With TV antennas and dial-up Internet a thing of the past, New Jerseyans are spending more and more for their TV, phone, and Internet access, whether it is with the cable company, Verizon, or a satellite company.

These firms get you in the door with attractive "double play" or "triple play" packages that are very affordable in return for a multi-year commitment. But after the fancy introductory offer periods expire, the price can go up quite a bit. What can you do to cut costs in that area?

Examine Your Usage

First and foremost, take a hard look at your usage. That fancy plan that included multiple premium channels and was affordable at first, might not be anymore.

How often do you actually watch content on those channels? Are there movies you want to see aired on a regular basis or once in a blue moon? Are you really that hooked on a particular HBO or Showtime series? If not, then why are you paying for them?

Can't Miss Series?

Wait for the DVD. As for those "can't miss" series, a box set of DVDs for one season of a cable show is much cheaper than the cost of that channel for the year. Look into buying them when they come out (you will have to wait awhile for them to come out as opposed to being aired, but the cost savings is worth it) and canceling that premium channel.

Stream the Season Online. As for the movie content, look into Internet content streaming services like Netflix ($12.99 and up for HD content) or Hulu ($5.99 with adds; $11.99 without). They both have unlimited movie and TV streaming. Even if you get both to cover your bases, $25 per month is still cheaper than one premium channel. The Premium channels also have streaming services that you can turn off and on as new episodes release.

If you just want to watch an occasional movie, want to save even more money, and don't mind leaving your home to get it, Redbox serves up recently released movies for $1.75/disk per day. Rent less than 6 movies a month, and you've saved even more! They also offer a larger library to stream at home for $4.99 per movie.

Then There's the Landline

Regarding the fee for the landline, again you should look at how much you use it. Is it your main line, or are most of your calls on your cell phone? If it is the latter, then perhaps you should consider being a "cord cutter" and eliminate the landline.

More and more people are doing this, and it can save you money. Another alternative could be an Internet phone account through a carrier like Vonage, where you can get an unlimited plan for as little as $24.99 per month. If the Internet connection fails, they can route calls to an alternate number or your cell.

Although not all of these cuts may work for you, implementing even some of them can save you significant money over time. After a while, you may find that you do not miss those features, but you will definitely notice the additional money in your pocket!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.