March 16, 2009

A Necessary (?) Evil

So as I have mentioned before, we are looking for ways to cut back. (Isn't everyone?) And one thing that we keep coming back to is cable. But thus far we have managed to keep that on our affordable list. Mostly, because I don't think we could live with out it.

And I hate that. I really do.

I have 2 addictions. Bet you can't guess. Yep, that's right. Blogging and TV. And I don't know if I could give either of them up.

Which is funny. Because it wasn't that long ago that we didn't have TV. Well, we had A TV. We just didn't get anything ON said TV. We rented movies from Horkley's (ahhh, Rexburg) every weekend and for the rest of the week the TV remained a very large living room decoration. Then we moved to Provo and cable came with the condo that we rented. Since then cable has become a necessity. And we have gradually been ruined. First we had basic cable: the networks, and about 3 other cable channels. Then, when we moved we got a deal for extended cable for the price of basic. Then, we got another deal. Digital cable for the price of basic. . . And the 6 month cut off for that deal is rapidly approaching.

And I don't know what to do about it.

Watching TV is our unwinding opportunity. In our house, after little people are sleeping there are exactly 2 unwinding options available to us:
1. Television
2. Reading

Now, I know what you are thinking: Why don't you just read a book? Well there are a few reasons. (loving the list thing today, can you tell?)
1. Sometimes, reading is just too much work for an overtired brain.
2. You can' t fold laundry while reading a book
3. There are no commercials during a book to stop and discuss with your spouse.
4. We are too poor to go buy new books, and the fines that have been run up at the library are insurmountable, resulting in no new books to read.

And so for now, I guess we're keeping the cable. Maybe one of these days I'll get sick enough of Husband staying up late watching sports, or children watching way too many cartoons. But until then, I think that necessary evil is going to hang on a little bit longer in our house.

How about you? Have you had to give something up? or are you like me and avoiding the giving up?


Melinda said...

We keep coming back to the cable thing too, but now instead of cancelling cable we're going to ADD to it, HD is ONLY $10 more and we HAVE to have it! I hate money so much. :(

Emily said...

When we first moved to Utah we decided not to sign up for cable because we were making two house payments (our house in Kansas took a while to sell). But now we're just used to it and actually glad we don't have it. And I was a total addict. When Charlie was first born and nursing, I probably watched every episode of Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle, That 70s Show... the list goes on and on. But now that we don't have cable, we spend so much more time together, and we can still watch most of our favorite shows online for free! Have you checked out It has tons of shows, and it's totally legal. And did I mention it's free? That's how we watch The Office and 30 Rock. And I can still get Dancing With the Stars on Maybe check and see if your favorite shows are available online. I'm glad we're saving the $50/month or whatever it costs out here. And we still get to see the shows we care about, without the temptation to just turn on the TV and flip channels until we find something interesting. And can I tell you how glad I am to not have all the advertisements coming into my home? I think I'm totally sensitized now. We were at my grandparents house a couple months ago, and Charlie was mesmerized/horrified by a horror movie preview. I thought it was terrible and could hardly believe it was allowed on television, and others thought I was overreacting. But it was really bad! So we've pretty much sworn off of it for the rest of our lives.

Sorry... I didn't mean to be so long-winded. But now you know what I think. :)

wonder woman said...

I feel ya, Rach. (Do people ever call you that? 'Cuz I am.) It's come up in budget talks, but we just can't give up the internet. We get our cable and internet through our city (it's a great little bundle with electric/swer/trash) and it's cheaper for us to have internet if we have basic cable, too. Then about a year ago, we just started getting more channels. We're still paying the basic price, but have extra channels somehow. (Is not reporting this dishonest?)

And we like all the cartoons, too. And Vh1 and E! and HGTV and TLC......I am addicted as well. If we didn't have cable.......we'd probably have another child or two. On second thought, maybe we SHOULD get rid of cable.... ;)

Cottage Cheese Thighs said...

We have also thought about this but than I remember that I don't like to actually watch my kids, so I have to have Dora. And if I couldn't pause TV to listen to my kids every once in awhile I. Would. Die.

Lauren said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I always tell Ben that we should get rid of it because it would save a bit of money each month, but then we both decide there's too much we'd miss (but, we really wouldn't, really). I've tried to give up some of those silly shows that I used to watch religiously, and use that time more wisely, but sometimes that is easier said than done!

Oh...and I totally remember Horkley's in Rexburg! I spent many a nights renting movies from there. Good times.

Heidi Ashworth said...

In my old age, I have learned that the more we are deprived of something, the more we get addicted to it when we do get it. So, balance is good. Having said that--whenever we have tried to cut out cable we end up renting a lot of DVD's and spending more money that way than if we had just kept the cable. In the long run, it is pretty cheap entertainment when you consider how much it costs to go out to the movies or even McDonald's. I agree about the book thing--I love to read but last thing at night, I want to veg out, not read. It doesn't matter how tired I am, I have to have that hour of TV before going to sleep--it really helps my brain to calm down.

Debbie said...

Last year I did a 50 book challenge (which accidentally turned into a 100 book challenge). I realized I was never watching tv. (We only had basic channels for like $10.)

We canceled our tv (about 3 mo ago) and I've only missed it maybe twice.

I dont miss it probably because I cheat. My hubby found (where I can find stuff like The Office, 30 Rock, plus a ton of old shows like Doogie Howser) and we also used my birthday money to pay for several months of netflix. (Plus now we can stream it all through our xbox onto the tv so basically we're right back where we are without the bill.) However now that I don't 'tune in' to my shows I watch them while I blog, whenever that is. :)

Ok but to answer your question I've been trying to *sorta* give up french fries. But alas, I have been avoiding it. Haha!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

We gave up the premium channels a year ago. I miss them sometimes but honestly I don't get that much of a chance to watch tv. Yes I DVR things and that's what I watch at night after the kids go to bed.

I switched hair salons to save money. Ok stop laughing!! :-) The place I had been going to was a place I went to while I was working. It was a little pricey but not so bad. Now that I'm not working it's very pricey. The new place will be saving me a bundle. The best news is that I used to go to this guy for 15 years before I switched to the pricey place AND it's closer to home. It's a win-win situation so I don't really feel like I'm giving up anything. Next thing will be to give up going to any hair salon at all. I hope that never happens.

Much love from NJ,

wendy said...

I don't do well with cutting back OR giving up. I guess I am a glutonous person. We watch a fair amount of tv ---it's just what we do, mostly sports in HD and it's the best. And your right --you can multi-task while watching tv. Reading usually puts me to sleep ---even though I love books and it is one of my passions. Oh Wait, lately tv has been putting me to sleep.

Elisha Trask said...

We gave up our cable last October, right after general conference. Infact we do not even have basic channels. Honestly, it was hard for the first 2 weeks, but I love it now. I love that I can spend more time with my kids and not have the option to sit them in front of disney channel. I love that I find ways to make new and exciting fun things to do. No I am not perfect, and I still occasionally sit them in front of a movie. But we have more time together and I LOVE IT!!!

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