Triple Clicks

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Budget Saving Ideas

I'm sure it's no secret by now we try to save money wherever we can.  One of the biggest things that always plague budgets is TV. Satellite or Cable? Well now there's new options.  

A year ago we found a little box called a Google TV. Amazon has their name brand and Roku also has one. It basically allows you to get online through your TV and watch things, play music.  I even got on Facebook a few times through it. It's come in handy. I think it cost us $100.

A few months ago, my husband found the Google Chromecast stick.. yet again Amazon and Roku also has their own, but Amazon videos don't work well unless you buy theirs, so if you watch a lot from Amazon Prime, keep that in mind. This handy little dude plugs into an HDMI port in your TV and you download an extension on your browser to cast or mirror (depending on the site) anything on your internet browser to your TV. It's pretty awesome. There's also an extra extension to put on your browser that casts things that would normally mirror (including Facebook videos), but make sure you put on the adblock plus extension before visiting the free movie sites or you'll go insane with the popups.  

Just to be clear, "mirroring" means it still plays on your computer, but you can watch it-with the sound-coming through your TV. "Casting" means it sends whatever your watching to your TV and you just have to keep the browser up. 

Hulu mirrors, while Netflix and YouTube cast. YouTube also lets you create a playlist to cast to your TV.  This little stick cost us $30.  Netflix and Hulu subscriptions are $8 each a month. 

Now, we are weird people and listen to music at night, so that's been our major stumbling block here.  We had found a surround sound speaker system we bought initially for the TV...but it didn't work like we thought it would and thought we had wasted $130.. But now that we have it figured out (we aren't exactly technically savvy around here), we have our night time music problem solved. It is a wireless system, we hook in the MP3 player or an old smart phone through our Wifi network on Pandora and let the music go. It will put music in both the kids' rooms, too, because we bought extra speakers.  

We're all set now to give Dish Network the boot... we barely watch TV anyway, it's almost all Netflix or YouTube. We are just waiting for the power cords to come in to keep the smart phone with power all night. 

There are cheaper speakers out there.. or you can just chromecast Pandora through your computer if you don't want it in your bedroom. Once we get rid of Dish, our monthly TV cost will be $16.  It still remains to be seen if Dennis will want to pay to watch Football next season, but it's not a very big fee through  

The site we use that's free, has a HUGE database of movies and new shows is You want to add the AdBlock Plus extension before you go there. Just do it. You can turn the extension off and on by clicking on it. In the Google Chrome browser, click on the three little bars in the upper right hand corner, go into 'settings', on the left hand side there is an option for 'extensions'. Click it then find Ad Block Plus. 

The only show I haven't found through any of these ways is 19 Kids and Counting. That's because TLC is stingy :( So I'm impatiently waiting to be able to see the new episodes.  

We're hoping we can get on the network web sites after we cancel Dish.. But as for now, it's blocking us out because we have to sign in through Dish... But I have friends telling me they can watch episodes on the sites. 

Hope this helps somebody else.


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