For Smart Couples…Forget the Recession! Learn how to pay 1960's Prices for everything from salad dressing to dressing up for a night out!

Don’t get me wrong, I spent YEARS paying tons of money for premium cable packages.  Hundreds of channels, including every available pay movie channel known to mankind (if there was a movie channel showing nothing but home videos of cats watching birds from windowsills, I would have paid for it), DVR, HD channel upgrades, sports packages (even though I only really watch Steeler games), pay-per-view, the whole shebang. I, as a reasonably normal gal, even once paid $9.99 for pay-per-view porn, just out of morbid curiosity, just because it was THERE, only a click away. It was a status thing. It was embarrassing to me not to have THE VERY BEST cable packages available, even though I was only making (and still pretty much am) a bartender’s salary. Who I was trying to impress I still don’t know, most of my friends at the time were college students way broker than I was.

It’s amazing what love can do for your perspective.  After Mike moved in, things like cable didn’t seem so important. We didn’t care what our friends and families thought of our lifestyle choices. We had each other.

We embraced each others weirdness, and reveled in it.

Again, don’t get me wrong. Both Mike and I are avid movie watchers. We even have a favorite show (How I Met Your Mother). We wanted a nice, big TV to watch our favorite movies on…we love to cuddle up on the couch with Joey, our cat, and watch movies on weekend nights we feel like having a relaxed, stay-at-home evening. So we waited, watched the sale ads, saved our money, and eventually bought a sleek black 42” 1080p HD Sony TV. Sweet. That was about a year ago. I still admire it from time to time (even when it’s turned off) and I’ve never for a second regretted the purchase.

For a while I had free (72 channels) of cable coming from god-knows-where in my apartment building. We got hooked on the Food Network, The Travel Chanel, and even MTV for a brief, shameful few months. Then one day we stopped getting the cable. The cable gods were no longer smiling upon us.  And I realized, in a moment of zen-like clarity, that it was not something I was willing to pay for. Definitely not the $170 dollar a month cable packages of my status-driven past, and not even the spartan $40 a month cable packages that our grandparents subscribe to. No matter what, I realized, around 85% of the time, there was never anything on the damn TV I was TRULY enthusiastic about.

OH MY GOD!!!!  I hear this all the time from friends and family.

HOW WILL YOU WATCH “DANCING WITH THE STARS??? HOW WILL YOU SEE HEINZ WARD???” My mom was distraught with the idea of it. Apparently her post-retirement existence revolved around a handful of glitzy hyped-up reality shows.

WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO AT HOME???? Ummm…we cook. We eat. We talk. We pop in a Blu-Ray. We play board games. We make sweet love down by the fire. 🙂

A TV-less existence is very freeing, both financially and psychologically. It gives you the time to do other things. My TV is off right now as I write this. Most people I know keep their TVs on for constant background noise, for endless company. Our apartment is silent except for the clacking of my fingers on the keyboard and Mike’s slightly strained snores emanating from the bedroom (he has a bit of a cold).

I like to hear these noises. They are relaxing. They are the noises of MY life. Hearing Snookie and J Wow battle it out with whatever roommate this week on the boob tube is NOT a noise from my life.

We are not loonies, we are not some post-modern- hippie- conspiracy- theorist- minimalists. We’re just ordinary people. Like I said, we watch movies. We rent them, borrow them from friends, and occasionally purchase one from the five dollar bin at our local convenience store when we’re both hankering for an impromptu low-key night in.

And here’s a tip, folks, in case the no-cable idea sounds even remotely appealing to you, or you are looking to cut some costs in the ol’ budget. We can very easily hook our laptop up to our television with a special cord (HDMI cable maybe? If anyone’s interested, I’ll ask my friend what kind it is so you can follow suit) and watch pretty much whatever television shows we want on our big screen. We can pause, rewind and fast-forward them just like with a DVR. We are not slaves to commercials. With sites like http://www.hulu.com/, we can choose from thousands of programs, episodes and movies to fit our mood. FOR FREE!!!

I’d rather use the $170 a month on two fabulous dinners out. Caribbean. Or Cajun. With cocktails. Mmmm….

It’s about priorities. What REALLY makes you happy? Endless repeats of reality shows, or Jamaican Jerk Chicken resting ever-so-proudly atop cuban rice??

I understand some of you would probably pick the reality shows, but not me. Not when I can still watch them for free. On an awesome 1080p HDTV I’m proud to have budgeted, saved, bought on sale and paid cash (GASP!!) for. Don’t let the cable companies make you think you’re a freak for not subscribing to their overpriced snooze-fest. You’re not missing much. It’s out there to be had for free on the web. If you must subscribe to SOMETHING, you can even watch live, streaming TV shows and movies via Netflix through your Playstation or XBox for around $8 a month. A much better deal. Examine your options! And if you must have the latest, greatest, and biggest TV, try saving up for it and paying with cash (GASP!!) I’m telling you, you’ll appreciate it much, much more. You’ll even admire it late at night when it’s not even turned on, sleek and sexy black thing that it is.

By the way, we pay cash for EVERYTHING…but more on that in other posts.

Good Night!! 🙂

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