How To Cut Cable & Satellite TV Costs

Family watching television, c. 1958

Family watching television, c. 1958 (Wikipedia)

The average basic pay and premium-channel TV subscription cost $86 a month last year, according to the NPD Group, a market researching firm (Pay TV costing a pretty penny, and rising); amounting to a total of $1,032 dollars in a calendar year! The NPD Group predicts that consumers will be paying an average of $123 a month in 2015, and $200 a month by 2020, an annual loss of $1,476 and $2,400 respectively.

Now that you are aware of how much money you’re potentially spending, lets talk about how to accomplish some savings.

1.) Go Back to Basics. If you are not already subscribed to basic cable or satellite programing, consider making the switch. With more content available for free or low fee online, cable has become much less of the “necessity” it once was. Another option: consider dropping a few premium channels or extra features paid for in addition to the TV package.

2.) Consider the Competition. As with any purchase, compare prices and options amongst competing brands in the local area. If you do not want to deal with the hassle of switching providers, try calling your current cable company and letting them know you have found prices for a similar product cheaper elsewhere. You can fib a little if you did not find a better deal. The point is to simply lead them to believe the competition is vying for your business, & that you might migrate if they don’t act fast. See if your current television provider can’t be persuaded to drop their price to compete for your continued patronage.

3.) Cancel Your SubscriptionMost basic public television channels -ABC, PBS, CBS, NBC, Fox- can be accessed for free online on the broadcast channel’s website, or for the one-time low price of rabbit ears and a digital converter box. Other options include, the video streaming website Hulu, which offers many TV shows and movies for free! & while Netflix is a paid service (7.99 a month), it offers unlimited streaming of television shows and movies, straight to your computer or gaming console. Netflix is a considerable savings when compared to the cost of cable or satellite, and Netflix offers a months’ free trial to test drive their selection and services. If you prefer not to watch content from your computer, you can purchase an HDMI cable to connect your laptop to your television screen. Other products to look into: Apple TV and Roku- both streaming devices to bring media to your television through the magic of wifi internet.

4.) Throw Out the Television. This may be an adjustment for some, but think of all the money and time you will save with less multimedia consumption. When there is no TV to watch, it forces you to make other choices. You might find you spend more time with family, cultivating a hobby, reading, learning a new skill, or a numerous list of productive possibilities. You cannot put a price on a life well lived or time well spent. Plus, there is the added benefit of not needing to point all of your living room furniture towards an unsightly electronic appliance.

Consider your options above, and mix and match a savings solution for your particular needs and personal situation. & as always, Happy Savings!

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7 Ways to Save Money on Printer Ink Cartridges & Reduce Printing Costs

Printer ink cartridges are expensive. However, there are several things you can do to help put some green back in your wallet (or purse) when it comes to printer ink cartridge costs:

1. Purchase the Right Printer
If the moment has not already passed, compare ink cartridge prices for the various printer brands before purchasing your new electronic hardware. The cost of printer ink may not be on the top of your priority list, but it’s a factor worth considering. Some printer models may cost a tad more upfront, but make sure to do the math, as the ink cartridge costs may make the printer a more economical option (and better investment) in the long-run.

2. Compatible Ink Cartridges
Many retailers, such as Staples and Office Max, and numerous online companies sell “compatible” printer ink cartridges (a.k.a third-party, or generic brand printer ink cartridges). These compatible cartridges are designed for your printer but usually cost significantly less due to not being manufactured by a brand name company.

3. Ink Cartridge Refills
Businesses like Walgreens, Costco and Cartridge World refill used printer ink cartridges for a fraction of the cost of a new cartridge. These retailers only refill certain types of printer ink cartridge models though, so do your homework and check ahead of time on the internet or by phone.

4. Shop Around
Always shop around and compare prices online when making any purchase. That being said, I have discovered that Ebay.com is a treasure trove for deeply discounted brand name printer ink cartridges. To give you an example: A package (a “package” in this instance includes all five ink cartridges my printer requires to operate) of brand name printer ink cartridges costs $42.71 on Amazon.com. The compatible printer ink cartridges for my printer cost $22.15 for two packages on Amazon.com. However -on Ebay- I can purchase four packages of brand name printer ink cartridges for just $23.96, including free shipping!

5. Remanufactured Ink Cartridges
Remanufactured printer ink cartridges are recycled, refilled and resold. They can be 30-60 percent cheaper than the name-brand cartridges. Typically these are sold online rather than at retail outlets. Some websites to check if you are interested include:

Amazon.com
CarrotInk.com
InkGuides.com

6. Printer Settings
Set your printer quality setting to “draft” when you don’t need a perfect copy; this setting will consume less ink. Print in “grayscale” when color is not necessary. If your printer’s ink is manufactured into separate cartridges, the grayscale setting will allow you to purchase color ink cartridges less often, thereby saving you money.

7. Print Only What You Need

This is an obvious one, but it is worth repeating. Print only what you need. Make sure you specify which pages to print, and only print the pages that contain the content you want printed.

In closing, always recycle your printer ink cartridges. Places like Staples, Office Depot and Office Max have rewards programs for printer ink cartridges. Turn in your cartridges and get $3 in store credit or coupons. And Target stores have receptacles for recycling printer ink cartridges located at the interior entrance and/or exit of the building. However, if you are still unsure where to recycle your printer ink cartridges, Earth911.com allows you to search for recycling solutions near your location for just about any product.

Happy savings!