It's been said. Over and over again. The bottom line is, people, that this is NOT new information. It's been out there since the recession began and probably before that. If you are looking to cut bills, and you're getting kind of toward the ends of your financial ropes, it's likely you checked out your package options two years ago.
Now, I've got a creative thought for you. Dump the packages. You don't need cable. After a while, you won't even miss it. Find a decent internet package for your area and invest in Netflix. If you're really broke, skip it all together and go for a bare bones high speed internet connection. You can watch lots of tv online for free. Free.
Show me a package deal for free. Just one, because I'm there. And it's likely at least one person in your house is watching too much tv anyway.
Here's another creative thought-make your own food. And I'm not talking about dinner, I'm talking about not paying more than 99 cents a pound for anything you put in your mouth. Crackers, bread, cookies, cake, all take a minimal amount of work-and you will have a lot more time on your hands after you dump the tv- and the little ones LOVE to help out. Check out the artisan bread in five minutes a day method...it's to die for. Also, Amazon has the best prices on yeast and vanilla I've ever seen, so consider ordering things there, just make sure to wait until you have 25 bucks worth of things you need, and to order from a place that qualifies for free shipping.
Another thing people spend a lot more money on than they have to is medical care. And it's really kind of silly. Wegmans offers free antibiotics during the winter, and it's a pretty decent list. Your doctor's office isn't thinking about that when you go- he's thinking about the drug rep that came in last week with free! flavored! tongue depressors! for the kids. Go armed with a list of what you can get for free, and don't be embarrassed to whip it out.
I could go on about medical care all day... your insurance has a set of tiers. Each tier has a different copay- the amount that is passed on for you to pay out of pocket. This is MAJOR in cost cutting, as there is absolutely NO REASON for you to purchase a more expensive prescription than necessary, unless the cheaper prescriptions for some reason don't work for you. And you can't know that until you try. So, give your insurance company a call if you get a prescription for something with a fifty dollar copay. It's likely there is a similar drug available for five under your plan. When your doctor zips that prescription over to your pharmacy, give them a quick call and find out how much the copay is going to be, and have THEM call the doctor for a cheaper option. I've had GREAT luck with both the pharmacies at Target and Wegmans doing this for me...each time saving at least twenty five to fifty dollars.
One more word on drugs, and I'm going to close this piece out for the day. Know your classes. An NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) is probably going to be expensive under your insurance...because it's another kind of Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Before you fill that $75 dollar script, ask your doctor if there's any reason you shouldn't see if a nickel's worth of tylenol won't be as effective.