Let's face it. Cable TV is a want, not a need. Here's how to keep your favorite shows but pay much less. First, call your cable company's customer service and see what they'll offer to keep your business, including those special rates reserved for new customers. Come armed with offers from other service providers and be prepared to walk if they don't match. Second, pick and choose. Your plan may include HD programming, and DVR, and the premium channels. Save a bundle by eliminating just one. Use sites like Hulu to access TV shows you would normally record. If you watch only one or two premium movies a month, drop the premium package and just pay for the single rental. Triple play deals sound great, but they usually cost more. Figure out the service level you actually need and price the least expensive packages separately. Cable TV is often the first to go when finances hit the fan, but you need not cut the cord completely to make your bill more budget-friendly.