We haven’t heard the white-noise of a TV in the background for nearly two and a half years. It may seem ludicrous to you, but we haven’t turned on a television since we lived in Manhattan in 2009. You probably wake up and turn on the news. You come home and settle into your primetime routine on your channel of choice. Well, in our house, this hasn’t been the case. We never had anything against television. In fact, I relentlessly watched ‘A Baby Story’ while pregnant with the Lion. I made sure that TLC was included in our cable package, which pushed our bill up a little higher, but everyone has cable, right?
And here comes the ‘but.’ One morning in New York, I awoke around 5am, only to hear Sponge-Bob’s giggles creeping into my dreams. A found my two-year old son had climbed out of his crib, turned on the television, tuned it to Nickelodeon, and settled into his high chair for a little early morning viewing. At friends’ homes, Gadget quickly finds his way to the closest remote and changes the channel to the first cartoon his eyes come across. In the morning, he would ignore his breakfast and watch SpongeBob in a trance while his Cheerios saturated themselves in vanilla Silk. Our last straw was when he would spend ten minutes on the playground at the park, and then ask to come home to watch TV. Huh? Something was drastically wrong in our home. So when we moved to Connecticut, we never signed up for cable. Now, we’re not some weird super-crunchy parents or anything. We rent DVDs and watch them on our computers. We let the boys select appropriate media content from the library, and we indulge in online television for our ‘primetime’ cravings, but now we are in control. In fact, I find websites like Hulu a must for moms. You can pause, rewind and watch again, all within your own control. And, have your heard the scripts on iCarly? Not age-appropriate.
The only thing I missed about TV was how folks watched it live and in unison. We missed Monday night football and had to seek someone else’s shelter for the Superbowl. I was always one day late with Hulu and could not Facebook during Grey’s Anatomy for fear of reading spoiler status updates. I also missed watching commercials. Working in marketing, it was challenging keeping abreast of the latest promotions in my industry. Imagine the day after the Superbowl…
But all this came to an end a few weeks ago. Hubby bought a huge fifty-something inch TV for the den and an LED internet-ready TV for our bedroom so I can Hulu in style. We purchased an HD antenna for ten bucks and I’m using a thirty day trial of Hulu plus, so we currently have no monthly television charges. This is one way we cut back on our monthly expenses. (Another big way to save some pennies is to challenge your property taxes and win). In fact, we employ a handful of ways to save, including renting DVDs from the local library, keeping our joint iPhone bill to less than $100 a month, and not turning on the air in the summer. Not having a cable bill for 900 days has been nice. I estimate we’ve saved about $3000. We’ll continue to save those cable dollars with the HD antenna. Of course, we only get the air channels (PBS, NBC, CBS, the CW, FOX, etc), but this is such an upgrade. All this talk about TV is making me want to watch my Hulu queue right now. I mean, right now.