Cable TV is one of the biggest rip-offs. To get a decent channel setup you are looking at spending around $100 EVERY month. Reoccurring monthly costs are what make if very difficult for people to build up a savings, so when possible try to cut these from your life.

Here are 5 tips and tricks to save money on your cable TV bill, or even drop it entirely!

1) Get FREE TV with OTA / an Antenna – OTA (or Over-The-Air) are signals that are broadcasted free of charge and can be picked up using an Antenna. Antennas can range from something as simple as a coat hanger, to a more elaborate roof-top HD Antenna setup.

save money on tv

Here is what you need to get started:

1) A TV with a built-in tuner OR a TV and an external tuner/receiver
2) An antenna (placed near a window or mounted outdoors)

When I moved into my condo, I purchased this TERK HDTV Indoor HDTV Antenna:

TERK HDTV Indoor Antenna

It is super easy to use and gets me around 15 channels including: CTV, CBC, Global, CityTV, CBS, OMNI plus many more (including some Buffalo stations). While researching this article, I found there may be some better indoor antennas which may get more channels so I may need to try these. The top 2 highest rated indoor antennas are: Antennas Direct CS2 & Channel Master 4220.

One huge factor when using an antenna is where the antenna points. There are websites that can tell you which channels you should be able to reach (I like DigitalHome the best) based on your location, but this can vary based on antenna and obstacles affecting your line of sight to a larger antenna to pick up your signals.

If you just have a basic cable setup (paying around $50/month) chances are an antenna will get you similar results for a one time investment of about $50-$100.

2) Bundle Your Services – If you buy your TV from the same company as your internet and cell phone, then you should be eligible for a package discount. Call your provider and ask them if they bundle their services.

3) Threaten To Cancel – Similar to the retention section in our how to save money on your cell phone article, you can try this same strategy with your TV provider. They don’t want to lose a customer so if you call and tell them that you are going to switch to an antenna because you are sick of paying so much for your TV every month, they just might offer you a better deal.

4) Netflix – When Netflix first launched in Canada it SUCKED. Fortunately as more people are using it, the service is actually getting pretty decent. Netflix is also starting to make their own TV and they are REALLY good (House of Cards is the first one I’ve watched)!

Still don’t like Netflix? Try the US version. With a simple DNS change on your device you can now watch the American version of Netflix in Canada. Here are some DNS servers that should work (if not, just google “US Netflix in Canada DNS Servers):

Preferred DNS:
Alternate DNS:

5) Watch TV Online – There are several websites where you can watch TV online. These are particular great for watching sports, though the clarity still isn’t there and there can be some lag from time to time but at least they are FREE.

Many of the TV stations themselves are starting to show episodes online after the air date so you can watch them for free and these are typically great quality too! The American stations are better at this, with services like Hulu and just because you are in Canada, doesn’t mean you can’t fake your internet connection into thinking you are in the USA and get these stations too!

There are also now things like Google TV, Apple TV and Boxee which you can use to get your TV over the internet. This is still an area I am not very familiar with, but I’m currently investigating it more. In the meantime, this site does a great summary of how free internet TV works.

Got another idea on how to save money on your cable bill? Let us know in the comments section below.