And A Little Child Shall Lead Them…

Well, H-T would shoot daggers out his eyes at me if I actually referred to him as “little child,” but we’ll go with it for the sake of the reference.  He is safely back home, by the way, and had an incredibly cool time swimming with manatees and riding in speed boats and pulling up nets full of marine stuff to examine, and scuba diving in the crystal clear springs of Florida’s gulf coast.  He is stoked about all things marine-oriented at the moment! I will be sure to share some pics when his group sends them along…

Anyway, while H-T was gone, I had some time to think. (Who knew that having two children in the house was the sole reason my brain had been operating on 50% power for the last 12 years??)  I’ve been pondering different ways to trim our family budget.  The current inflation inflammation has hit our family hard.  We’ve never been very materialistic, and we’ve known that my hubby’s job as director of a homeless shelter was never going to get us on the Fortune 500 list, so we’ve always had to cut corners and bargain hunt.  But somehow, with gas and grocery prices skyrocketing, even our normal skimping isn’t quite cutting it.  So this weekend I took a long hard look at our income vs. expenses and tried to draw an even tighter line between needs and wants.

 j0431721We refuse to tighten our belts on certain things.  Our internet service, for example, is right up there with air and municipal water.  (And gee, I could dig my own well, if things got desperate).  My 6-week hair coloring is a no-brainer, too.  I’ve got enough premature gray along my temples to make hair plugs for Anderson Cooper, and I am a firm believer in the old adage “no wine before its time.”  I also refuse to cut back on extracurriculars for the boys.  (After all, I look at any hours they spend out of their computer chairs as an investment in chiropractic prevention!)  So what can we cut from the budget, then?

Then it suddenly came to me!  Why hadn’t I seen it before??  H-T had been leading me toward it, but I had been oblivious…till now.  H-T’s recent Hulu addiction should have opened my eyes to it, but I had completely ignored the signs.  Our satellite television subscription has become redundant.  We currently pay $75 per month for DirecTV service + Tivo, and for what??  So I can catch up with the Regis and Kelly host chat at lunch time?  And catch Grey’s and Lost on Thursday nights?  Surely that is not worth 75 big ones !? 

It started to occur to me that just about everything I watch on television is now available on the web…

  • Masterpiece Theatre
  • Medium
  • Private Practice
  • and yes, my beloved Grey’s and Lost and the R&K daily host chat!

Even reruns of my all-time faves like Gilmore Girls and Everwood will soon be available on the new streaming WB site.  The only big item missing from my DirecTV playbook will be my hubby’s Law and Order eps.  So far, I can’t find anywhere to view these online (but maybe in the near future?)  We’ve talked it over with the boys, and they seem game to go back to basic broadcast television with the good ‘ole rabbit ears.  Granted, they’ve never experienced the boob tube in their lifetime without the benefit of cable or satellite , but now seems like a good time to experience “new” things, right?

By dropping our satellite, I guess the Techie family will be either be trend-setting the future demise of television as we know it, or setting ourselves back a few decades.  Either way, it will be an adventure – – a money-saving adventure.  Stay tuned to see if and when the satellite tv jonesing commences!!

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3 Responses

  1. I have a suggestion for you. We’ve never had cable/satellite or digital tv at our house. But, with the stations dropping their analog signals next year we knew we had to do something. We bought an HD antenna for the roof and we get FANTASTIC reception. Our old rabbit ears never gave us good reception, but now every channel comes in crystal clear, plus all the stations have extra HD stations. We are getting about 10 PBS stations now!

    FYI. Lynn

  2. Funny, we had a family meeting 2 nights ago about this very thing. We’re also paying $75 a month for cable (w/o any movie channels). We can cut back to basic (which includes Discovery) for $11.95. They balked, but I think we’re going to do it anyway. If you hear shrieks of agony, it will be them gasping and writhing on the floor.

    Besides online, we’ve been renting past seasons of TV shows from the library. And Netflix has a bunch of movies and TV shows that you can watch on your computer.

  3. SoCalLynn–thanks for your comment!! I hesitate to ask this and show up my lack of techie knowledge on the subject…but do you have to have HD sets to receive from an HD antenna?

    FM-Well of course you aren’t being a proper mom and wife if there isn’t a fair amount of gasping and writhing going on in your house….so congrats!

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