The big picture: Of particular interest was the realization of how relatively expensive a cable bill is compared to a household's size. For example, utility bills are going to be much more expensive in a large home with 10 family members versus a single living in a one-bedroom apartment but the cable bill won't vary all that much.

The average household now pays more for their cable package than they do for most of their household utilities combined. According to a new report out today from, the average household cable package is $217.42 per month. By comparison, the average household pays just $205.50 per month for electricity, gas, sewer, water and garbage collection services combined.

The report doesn't mention it explicitly, but seems to suggest that the cost of Internet service is also factored into the "cable package" it speaks of.

Those looking to lower their monthly cable bill have a few options worth exploring.

First and foremost, make sure you are on a promotional rate. Anytime my promo rate for my Internet connection expires, I hop on the phone and ask to speak to a customer retention specialist. I've never been turned down when asking for a new promo rate here.

It may also be a good idea to shop different providers, especially if you aren't 100 percent happy with your current service. This isn't an option for everyone but if you have multiple providers vying for your dollars, see who can offer you the best deal.

Last but certainly not least, reevaluate your needs / wants. Do you really watch all of those channels you get access to? Perhaps a cheaper bundle could be the answer, or maybe it's time to ditch cable entirely and try a streaming service or two?

Masthead credit: Bill shock by Tyshchenko Photography.