Home budget, emergency fund • Looking for cheap at home entertainment

Looking for cheap at home entertainment


I know, I grew up before the internet, mobile phones, computers, the digital age in general. So I know that all this stuff is not “needed”. I can do without most of it myself. But what I need is some ideas on how to live in the digital age cheaper than I am, and keep 5 kids from being bored out of their skulls! I know a lot of you want to lambast me here, but I am looking for some constructive ideas on how to cut my entertainment budget.

First, let me say this, we routinely go out and look for free entertainment. We live in the Fort Worth, TX area, and there are several options. But that gets us out of the house, and we need to eat, it takes gas, all of that. So I am looking for stay at home ideas.

Second, I am not in a desperate situation. So I am looking to get by cheaper. My goal is to cut at least $100 from these categories, while sacrificing little.

That said, here is what I am looking to replace or reduce in costs.

Internet: %59.84 per month

at&t Uverse has a monopoly on my neighborhood. I did go with their highest speed since we do a lot of video streaming, and I do mean a lot! I have no other “hard-wire” options. Trust me, I checked. I could go to a slower package, but considering streaming, I don’t know how well that would work. Are there good satellite options that are cheaper that do good streaming?

Mobile (sprint) phone bill: $195.30 for four lines.

Now I know I can go a lot cheaper here. I do get a 20% discount through my employer. I am tied into a contract on three of them yet. These are data phones. Prepaid has dropped in price quite a bit over the last several months.

Dish Satellite: $107.37

A lot of room here too I know. We have the top 250, and a sports package that I am planning to drop for sure. Will Hulu and other online options replace what I drop for packages?

Neflix: $8.65 per month

We use this a lot! I think it is pretty cheap for how much it is used

Blockbuster: $21.65 per month

I’m thinking this is no longer needed. We don’t use it as much as I think we should for the cost. But it prevents those daily charges when we want to rent a DVD. I know redbox is around and such, but returning the DVD is such a hassle, and if you don’t you pay for more days. My past experience is why I have kept this. Can I do it all with blockbuster online instead to avoid going to the store?