I'm always trying to think of cheaper alternatives for the things we need or want. I really thought a lot about getting a DVR because we are busy and would rather watch shows at our leisure.
I called our cable company to look into the costs and it was extremely high. We couldn't just add a DVR for the monthly rate, we also had to upgrade our cable package. That would have been a ridiculous amount just to be able record a couple shows that we enjoy watching.
I began thinking of a cheaper alternative and it dawned on me that we still have a good 'ol VCR way up in the top of the closet. I brought it down and hooked it up. I programmed the VCR to record the shows we wanted. It was so easy and absolutely FREE! And the VCR tapes were donated to us because my parents didn't need them.
So, you really can have the things you want or think you need just by thinking of cheaper alternatives. We use the VCR all the time to record. The playback is not as crisp as a DVR but does that really matter? I'd rather save the money. :-)