While you’re out spending your hard-earned money checking off the ever-growing items on Santa’s list, you may as well shift some of your budget to a gift the entire family can enjoy. Our 4 year old’s list has grown to the size to fill a standard Composition notebook, but we’re telling him that he can list his 4 favorites for Santa and he may or may not get them from his list. For instance, we will not be getting a drum set, which is currently at the top of his list. No sir, that noise is not going to happen the year we bring in an infant. I’m on the fence about this accordion, which was added to the list after visiting Villa Romano in Myrtle Beach which hosts a very friendly accordion player that came to our table and let Thomas play with his accordion. Now, of course, he wants one, too.
I will tell you one thing that we absolutely love in our house, and that’s the Roku. If you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend it. We gave up cable nearly two years ago and I can honestly say we don’t miss it. The only minor setback has been live sports, but we make plans to see the games at friends houses or Gordon Biersch. Not a terrible inconvenience, and most likely, we’d probably watch the games at alternate places anyway. This year for Christmas, consider cancelling cable for Roku, and save money every month in 2015.
Advantages to canceling cable for Roku
1. The obvious: no cable bill.
Cable companies are notorious for terrible service, and have been able to sustain their customer base as a result for decades because there were no alternatives. I don’t remember what it was, but my husband, who is about the most laid-back and rational human being I’ve ever met, got so frustrated with them, he got our DVR and all of the accessories, and marched into the office and canceled it one day, saving us more than $100 per month. While we thought this would probably be temporary, it turns out, we didn’t miss cable at all. We do spend some money buying TV shows (like Sons of Anarchy and a lot of kids shows) when we get into binge-watching a series, but the cost of that is still remarkably less than what we were spending on cable.
2. Watch your favorite shows with brief commercials (Hulu) or no commercials (Amazon and Netflix).
The commercials on Hulu are about 30 seconds and not intrusive like the long commercial breaks on cable TV. And if your children are like my sweet child, television advertising works and I can only anticipate it getting worse. He watches Nick Jr. at my in-law’s house and sees the commercials, which is why we are the proud owners of the Snackeez and a pet pal.
3. No flipping: Choose what you want when you want to watch it.
Scroll through and choose the episode you’d like to watch. No flipping through channels, no waiting for one show to finish up, and no long commercial breaks.
4. You own the movies and shows so you can watch over and over again.
Like, if you’re really into Paw Patrol and want to watch the episode “Pups Get a Rubble” every single day, it’s right there, forever, and you can watch it as much as you’d like.
5. Take your shows and movies on the road.
We have a Kindle Fire that is especially helpful during trips, and he can watch all of his favorite TV shows and movies on the go. This is much better than a travel DVD player because they can operate it themselves and you don’t have to worry about finding that missing DVD.
6. No annoying scratched or lost DVDs.
It’s simple to use Watch all of your favorite movies and TV shows with the click of a remote, without worrying about finding the right DVD (which always ends up in the wrong case) AND never have to worry about a scratched DVD again. It is the very best way to own content, in my opinion. Plus, with our second baby arriving next year, she’ll have our entire collection of shows and movies to view when she’s old enough to watch television.
Shop | Roku 3 on Amazon
We have the Roku and love it. At less than $100, this is a great option if you’re considering cancelling cable in favor of all-streaming. You could also try the Amazon Fire TV. I will recommend getting a device that streams Amazon. As much as I love Apple, Amazon tends to be cheaper. Also, Amazon Prime has a lot of great TV shows and movies included at no charge (and they are good ones like old school Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and seasons of popular HBO shows like The Wire.)
We watch Amazon Prime Video, Netflix & Hulu. We don’t miss cable, and certainly don’t miss the hefty monthly bill that accompanied cable.
Shows we love on Amazon Prime
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Bonus: consider purchasing a Kindle Fire to take your movies, TV shows & apps on the go. Also better than a DVD player for long road trips!
Every show you can imagine is available on Amazon. We’ve purchased seasons of Max & Ruby, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, and Jake & the Neverland Pirates. Netflix has a lot of kids shows and movies to watch, like Curious George.
I am so, so, SO happy that we own movies on Amazon like Sleeping Beauty, Toy Story (all 3), Monsters, How to Train a Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs… and they are all right there for us to select when it’s time to settled down for a movie. Or when we’re traveling, they are available on his Kindle. We’ll never lose them, and judging from the spending I do alone on Amazon, I’m fairly certain Amazon will be here as long as we’re watching movies. Netflix has a lot of movies for kids too.
Shows to watch while kids are sleeping
We have watched every single episode of Community (hilarious) on Hulu, Freaks & Geeks on Netflix, Under the Dome on Amazon Prime, and Sons of Anarchy on Netflix then Amazon Prime. (Woah. SOA is intense. It airs on Tuesday, and available to us on Wednesday, so there is a one day delay.) I personally love Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and House of Cards.
This post, as many of mine do, contains affiliate links, which means I make a tiny commission if you click on a link and choose to make a purchase. I would not have taken the time to write this detailed, and borderline brilliant, post on the topic if these opinions were not my own. Also, I spend way more on Amazon than I could ever hope to make from this blog, haha. But the FTC says disclosure is important, and I don’t want to get kicked of the internet, so I’m including a disclaimer on posts in addition to the sidebar of my blog.