Category Archives: Entertainment

How We Cut Our Cable Bill By Over 25% And Added More Channels

There are two major reasons to have cable: to watch live sports and to watch Bravo. Most shows can be found online for free, but sports need to be watched live to be enjoyed properly, and it’s nearly impossible to find Bravo shows online.

Our Cable Went Out During Monday Night Football!

I was watching Monday Night Football and in the fourth quarter, in a tight game, the cable went out. I couldn’t watch any channels, I couldn’t watch saved shows on our DVR, and the box required a full reset, which can take 5-15 minutes (in the meantime, I watched on my computer). That was simply unacceptable, so I called Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner has some great features that save us money, but having the cable box turn off randomly is completely unacceptable. They offered me $3.46 off my current bill. I think that was supposed to represent one day’s worth of service (when not taking discount into account). I explained that while I appreciate the gesture, I don’t pay for the monthly service with the hopes that my cable will work, and if it doesn’t, I won’t pay that day. Part of what I pay for is the reliability that when I turn on my TV to watch a show, I’ll be able to watch that show.

They Offered Me a Big Upgrade and a Big Discount

The customer service representative understood, and after a few minutes, came back with a $10 discount. Figuring that was the best I was going to be able to do, I accepted. Then the representative said she’d see if we were eligible for any other discounts. She said that if we upgraded from the Standard TV package to the Preferred TV Package, we could save $5 a month. While that sounded great, I asked for some clarification: Could I save $5 off the current price I pay or it is just $5 off the price of the upgraded service? To my surprise, by upgrading my service, I would save $5 each month for the next 12 months. And I would get some great channels that I could actually use, like some additional sports channels and even some movie channels.

We’ve Saved Nearly $25 Per Month On Cable

Back in February, our bill was just under $91 per month. I didn’t like that, so I called to see what they could do to help reduce the price. They did, and after buying my own modem, I was able to get that price down to $74 the past few months. Now when I log in, I see that my bill is just $66.23, about 27% cheaper than what it was in February.

Anyone Can Save Money Like We Did

I didn’t do anything special. I just got myself a new modem to save about $5 a month, I called and asked if there were any new promotions, and I complained when I thought the service was sub-par. I didn’t use any tricky techniques, I didn’t threaten to cancel, and I never spoke to a customer retention team. I just asked some simple questions and they rewarded me with some significant discounts.

Looking at my bill, I was given $18.33 credit for some reason, but who am I to complain? I guess good things happen to those who ask.

$4 Movie Tickets at Fandango and MovieTickets.com

UPDATE: This deal is now live to the general public. Just head over to their site and claim your tickets, as of this update there were over 70,000 tickets still available!

Instead of the regular post I had scheduled, I wanted to make you aware of a great way to reduce the high cost of a movie experience through a promotion by Sprint.

Note: I have no relationship with Sprint and I get nothing if you click on these links and buy. There’s nothing in it for me, but I just wanted to give you an opportunity to catch a deal you might not be aware of.

For the past 6 weeks people have been registering for this promotion. Tickets started at $14.50, and the more people that signed up, the lower tickets went. And now, tickets have gotten to the lowest level, $4, and they are making 100,000 tickets available to those who signed up. If you’re interested, check out the details.

Well, I took full advantage of this. As you know, tickets can cost a ton of money, so this would be a great way to reduce the cost of a movie experience.

I found a loophole in this rules that allows anyone to get cheap tickets, even if you didn’t sign up during the proper time period, so here are some very specific steps for you on how you too can get $4 movie tickets.

1.Go to http://www.sprinticketakedown.com/
2. In the text box, enter movile number 312-772-2537.
3. Enter your zip code.
4. Click on the theater where you would use these tickets (the theater you choose will determine whether you get tickets for Fandango or Movietickets.com).
5. Select one or two tickets (Either one for $4 or two for $8)
6. Enter your paypal address or credit card information

 

Once you receive your confirmation, you will receive an email. You can do this once per paypal address (which you can add several of in your settings if you want multiple tickets), so have at it!

Tickets expire on October 15th, so you have 2 months to use them! Enjoy, and let me know if you got the deal and think it’s worth it!

Movie Experiences Are Expensive: How to Handle The High Costs

This is a post written by Avishai Shuter, and up-and-coming zoologist who lives in his parents house while on the cusp of getting a job with the Bronx Zoo.

Last week, the eighth installment of the Harry Potter movie series came to theaters met by a sea of costumed fans. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 earned a record breaking $168.6 million in its first weekend. (Daniel’s note: When adjusting for inflation, it didn’t beat the Dark Knight!)

Amazing! you might say. But you forget that tickets for this film cost $12 in New York City (and that’s for the outdated 2D version- the IMAX 3D experience costs more like $18.50).

Movies have sneakily become one of the most expensive activities you can take part in; it seems like I’m shocked every time I see how much a ticket costs. Early in the 20th century, you could buy a ticket and two snacks for a nickel. Today, a date at the movies can cost almost $50 (2 tickets at $12 each, 2 medium sodas at $4.50 each, and a medium popcorn at $9). A family trip to the movies? Forget about it – you’re talking close to, if not over $100. So how can you take the edge off this painful funtivity?

I go to the movies a lot (since June I’ve been to the movies 6 times), so I’m pretty much an expert. I’ve picked up a few tricks I’ll share here in order to help you guys out.

Snack Attack

One of the worst parts of going to the movies is my eternal struggle against movie popcorn. I love the stuff more than bears love slow hikers covered in honey. Eating movie popcorn is a double whammy. On one side, its super expensive, and on the other, a small has over 600 calories (a large has over 1,000!). But, on the plus side that means that a small only costs you about $0.0006667 per calorie! Talk about a steal. Movie food is crazy expensive and according to some sources, theaters make an 85% profit off of concessions.

How Should You Handle High Concession Costs?

Buy either the popcorn or a drink, never both. I’ll repeat that – NEVER BOTH. It simply gets too expensive, so pick your poison carefully. Then, if you’re daring enough, sneak in your own food or drink. I try to opt for a healthy drink (usually juice of some kind) to counteract the popcorn.

Tickets are Crazy Expensive!

Movie tickets have become insanely expensive and I’m not quite sure why. It doesn’t cost theaters any more money to show a film now then five or ten years ago. Maybe the uncomfortable seats are stuffed with money, who knows?

How Can Buy Cheaper Tickets?

Look for online and any other deals you can find. Whenever you see a LivingSocial or Groupon deal for movie tickets, don’t hesitate. You’ll save money in the long run. Buying two tickets for $9 is totally worth it, so go for it (and if you get 3 friends to sign up. Additionally, many theaters will offer cheap tickets for any future movie if you buy them in a package. These packages usually end up being about $7 a ticket. Or you could just try being old or a child.

Daniel’s note: Visa Signature also has a 2 for 1 deal each Friday through September. You have to buy tickets and use them on the same day, but if you like to start off the weekend at the theater, this can be a big money saver!

How Else Can You Save?

I recently got a Regal Crown Card, and it’s a great deal. It’s free to sign up, all they need is your name. Then you swipe it when you buy snacks and tickets, and you get points equal to the amount of money you spend. Then, when you rack up enough points, you get free stuff (snacks and tickets). So, get your Regal Card (or whatever your theater’s equivalent is)- if you’re going to the movies anyway, there’s no reason not to get something back while your wallet is being gouged by giant, evil, faceless corporations.

The prices set by movie theaters have their own place in my nightmares next to the girl from The Ring. I imagine this is a common phenomenon, so I hope that my experiences have helped you conquer your film fears. If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them so I can share them with my friends and pass them off as my own ideas. See you at the movies!