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With the majority of households looking for ways to cut their expenses, television might be the first non-essential bill you'll want to look at. Fortunately there are a few ways to save money on your television bill.

  1. Look to bundle with other services. You can most likely get your television, internet and telephone all though one company, which can lead to some big savings.
  2. Don't pay for more channels than you need. While many companies only offer a few tiers of channel options, others allow an a la carte option. If you look at which shows you actually want to watch, you might find than you only need about 10 channels.
  3. Don't order Pay Per View sports. The price of one UFC or WWE event could double your monthly cable bill. You could buy a ticket to a game for the monthly cost of NHL Centre Ice or NFL Sunday Ticket.
  4. The same goes for PPV movies, you might be better off using a by-mail service like Zip.ca. Or even better yet, many libraries now offer DVDs, though they may not have the greatest selection.
  5. Save money on your set top box. With either cable or satellite, you may need a box to view HDTV and some now have built in PVRs (Personal Video Recorders). You can save money by buying these on sale at some of the big box stores. The cable or satellite company may also have previously used boxes that you can get for cheap.
  6. Using a PVR can save you the cost of a time-shifting package. Time-shifting is simply offering you the ability to watch major stations from other time zones. This gives you more flexibility on when you watch your favourite shows. However, if you can record all your shows with a PVR function, you will have even greater flexibility and it may save you some money by avoiding essentially duplicate channels.
  7. It can be worth your while to call your television service provider and negotiate a deal. If you're considering leaving for another company, having a talk with the retention department to see what they can offer you might change your mind.
  8. Similarly, if you notice that your television provider is offering a special promotion to new subscribers, give them a call and see if you can get the same deal as a loyal customer.
  9. While more common in the US, look into using an HDTV antenna to pull in free television over the air. There is not much available to most of Canada, but CBC, CTV and Global may be broadcasting in your area. These channels alone may have most of the shows you want to see, and it's free and legal.
  10. Another form of free, legal television is watching online. Many of the broadcast stations show episodes on their websites. There are also sites like Hulu.com, but it is currently blocked in Canada while they are working to secure international broadcasting rights.
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