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Cordcutting Cliff Notes: Cut the Cord and Keep Your Shows

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Cordcutting Cliff Notes: Cut the Cord and Keep Your Shows



Cordcutting Cliff NotesOne of the most common e-mails I get is from people who love the idea of cord cutting, but for one reason or another just can bring themselves to do it. I hear it all the time: “Well I just don’t know how to do it”; “It’s too complicated”; or “But I don’t want to miss TV Show X.” I agree, cord cutting seems hard if you are new to the concept; and no one wants to lose their favorite show just to save a couple of dollars.

 

First, let me start by saying you will save more than just a few dollars. What would you do with an extra $600 in your pocket? Second, it is a myth that you have to give up your favorite television shows in order to ditch cable. Finally, cutting the cord is much simpler than it seems.

 

In order for you to be free from the tyrannical clutch of cable & satellite companies, there are a few things you will need to purchase. They are: OTA Antenna, Streaming Device, Streaming Services and OTA DVRs. If you don’t know what some of those things are, don’t worry, we’re going to explain each and every item on this list and how to go about getting each one.

 

Over-the-Air (OTA) Antennas

What is an OTA antenna? Ever since 2009, network television stations have been broadcasting their signal digitally; the old style of antenna cannot pick up those signals but OTA antennas can. With an OTA antenna you can watch network television (ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, FOX, and more) in HD for free.

 

Basically, an OTA antenna is the rabbit ears of the future. You may be asking why you need an OTA antenna when you can just stream all the shows you want; and that’s a fair question. Sometimes we forget how many of our favorite shows are on network television; not to mention local new, sporting events, and live specials that wouldn’t be available for streaming. Besides, sometimes it’s just nice to flip on the TV and watch whatever’s on.

 

There are thousands of different models to choose from when it comes to OTA antennas. Most run in the $30 to $60 range. Personally, I have always loved the company Mohu and their antennas. Mohu Antennas were designed by former US military engineers, and are simply the best antennas on the market.

 

To figure out what model will work best for you I suggest using a tool like AntennaWeb (or Mohu’s zip code channel finder). This site will graphically show you what channels you could get, how far away the broadcast towers are, and from which direction the signal would be coming from – using your home address. Once you get this all mapped out, your next step is to figure out which antenna will work best for you. To do this I suggest using Mohu’s product pages to review the different Mohu antennas available: Metro, Leaf 30, Leaf 50, Curve 30, Curve 50, and Sky 60.

 

Shop Mohu Indoor HDTV Antennas

Shop Mohu Indoor & Outdoor HDTV Antennas

 

Streaming Devices

Now let’s take a look at streaming devices. A streaming device does exactly what it sounds like; it streams movies and television from the internet into your television. That’s it. There are a lot of different kinds of streaming devices out there on the market; even some DVD players have the ability to stream Netflix and YouTube.
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How Much You Overpay for Cable vs. Mohu (INFOGRAPHIC)



We all know that cable is overpriced and that cutting the cord can save you hundreds of dollars. But just how much more does that cable subscription cost you?

 

Costs of Cable vs. Mohu Antenna

The average low-tier cable package costs you about $65 per month, or nearly $775 per year, and gets you 189 channels, of which you likely only watch about 17. That means that you’re paying about $0.40 per channel. But when you really do the math, you’re paying per month upwards of $3.68 per channel you actually watch!

 

In comparison, with your Mohu Leaf® 30 antenna, you can pull in an average of 53 channels at a total one-time price of $39.99 (a.k.a. no monthly bills attached). That means that you’re looking at a mere $0.06 cents per channel over a one-year span, and the cost continues to diminish over time since you only have the one-time cost of buying the antenna! To offer a fair comparison though, let’s assume you’re still only watching 17 of those channels – the math is still significantly below the cost of cable at $0.19 cents per channel watched.

 

Even if you chalk up a little extra cash for the Mohu Leaf® 50 HDTV antenna, you’re still looking at significant savings compared to cable. At an average of 56 channels with the Leaf 50, you’re looking at just $0.09 cents per channel and $0.29 cents per channel watched.

 

Here’s a visual breakdown of how much you overpay for cable, just how many channels you realistically watch, and how much each of those channels are costing you.

 

Cable vs. Leaf 30

Costs of Cable versus Mohu Leaf 30 Antenna

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Cable vs. Leaf 50

Cost of Cable versus Mohu Leaf 50 Antenna

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TL;DR

With cable, you’re paying nearly $775 a year for 189 channels and yet you’re only watching 9% of them. Why keep overpaying for channels you don’t watch? Find out how much free TV you can enjoy with an indoor HDTV antenna and start saving.







Simple Cord Cutting: “How Do You Cut the Cord with Mohu?”



“Cord cutting requires you to decide you want to save money, to commit to making a lifestyle change and to be willing to try something new.”

 

Cord cutting isn’t complicated, however some people are afraid to try to cut the cord because of the false assumption that you need to be technically savvy to get the job done (among other reasons).  The truth is, if you can read simple directions and aren’t afraid to make a small effort to dial in the channels at your location, practically anyone can get free TV using an HDTV antenna.

 

It’s not expensive or difficult to cut the cord. Any initial costs associated with purchasing an over-the-air antenna are quickly recouped in the first month of savings earned after the first month free from cable or satellite TV.

Simple Cord Cutting: How Over Air TV Works

How Over Air TV Works

 

Digital Drives the Signal

 

To grab free over-the-air TV signals and view television broadcasts on your TV, you need the right equipment.  This doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of new stuff, but it does mean that what you use must be able to capture and descramble digital over air TV signals.

 

Cord cutting requires that you have a TV that’s digital-ready. The TV you use to view over-the-air TV broadcasts needs to have a digital tuner inside or attached to it. Digital tuners are what decipher digital over-the-air TV broadcasts.  If you have a newer, flat TV, it most likely has a digital tuner already built into it. However if you view TV programming on an older box-type set, you’ll need a digital converter box.

 

Digital converter boxes are cheap, starting at about $30, and act as an external digital tuner for older TVs. They allow you to view digital TV signals on your older TV without having to buy a new LED, LCD or Plasma TV with the digital tuner inside.

 

 

Over-The-Air HDTV Antennas

 

Digital HDTV over-the-air antennas can be indoor or outdoor, as long as the range of the antenna you are using is adequate for your location.

 

Select one indoor HDTV antenna for each TV in your household you want to receive over air TV.  Make sure the TV broadcast towers in your area are within range of your chosen antenna.

 

For example, if the  local TV towers are all within 30 miles of your location, you would be able to purchase an antenna with a range of 30 miles to receive the TV signals broadcast over air in your area. The Leaf 30 HDTV Indoor Antenna is ideal.

 

I use two Mohu Leaf 50 antennas to cut the cord because the furthest TV towers broadcasting in my area are over 40 miles away.  One Mohu 50 antenna is connected to my smart TV in the living room, and the other is connected to a 24” LED monitor that’s connected to my PC.  The monitor has a built-in digital tuner, so when I’m not using the monitor for work I can watch TV via a connected Mohu antenna.

 

Alternatively you may use a splitter to share a single over air antenna’s signal with other TVs in your home.  This is a bit more complicated as it means more cables and an antenna that’s best installed in the attic or on your roof.

 

The Jolt 4-Way Antenna Amplifier by Mohu allows up to four televisions to share the over air signals from a single Mohu Sky 60 HDTV Attic / Outdoor Antenna. It’s a great option for large households on a budget to enjoy free over-the-air TV.

 

Cut the Cord

 

I love Mohu antennas for their ease of use and performance. When using a Mohu antenna to cut the cord, remember these tips for easy installation and use of your HDTV antenna.

1.  Easy step-by-step directions are included with each antenna. Read them prior to setup and use.

 

2. Placement of the antenna is key to successful over air reception. Try several locations. Higher is usually better.

 

3.  Scan for channels using your TV’s remote and make sure the input is set to ‘Air’ to pick up over-the-air TV broadcasts.

 

4.  If you have questions, remember you can always check out the Mohu FAQs, their Forum or contact Mohu Support.

 

Over-the-air TV gives you all the latest network programming in HD and it’s easy to obtain with the right Mohu HDTV antenna. Cut the cord with Mohu and start saving money today!

 

Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.







Where to Watch Halloween Movies & Shows (INFOGRAPHIC)



It’s that time of year when everyone scrambles for the perfect costume, stocks up on candy, and, of course, indulges in a scary flick or two. Here at Mohu, we’re really getting into the Halloween spirit (we’re even hosting a costume contest here in the office… keep an eye out for pics to come).

 

To celebrate, 1) we’re hosting a Halloween giveaway where we want to hear your best (or worst) cable & satellite horror stories. We’ll be picking a winner to receive a cordcutting prize pack of a Smart TV and Mohu antenna. And 2) we’ve rounded up a list of some of the scariest and eeriest Halloween movies & TV shows we could find – all of which you can enjoy as a cordcutter with Netflix, Hulu, and/or an over-the-air antenna.Halloween-Specials18













Five reasons people still pay for cable (but shouldn’t)



Do you or someone you know suffer from “spending too much money on TV services you don’t actually need”?

 

This may not be recognized in the DSM-5, but the question remains nonetheless. Too often we hear horror stories of people who are spending far too much cash on paid TV (satellite, cable or even both). Sometimes they don’t realize there are alternatives, and sometimes people are wary of change.

 

Here are some common reasons we hear (and our responses) regarding why someone hasn’t dropped pay TV.

 

1) “There aren’t any other options out there.”

 

Paying for TV is one of those quintessential American pastimes, much like baseball or the West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff. But like many things, it has become antiquated and replaced by better options. As you’re aware, you can watch nearly every top TV show for free with Mohu HDTV antennas. But education is key, and cable companies don’t want anyone knowing there are superior substitutes.

 

Pay TV survives because it is the lowest common denominator for entertainment — it has a solid infrastructure spanning the country. It has a large content selection, filled with programming you may or may not be interested in. Lots of people like watching TV. It makes sense, right?

 

Wrong. Price hikes are outpacing inflation. As for that infrastructure? It’s not exactly popular or properly maintained. Regarding content, why would anyone want to pay for something you can get for free?

 

2) “I can’t get my favorite show over the air!”

Luckily for you, there are tons of various streaming services that complement OTA HDTV. Couple a service like Netflix, Hulu or Crackle with web content and your Mohu antenna, and you’ve got access to more content than any cable service can offer — for less than what you’re paying now.

 

3) “I can’t get my sports fix without it.”

In addition to having games broadcast in 1080i HD over the air, there are countless apps and streaming services that fill the gaps for every armchair quarterback. Services include:

 

 

4) “I’m not techie enough to get an HDTV antenna. Cable is simple — just plug it in and go.”

 

HDTV antennas are one of the most practical investments you can make, both functionally and financially. Installing an HDTV antenna is easier than any satellite box, and on par with the “plug it in and go” mentality from some cable providers. Installing an HDTV antenna boils down to this:

 

  1. Find out which HDTV antenna works best for you
  2. Purchase the HDTV antenna
  3. Plug your HDTV antenna into your television
  4. Scan for channels
  5. Enjoy free TV

 

The most complicated portion of your experience will likely be determining where to place your antenna. We’ve considered that as well. Mohu Leaf antennas are built to be paper-thin and easily hidden. Mohu Curve antennas offer the same quality and range, but are aesthetically pleasing for public display.

 

5) “Paying for TV is awesome.”

 

Wait. No one in the history of ever has said this with sincerity. The average cable bill is upwards of $80 a month, and we can think of several ways you could better spend that money than to pay for cable.







What is Over-the-Air DVR? Cut Cable, Not Convenience



What is Over-the-Air (OTA) DVRSometimes the difference between keeping your cable subscription and cutting the cord comes down to the small things you have grown accustomed to. Some people like the ability to simply watch whatever’s on (channel surfing), while others like the ease with which they can catch their favorite shows, and everyone I know loves their DVR; everyone.

 

The DVR is like the internet in that we often wonder how we ever got along without it. Although the beauty of cord cutting is that you can stream content whenever you want; many people are hesitant to give up cable because they enjoy using their DVR to record live television specials that would be otherwise unavailable for streaming. For example: you can probably find Season 4 of “Grey’s Anatomy” online, but the odds are slim for the “State of the Union Address” or this year’s “Super Bowl” making it to Netflix anytime soon.

 

What most people don’t realize is that they don’t have to choose between cutting the cord and recording live programming with their DVR. Well, obviously the cable company won’t let you keep their DVR, but you can most certainly replace it with your own.

 

Over-the-Air DVR

When it comes to over the air (OTA) DVRs, there are two routes you can take. Most store bought DVRs will plug into your television as easily as a Roku or Apple TV would and can range in price from $50 to $350. However, unlike Roku and Apple TV, you will have to pay a subscription fee in order for your DVR to access a channel guide.

 

And without a channel guide, your DVR will not know where and when to record your favorite shows. Subscription prices range from $5 to $15 monthly. If you want your DVR experience to be simple and hassle free, the benefits of owning a store bought OTA DVR will outweigh the cost of the subscription.

 

Build Your Own OTA DVR

If you’re like me and you don’t mind the extra work to save a few dollars, then you might want to build your own DVR. Don’t worry, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. The only thing you need is a PC, an over-the-air antenna, and a TV tuner card. But what is a TV tuner card, you ask?

 

A TV tuner card is the peripheral device that allows you to record over the air broadcasts from your computer. There are four different types of TV tuner cards you will need to choose from: Internal, External USB, External CardBus slot/ExpressCard slot, and Network Ethernet connection. Once you install your TV tuner card, and you make sure it has a connection with your antenna, your PC can then be used as a DVR. Most tuner cards will be in the $30-$60 range, so they should be pretty affordable for even the tightest of budgets.

 

Build Your Own OTA DVR

Image credit: KillTheCableBill.com

If you don’t mind doing a little tinkering and research, building your own OTA DVR is definitely worth it. Not only will you have the satisfaction of doing something for yourself, but you’ll also have saved potentially hundreds of dollars in the long run.

 

Cut Cable Without Cutting Content & Convenience

A lot of people are reluctant to give up their cable subscription because there are a lot of unknowns: how will I watch my favorite shows, what kind of devices will I need, how will I record certain broadcasts, etc…

 

However, once you take a step back and do a little research, it becomes abundantly clear that cutting the cord is a lot easier than you ever thought. Don’t be stuck unnecessarily paying thousands of dollars to cable companies every year; take the leap and start saving money today!

 

Dave Kennedy is a long time cordcutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Sine then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.







Simple Cord Cutting: “Can I REALLY Get Free TV?”



“Yes you can, and it’s super easy to do!”

 

You don’t have to lose out on great entertainment just because you cut the cord. Cord cutting gives you the opportunity to grab over-the-air free TV and save money without losing out on today’s best entertainment, sports or news programming.

 

Over-the-air TV has been around for a long time, but recent advancements in antenna technology have truly made cord cutting a viable option to expensive cable or satellite TV for a broader demographic of people.

 

It’s no longer a complicated process to setup and use an over air antenna. New digital over air technology makes it a simple and inexpensive process to easily access over-the-air TV and eliminate a costly monthly expense .

 

My Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV Antenna has allowed me to cut the cord and save $100 a month.  I watch local and national news in HD from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, in addition to the latest sitcoms, dramas and major sporting events. NFL football on my 60” LED HDTV is amazing!

 

Anyone Can Do It

 

Even non-tech savvy consumers who are willing to let go of their fears and try something new can find happiness cutting the cord.

 

In just a few steps and with very little effort, online tools like the one at AntennaWeb can show you what TV broadcast towers are in your area and what channels are being broadcast.

 

Towers are shown on a map, giving you directional guidance to help set up your over air antenna. The distance of these towers from your location is called the range, and it’s what helps you to determine the best over-the-air antenna for you.

 

If you live in an urban location with TV towers close to you, the Leaf Metro Indoor HDTV antenna is a good choice. It pulls in TV signals from as far away as 25 miles and it’s very small so that it can be discretely placed to blend easily into your decor.

 

Cost to Begin Cord Cutting

 

Depending upon the current TV you own and what antenna you choose to secure your over-the-air signal, your initial equipment costs can be less than the price of one month of cable or satellite TV.

 

Older televisions which are lacking digital tuners will need digital converter boxes to translate digital over air TV signals.

 

By contrast, contemporary flat TVs with digital tuners built in don’t need converter boxes and can simply be hooked up to a digital antenna to obtain free TV within minutes of installation.

 

Ultimately the only ongoing cost related to receiving free over-the-air TV is the electricity you use to power your television.

 

Exceptionally Exciting Savings

 

In addition to potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year, cord cutting allows you to regain the freedom to choose how you want to spend your entertainment dollars. HDTV antennas provide you with the ability to enjoy free TV, without hidden fees or costly subscriptions.

 

You still end up getting the latest network programming, much of it in uncompressed high definition, which is actually sharper than the compressed HD programming you get from your cable provider.

 

Over-the-air programming is of excellent quality and clarity, and the best part, you’re not paying for it!

 

Free TV is for real and available to almost everyone. Dialing in a bunch of free TV channels in HD feels like you’ve won the lottery.  It’s about a $1200 a year jackpot in cord cutting savings that’s well worth the minimal cost of the ticket.

 

Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.







Cut the Cord and Save Money (It’s a No-Brainer)



A couple of weeks ago a friend was over at my house and he said to me ,“I get the idea that cable is kind of crappy, but why go through all that hassle just to save a couple of dollars?” I couldn’t believe my ears.

 

Just a few dollars? Are you kidding me? You can cut the cord and save money – way more than just few dollars – by ditching cable and satellite. It was this common misconception that inspired me to write today’s post, where I’m going to break it down for you, dollar for dollar, how much cheaper and effective it is to cut the cord. Let’s get started.

 

Cable vs. Cord-Cutting

For the sake of this argument I’m going to use Comcast as the baseline for most cable companies. Comcast is everywhere, and it’s often the only option many Americans have. Now the cheapest cable package you can get from Comcast is the Digital Starter Package, which runs for about $45 for the first year; and jumps up to between $55-$70 depending on your area and their petty whims.

 

For 12 months with their basic package, you will spend $540 for the first year and anywhere between $660 and $849 for the second year. Let me just remind you that that is only for 80 channels. We’re not talking premium channels or sports packages. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s less than ideal. Now let’s see how much the alternative is.

 

Over-the-Air Antenna + Streaming = All You Need

First let’s get to the free stuff. You will be surprised by how many of your favorite shows come on Network television. Anything that’s on ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, or FOX can be accessed completely for free by using an Over the Air antenna. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically the rabbit ears of the 21st century. The Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor HDTV Antenna is one of the most popular and the best-rated antennas on the market and will cost you $39.99.)

 

Next, let’s assume you have no streaming devices except your computer and maybe your phone and that you want to watch stuff on your TV. So you go and buy a Roku streaming device. For simplicity’s sake let’s say you bought the cheapest one, the Roku 1; which will cost about $50-$55 depending on where you get it. So right now our total cost is around $86.

 

After you purchase your streaming device, you run home and sign up for all the wonderful streaming programs available. Netflix winds up costing you $8.99 a month / $107.88 a year; then you sign up for Amazon Prime and pay $8.25 a month / $99 a year. I would include Hulu Plus into the mix, but since there is not much you can get off of Hulu that you can’t get off of the other two, it’s a bit redundant. If you’re interested, though, Hulu Plus costs $7.99 a month / $95.98 a year. Our total price is now approximately $292.87.

 

How to Access Shows Not Broadcast Over the Air

Most, if not all, of your favorite shows can be found through Over the Air broadcasts, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. There are some shows that slip through the cracks on these plans, but they are not lost to you! For example, The Walking Dead is one of my most favorite shows. Sadly I can’t stream new episodes. Luckily with Amazon Prime, I can catch the new season the day after for $2 an episode OR I can purchase the whole season for $26.99 in standard definition or $41 for high definition. Since we’re going with the cheapest option, we’ll go standard definition. That brings our total to $320. You could actually buy eight more seasons until you caught up with the price of the most basic cable package.
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5 Better Ways to Spend Your Money (Hint: Not on Cable)



5 Better Ways to Spend Your Money Than on Cable | MohuEver have one of those nightmares where you’re hanging on the ledge of a building and your grip gives out like Tony Romo in the playoffs? Most of us have. But here’s the scary part: the nightmare is very real for anyone with an ironclad cable contract. That slippery grip in your dreams, you see, is akin to the oily residue of a cable salesman’s handshake. No matter how secure you feel, you’re always one step from falling off the ledge into a trap.

 

Yes, there are promises of bundled goodies you’ll probably never watch, net speeds you might not actually get (and still overpay for), and landline phone services you don’t necessarily care about. And with your signature in blood, you’ve essentially offered yourself to the cable gods for tribute. Cable-sponsored ceremonial daggers will usually bleed you for about $80 a month ad infinitum. Ouch.

 

We at Mohu believe there are better ways to spend your money, especially since our magical HDTV antennas offer crystal-clear programming at a sterling price of $0 per month (plus no commitments — for realsies).

 

1) Invest in a project

I’m a semi-professional basket weaver who doubles as a dingo trainer for carnivals. I wasn’t born with these talents (only charmingly good looks, sadly) — I learned them on YouTube. There are tons of craft, DIY, how-to sites on the Web, so get your creativity on. Learn how to make a DSLR camera slider, bake delicious pierogis or pick up a new instrument.

 

2) Invest in a cause

With all that extra cash laying around, you have a chance to help organizations by giving money, time or other resources to something you believe in. Small donations can help nonprofits survive and flourish. For us, we believe in giving the public freedom from overzealous cable providers. As such, we’re fighting to become the Triangle’s “Favorite Cable and Internet Service Provider.” Fight the power, we say!

 

3) Save up for new tech

Part of being a Mohuligan entails being a technophile. We love gadgets large and small. So we go HAM when new products get announced or released — gaming systems, cell phones, accessories, you name it. If you’re saving upwards of $100 a month by ditching cable, you’ll have the cash to grab the latest toys. Who wouldn’t mind having an extra gizmo every few months?

 

4) Road Trip

Stop Google-Earthing and go live a little! Cutting cable could mean a few tanks of gas to the destination of your dreams, especially with winter approaching. Camping is free on national forest grounds, so grab a tent and go! Not into the outdoors? No worries, there are lots of ways to travel on the cheap — just requires a bit of extra planning. You could  visit us in Raleigh, NC if you feel so inclined. Our eCommerce director will even treat you to lunch.*

*totally not guaranteed.

 

5) Stay in and spoil yourself

Mohu provides the best ways to watch the hottest fall TV shows. You’re already riding fancy with free HDTV, but take it to the next level with a Netflix subscription ($9/month) and your favorite sports package ($25 total for remainder of post-season). For a price much lower than what you’re already paying, you’d be watching not only the hottest TV shows, but you’ve got your movies and sports covered too. With prices like this, does cable TV really make sense?

Don’t take our word for it. Just read a few of cable TV’s rave reviews:

“Why do I keep coming back? Because I’m an idiot!!”

“Anyone who actually knows the Fraud department phone number for Comcast in Atlanta?”

Check out Consumer Affairs for more self-deprecating cable humor.

 

If you’re already a cord-cutter, what do you do with the money you save? If you aren’t yet free of those monthly bills, what would you like to do with those potential savings?







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