This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.
We recently added a new addition to our family, making us a family of seven – me, my husband, and five kids ranging in age from newborn to 19. (Actually, a family of ten, if you count the dog and two cats). And with new additions come new expenses – diapers, baby wipes, diapers, a must-have swing that plays calming music, diapers, ointment, diapers, a cosleeper, diapers… you know what I mean. Not to mention mom being basically a zombie straight out of The Walking Dead for at least a couple of months (and therefore not bringing in the income that she used to). So we’ve had to get creative and find ways to cut expenses.
Some stuff is non-negotiable. Mortgage? Yeah, gotta pay that. Minivan payment? Well, I suppose we *could* get by with just the (paid for) car, but then it’d be a real challenge to go anywhere as a family (including two car seats) in a car that seats five (and more realistically four, if two of the passengers require car seats). Plus I’d be stuck home with no transportation and a newborn and a toddler all day while my husband is at work (unless I want to get up to drive him in to work at 4am – no thanks!), so all the kids’ appointments would have to be scheduled for when hubby isn’t working… okay, yeah, we have to keep the minivan.
But other things, like cable television and internet? I grew up poor (like, REALLY poor for a while there), so I still see things like internet and cable and real napkins instead of a sheet of paper towel as luxury items. But in this day and age, especially with two kids in high school and my work-from-home jobs, internet is a lot closer to being a necessity than a luxury. (And honestly, I just like having cable television. It makes me feel rich). And that’s where Allconnect comes in.
Allconnect is a free site that lets you compare pricing and packaging for all sorts of services, whether you’re looking for a better rate at your current location or trying to find the best deal for an upcoming move. All you do is type in your address and it brings up a list of available providers and pricing for things like cable, internet, gas, electric, and even bundle deals! Then you can filter your results by company and price, or by variables like number of television channels or download speeds. You can even sort your results according to what you’re looking for (like the most popular plans in your area, or the lowest priced plans available).
For us, cable television is the most “take it or leave it” of our utilities, and we’ve been customers for years so I’m pretty sure we’re not under any sort of contract (or low new customer pricing plans). I took a look at what Allconnect could find us for prices and plans so we can make an informed decision about whether the cable stays or goes, and if it stays, how to find the absolute best deal. Where I live, there’s a bit of a monopoly in the cable television arena, but Allconnect shows six different plans offered by our local cable provider (Charter Communications), as well as three plans offered by Dish Network. Right now we have a bundle plan through Charter for TV and internet, but we’ve considered splitting them up and getting satellite television and keeping the high speed internet if it would save us money.
I can also check out the different bundles offered by Charter through Allconnect, which gives me some negotiating power with Charter if we’re considering taking our cable TV business elsewhere. Since we’re not interested in getting a home phone, I can sort the available bundles to show me only TV + Internet packages.
Even better, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can compare the different options and see all the different details side-by-side! I know we want the 60Mbps internet speed and not the 30Mbps, so I compared the three plans that offer the faster speed.
Once you’re there, you can even check out the channel lineups from each plan to make sure you pick a package that includes Nick Jr. (or whatever channel it is that saves your sanity and makes it possible for you to get a shower in YOUR household).
I won’t tell you what we’re paying for our current TV + Internet bundle (a lot), but the “starting at” price is lower than what we’re paying. And that might be for new customers, but… we’re not locked into a contract. And sometimes that can get you new customer perks, especially if you can tell your current company details of the better deal you’ll get if you switch to their competitor, because then they know you’ve done your homework and are serious about possibly taking your business elsewhere. And if not? Well, then Allconnect has shown me what deals I can get if I follow through on my threat and actually take my business elsewhere!
So head on over and see how much money YOU could save with Allconnect, and let me know in the comments if you find a great deal! (And what you’re going to spend your savings on!) For me, it’ll be diapers. Lots and lots of diapers.