The Miser’s 3 Things:

  • Faced with ever-increasing cable bills, I looked for alternatives this year
  • An antenna is the cheapest way to watch live TV — I found a mid-grade option for $20
  • I paired that with the PlayStation Vue streaming service and cut my costs by $50 a month

Is the cable company the most disliked entity in America?

It might be more unpopular than the airlines.

It may have lower approval ratings than Congress.

Over the course of two years, my cable bill went from $77 a month to $88 a month to $97 a month. No extra channels. Just extra cost.

But I, The Millennial Miser, am not paying $97 a month anymore, because I rediscovered a bygone piece of equipment.

The TV antenna.

This year, I was researching options to cut the cord. I ended up buying a $37 a month PlayStation Vue subscription (though six months in, PlayStation increased this price to $47 a month).

But most streaming services don’t offer all of your local channels. How would I watch all the sports on network TV, or the local news?

Truth be told, someone had to remind me that antennas are still in production, even though that’s how I watched TV for the first 12 years of my life until my family got cable. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

I remember having to turn the rabbit ears. Using something to hold the antenna in position where the picture was coming in the clearest.

I went to Target and found the antenna section (unfortunately, there is no large overhead sign pointing the way like “Sporting Goods” or “Automotive”). I noticed that antennas look a little sleeker than they used to — the higher-end ones don’t even have rabbit ears, they just stick to your wall or window.

I bought one of the mid-grade options for $20, came home, made my usual Miser frustrated face when I couldn’t get the newfangled technology quite right, and eventually sorted it all out. I even hid the antenna behind my TV, where quite frankly it looks the best.

The picture on my screen, however — which was suddenly so much cheaper — had never looked more beautiful.

SAVINGS: $60 a month initially, $50 a month after PlayStation’s price increase ($37/$47 a month subscription plus $0 for local channels via antenna vs. $97 for cable TV service)