yr or $4.99/month) program on my computer with wireless link to my PS3; gives me more networks than I can count. Note that programs are typically not the most recent releases. PS3 doubles as on outstanding Blue Ray player.

- Ooma phone; $3.50/month ($13.50 for all the bells and whistles) and one time cost for equipment of anywhere between $149 to $199. A cheaper alternative is the "OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge"; you can find it on Amazon for about $44.

- Netflix streaming/disc service; I'm streaming a documentary right now! $8 - $16 depending on package.

- UVerse 12 MBs at $33/month (call every 6 months and request rate). You could certainly go with a slower speed, but I like the extra bandwidth.

- Ting Mobile cell phones! Mucho savings.

There are up front costs putting the various bits of equipment together, however, I would rather pay up front than pay ongoing high monthly fees.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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DSL for internet ~ $50/month but I should call and squeeze them for a better deal

Ooma for phone ~ $14/month for two lines

Dish for TV (on OTA service in our rural area) ~ $55/month for 3 TVs wDVR fir 2 TVs

AT&T GoPhone for cell ~ $9/month/phone (brought my own phone and use very little miutes)
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski
DSL for internet ~ $50/month but I should call and squeeze them for a better deal

Ooma for phone ~ $14/month for two lines

Dish for TV (on OTA service in our rural area) ~ $55/month for 3 TVs wDVR fir 2 TVs

AT&T GoPhone for cell ~ $9/month/phone (brought my own phone and use very little miutes)
You should call to get a lower DSL rate. Att lowered mine from $43 to $33 for 12 months. I was surprised considering they have no DSL competition in my area. Did the $10 change my life in any way? No, but for some odd reason, I get more satisfaction out of reducing a bill a few bucks than I do enjoyment from buying something I want.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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Ditto on the DSL--mine from ATT is $24.95.
No TV "plan". Get occasional movies from the library.
Cell phone free on the boss' plan along with my sister wife (boss' wife).
That is about as frugal as I'm gonna get!
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #8
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Internet is DSL 24.99/mo (Century Link)
Basic telephone is free (retirement benefit)
Local long distance is covered with basic service
No long distance (we either Skype or use the cell phone)
Cell service is 116/mo (for two iphones)
DirecTV is 82/mo for a grandfathered plan
We stream Netflix for 8/mo

All of the above (except Netflix) is bundled with Century Link who knocks off $5 for each service resulting in $20 knocked off the total bill.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Depends on exactly what service you want. I get TV, internet & phone separately and it costs significantly less than any package I've found when you consider the specifics. The attractive low package rates I've seen are for fewer non-HD TVs, slow internet and sometimes landlines (which we have no use for). My parents and sister are both AT&T U-Verse and they're constantly complaining about problems.
  • $59/mo for DishTV, covers basic channels for 3 TV's, 2 are HD with an HD DVR. We can always cut back any time since we've fulfilled our original 2 yr contract. One day I expect to get to 1 HDTV w DVR, but no need yet.
  • $56/mo for Comcast cable modem. We could get DSL cheaper, but it's much slower and not that much less expensive in our area. I know it's about half what we pay in some areas, but not here.
  • $17/month each for semi-smartphone with Net10. Gives us 250 minutes/month voice-text-data (albeit slow). Works for us, we tend to accumulate minutes, and we can buy more minutes whenever we want for the same rate as normal.
    • I suspect we'll want full-on smartphones one day, in fact I suspect we'll all need them within 5-10 years.
  • Dumped land line about 5 years ago...
  • Total $149/mo
YMMV
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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Current:
-----
- Internet is currently Cox HSI for $38/mo
- Land line is OOMA for $3.78/mo (unlimited)
- TV is DTV w/ 1 set-top/DVR for $55/mo
- Cell is ATT contract (2 iPhones, 1 flip fone) for $138/mo
= $235 / month

Future (when ATT, DTV contracts expire in 2013):
-----
- Internet still $38/mo
- OOMA still $3.78/mo
- TV will be OTA (free) plus Hulu streaming on Roku/other box @ $8/mo
- Switch Exitsting iPhones to Straight Talk @ $45/each (they provide a new sim card), get another flip fone for $20/mo =$110/mo.
=$160/month
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #11
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DISH TV -- $66 with DVR and 3 TV's being fed lots of channels

COX Internet $40/mo for 3 Mbps download and 1.5Mbps upload speeds

Sprint 5 Smartphones with unlimited talk, text and web data -- $225/mo

MajicJack 5 year plan $70 for 5 years and I use this only as a number I give out to folks that I do not want to have my cell # --- I don't even have it hooked up but rather anyone that calls gets voicemail and then the message gets forwarded as an attachment to my email and then I immediately can listen to it. Most the time it is just a call from the lawn company saying they will be out to spray the lawn the next day or something similar

I am a technology geek and provide cells for my adult college kids (2) and a line for the parents (consider it as their Christmas and birthday gifts each year) so they do not have a telephone bill....
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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I considered dropping TV from my cable package last year. I hardly ever watched live shows, but I wanted to keep the internet service. I called my cable provider and they cut my price for the TV portion to practically zero in order to keep my business. You may want to call your provider and see if they'll cut you a deal.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by web_diva
So there are all these home data packages that have phone/tv/high speed internet. A lot of different players are in the game now. There're a ton of offerings and different types of offerings. Has anyone a system they can share for lowering one's bill?

I am unwilling to give up at least a few premium tv channels (Fox, MSNBC, Nat Geo, TCM, A&E, Animal Plant) and high speed internet. The phone is a nice-to-have due to the FAX machine. Here's a link featuring mainstream packages and rates: Broadband

I am especially interested in creative/less mainstream things like streaming certain tv shows, pay per channel (a la carte), etc. A means to record like DVR is essential due to not being around when the shows I like are on....otherwise, in my mind, why have a tv?
It's very possible to get a lot of TV cheaply online, but not if you want those premium stations.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy View Post
Here are some ideas that I use:

- Over the air (OTA) free HD TV; all major networks, plus CW, PBS, etc. Most of the OTA channels have multiple stations (e.g. PBS has 56.1, 56.2, 56.3; so total of 3 PBS stations). You can get an awesome antenna on Amazon for around $100; mine is installed in the attic.

- TIVO at $12.95/month as DVR. I like the older Series 3 HD Tivo which you can pick up on ebay. If you are lucky, you might find one with a lifetime subscription (more expensive).

- Playon.tv ($59.99 lifetime or $29.99/yr or $4.99/month) program on my computer with wireless link to my PS3; gives me more networks than I can count. Note that programs are typically not the most recent releases. PS3 doubles as on outstanding Blue Ray player.

- Ooma phone; $3.50/month ($13.50 for all the bells and whistles) and one time cost for equipment of anywhere between $149 to $199. A cheaper alternative is the "OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge"; you can find it on Amazon for about $44.

- Netflix streaming/disc service; I'm streaming a documentary right now! $8 - $16 depending on package.

- UVerse 12 MBs at $33/month (call every 6 months and request rate). You could certainly go with a slower speed, but I like the extra bandwidth.

- Ting Mobile cell phones! Mucho savings.

There are up front costs putting the various bits of equipment together, however, I would rather pay up front than pay ongoing high monthly fees.
Thanks for the ideas. I heard that it is difficult to get the computer - wireless-TV connection to work reliably eg have to watch some of the movies on the computer because the TV connection is not working for that movie. Have you had this problem?
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by truenorth418 View Post
I considered dropping TV from my cable package last year. I hardly ever watched live shows, but I wanted to keep the internet service. I called my cable provider and they cut my price for the TV portion to practically zero in order to keep my business. You may want to call your provider and see if they'll cut you a deal.
We pay $160/mo for HDTV and internet. (I'd get basic cable, but DW MUST watch certain shows on premium!!)

I called Xfinity a few weeks ago, threatening to go to their competitor. They said: "do what you gotta do". They offered me a bundle program including phone, saving me a net of $20 before taxes.

I repeated the threat and they said "ok...if that's what you want to do"
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #16
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No cable TV at all, just free TV and Netflix steaming + 1 DVD at a time for the things that are not streamed

I wish I could find cheaper DSL. My phone company wants $35 a month and requires the use of their modem/router, another $7 a month. So I stay with Clear and no wires!

Only one cell phone, but I will probably add an Ooma like service for the increased security of more phones scatter around the house.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
You should call to get a lower DSL rate. Att lowered mine from $43 to $33 for 12 months. I was surprised considering they have no DSL competition in my area. Did the $10 change my life in any way? No, but for some odd reason, I get more satisfaction out of reducing a bill a few bucks than I do enjoyment from buying something I want.
I just called my DSL provider (Fairpoint Communications) and asked for a better rate than the $50 a month I am currently paying. Both the CSR that I was connected with and a manager said that they don't do that, even after I pointed out to them that one of their competitors are offering $30 a month for one year and $40 a month for the second year for a two year contract. Anyone else had any luck convincing Fairpoint to provide a discount?

Now I'm weighing whether it is worth changing email addresses to change carriers to save $10-20/month. Perhaps I'll get a gmail address and just keep switching carriers to keep my costs low.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Perhaps I'll get a gmail address and just keep switching carriers to keep my costs low.
+1

The one-time inconvenience will be well worth it for the flexibility and cost savings. I've changed ISP providers half dozen times in the past decade and saved a bundle by doing so.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:53 AM   #19
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My setup:

Viewing: No Cable, DTV Pal DVR + OTA Antenna (self-built), Amazon Prime for streamed videos to computer

Phone: basic landline for receiving, TK6000 device for making calls

Internet: AT&T basic DSL

Costs: $80/Year for Amazon Prime (includes free mostly 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime orders), $55/month for DSL + landline, $100 (one time purchase of TK6000 device a few years ago)
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #20
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Now I'm weighing whether it is worth changing email addresses to change carriers to save $10-20/month. Perhaps I'll get a gmail address and just keep switching carriers to keep my costs low.
In anticipation for changing ISP 2 years ago, I changed my e-mail address to one that is not tied to an ISP (hotmail and gmail).
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