MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Drop the expensive cable bill

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If your cable bill includes internet service and a DVR, you are probably paying well over $100 a month. NBC12's Diva of Discounts looks into some of the newest ways to reduce that bill.

Kelli Haller loves watching TV, but like so many of us, hates that monthly cable bill that was $60 a month, then $75, now almost $100.

"It's expensive to live on your own, and gas and everything else, those bills add up quite a bit," said Haller.

Like a growing number of young professionals, she now watches her favorite shows via an antenna, the internet and a service called Hulu.

"I'm able to watch ABC, NBC, CBS, those shows. I'm able to watch them whenever I want, instead of when its showing on TV," said Haller.

Amanda Fischer has also given up her expensive monthly bill, and now watches network shows and movies on her laptop.

"I pay $7.99 a month for Netflix, and Hulu I just use the free options they have."

She has access to hundreds of movies and many network shows.

Want lower your TV costs to less than $10 a month? First, buy a $20 antenna, to watch local stations like NBC12 - you'll pick up more than a dozen local TV stations free. Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game consoles can stream internet video.

New smart TVs have this capability built in. Or you can buy a Roku, Boxee, Google TV, or Apple TV box for around $100.

Subscribe to Netflix or Hulu Plus - both are $8 a month. There's a free version of Hulu, but it has less programming.

There are down sides: you don't get all network shows and you still have to pay for an internet connection. For sports fans, the games you'll see are limited.

Kelli and Amanda are fine with these new options.

"I don't want that $80 a month bill, and I'm not that big a TV watcher anyway."

Another bonus to subscription services like Hulu and Netflix - there's is no binding contract. Plus, both have free trial periods when you sign up.

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