Saving money on the monthly cable bill is something the majority of us have considered at least a few times in our adult lives. No matter who your provider is one thing is for certain, you are paying too much. After adding internet service, equipment fees, subscription fees, and maybe even a landline phone, you are likely looking at $200 or more per month.

But let’s face it. We’re smart creatures. We can solve complex problems, and that’s exactly what this is. Reducing your monthly cable bill might be a chore, but it’s an easy chore. Here’s a list of the best ways to decrease that monthly pocket drainer and put a little extra green back in your wallet.

Ask for a Discount

More often than not, if you are a customer in good standing that’s been with the company for longer than a few months, just asking for a discount can land you a reduced rate.

Complain About Fees

Now I’m not saying to call your service provider up and pitch a fit, that is not going to get you anywhere. But inquiring about excessive fees and keeping a watchful eye on your bill can save you money.

Buy Your Own Equipment

If you are getting charged a monthly fee to lease equipment and you anticipate that you will be at your current residence long enough to pay for that equipment and then some, why waste money?

Cable boxes will need to be purchased through your service provider, but modems and routers can be purchased elsewhere and then configured for your provider’s settings.

Switch to Automatic Bill Pay & Paperless Billing

Some cable providers offer a small discount to their customers for using automatic bill pay and paperless billing. Not only can you save a few bucks, but having your payment automatically removed for your checking account each month means one less thing you need to remember.

Threaten to Leave

Cable companies don’t want to see their customers leave and with more digital entertainment options becoming available every day, they know it’s a growing problem.

If you threaten to leave usually a representative will offer incentives to stay. Maybe a free month of service, or a 20 percent discount.

Reduce Your Subscription Package

Do you watch all the channels you have? Chances are that you don’t. I’ve found that out of the 200 or so channels that I have I only watch about four of them. If it’s possible reduce your channel package to its mere basic. Nowadays most cable company basic packages still have about 50 or so channels – more than enough for most.

Need All That Net?

Is your cable provider also your internet service provider? If so, check to see what type of service you are paying for. Unless you are a heavy internet user you may be paying too much. You should be able to find a basic package for around $40 per month.

Consider Alternative Services 

If you watch a lot of movies and TV shows, you might consider services like Netflix. Many home entertainment devices like the Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Blu Ray players, and even smart TVs offer streaming services such as Netflix. Expect to pay a negligible monthly fee for services like Netflix, which runs about $10 a month.

If you need an inexpensive device, consider Roku. A Roku 3 will set you back roughly $100 for the box itself and comes preloaded with many free channels available to watch immediately. You can also stream services such as Netflix, MLB.TV, and Amazon Video On Demand.

Using That Landline?

Still paying for a landline? Unless you are using it to fax, consider dropping the line. Who really wants a home phone anyway?

Still need to fax? You can send and receive faxes online just as easily as using an old school fax machine. Consider signing up for a service like eFax.

Chase Williams

Chase Williams is a serial entrepreneur, professional procrastinator, dreamer, explorer and risk taker. He's been weightless aboard a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn't quite come back down from the upper-atmosphere. To keep up with his low-oxygen chatter, follow him on Twitter @ChaseHWill