By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s hard to “Survive This Economy” when the cost of cable and satellite TV is so high.

Just ask the Wrights, a suburban couple with four kids. They don’t want to give up their favorite shows, but they would love to cut their monthly cable bill.

As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, the Wrights found a way to save hundreds of dollars a year, and it could work for you, too.

With two TV’s that seem to be stuck on the satellite channels, the Wrights shell out more than $50 a month for basic service. It’s a service they’re ready to turn off.

“We’re paying and getting less service,” Sinora Wright said. She also said their bill from DirecTV went up significantly after the introductory offer expired, “which is frustrating.”

That frustration has driven her to buy an antenna and ditch satellite TV.

According to research by GfK Media, the Wrights have joined the 54 million U.S. households that now rely on over-the-air TV, up from 46 million just over a year ago.

Kasia Mistal, a clerk at a local h.h. gregg electronics store, said an antenna allows customers to get all their local broadcast channels – at least 30 in the Chicago area – and they’re all free.

In choosing an antenna you could pay as little as $15, or more than $100.

There are both indoor and outdoor antennas.

The type of antenna you need depends on a number of factors, including whether you live in a single-family home or a multi-unit dwelling; and how far away you live from the TV stations’ transmitters – you might need a more powerful antenna if you live in a remote rural area.

Whatever you choose, cutting the cable cord, or dumping the satellite dish means giving up cable channels like HBO, ESPN, CNN and more.

Sinora’s daughter, Tierney, said without cable channels, “I guess I’ll watch the movies, and read a book, and go outside more.”

The Wrights are still paying for Internet service, which means they’re able to buy streaming video services like Hulu and Netflix, if they want.

By eliminating satellite TV, the Wrights are saving at least $50 a month. If they can last until Christmas, they’ll pocket about $200.

That’ll bring their savings to $3,857 since the start of the “Survive This Economy” series last fall.

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