Cutting our satellite was the hardest change we had to make. It took me a year to convince dh to agree to it. We thought we could never live without it.
I called DirectTV to cancel and was told since I had 3 months left on my contract there would be a $20 per month penalty for cancelling early. In my head I did the $20 per month x 3 quickly. So a one time $60 fee to cancel vs. the $80/month we were spending.
So cancelling early would cost me $60, staying in my contract for the three months would be $240. To me it was worth it to cancel the service.
So what do we do now :)
We bought an antenna that my dh installed himself. He put it up and hooked it to the existing satellite cables on the house.
For movies and tv series we got the netflix plan for $8.99 per month. We are able to stream live movies from our computer to our television screen and we can also stream tv series. They have a wide selection to choose from. We get the 1 DVD at a time mailed to our house.
PBS has some really neat shows that are just not cartoons. I watch more PBS than the kids do.
Immediate benefits from doing this was of course $70 more per month in our budget. We also are spending more time as a family together. We are doing a family game night once a week and hope to add more time for this. Also all the marketing and commercials towards kids are not going to be missed by me. We no longer hear about Hannah Montana, SpongeBob, and all the other shows my kids use to watch. They do not miss them or even talk about them. When we go to the store I do not have them begging me for the latest new toy or gadget.
My dh who fought this change for a year has even admitted we do not miss all the junk on cable.