Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Your Phone Bill?

By Ashley Jacobs on 8 July 2014 (Updated 15 July 2014) 59 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Monique, Allison, and Linda for winning this week's contest!

For many of us, mobile phones (be they smart or dumb) are essential tools in our daily lives. We can't live without them...but we sure can try to lower the cost of using them!

How do you save on your phone bill? Can you lower the cost even more by eliminating certain features or functions? If so, what can you cut?

Tell us how you save on your phone bill and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, July 14th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 14th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

We don't have a land line anymore and that saves something.

Guest's picture
Elena

I save money on my phone bill by using pay as you go service

Guest's picture

I take advantage of the employee discount I receive from work!

Guest's picture
Jay

I use T-mobile's prepaid $30/mo service. It's 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 5GB of high speed data and throttled after that. It's great because I don't have to worry about data usage at all. 100 minutes is a bit limiting, but you can add money to your account if you anticipate going over. If you're tech savvy, you can set up VOIP (voice over internet protocol). That means you'll use data instead of minutes to make calls. It's handy, but it's not perfectly integrated so I've fallen back on using minutes and being mindful of the calls I make/receive on my phone.

Guest's picture
Tina in NJ

Being as I am old, I don't spend my entire life on my phone surfing the 'net. (I use my iPad mini and wifi.) that allows me to keep my data plan relatively low. Once my current contract is up early next year, I plan to test drive Republic or Tinga.

Guest's picture
Catseye

I make most long distance calls on my landline for the audio quality. These days, I make very few long distance calls to save money. Most of my friends and relatives can be reached by email or on Facebook.

Guest's picture
shannon

I switched to Republic Wireless. For about $30 a month ($25 plus fees) I have 3G coverage (you can opt for 4G, but I like paying $25/month) and a great Moto X smartphone. You can only use Republic Wireless phones (Moto X and G) on their network but they subsidize the upfront cost so you are not paying $600 for a new phone. No contract, unlimited all, etc. I've been using them since March, 2014 and really love it!

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

I know it really depends on your local coverage, but I recently switched from one of the big carriers (Verizon, AT&T) to one of the smaller carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile). I now pay $20 less per month, have more data, and free international roaming when traveling. I happen to live in a big city, so reception coverage isn't an issue. I know I may not have the same coverage when I am out of the city, but it's a trade-off that I am willing to make!

Guest's picture
Karen Landry

I bought an Ooma for home phone. It paid for itself in two months and has been working for more than two years! For my cell phone, I went with Republic Wireless. You buy the discounted phone from them and the plan I am on is $25/month for unlimited everything.

Guest's picture
Tabathia B

My husband gets a discount via his workplace, we have a family discount where the more we add the more we save.

Guest's picture
Gina

I have unlimited text and data and never go over my phone minutes.

Guest's picture

I'm with AT&T, so saving on my bill is nearly impossible! Thankfully, I still have a discount from my old university, and my husband gets a stipend from work to put towards our bill (since he uses his phone for work). I also use my phone a lot for work, so I write off some of the cost on my taxes. ~Brenda from SuperMoney

Guest's picture
Jeff

I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile (both post-paid) and was actually able to get more for about $60 less per month (2 lines). With AT&T, had a shared data bucket of 4GB/mo. With T-Mobile it's unlimited for both phones.

Guest's picture

We switched to Virgin Mobile to save money. There was upfront costs involved in that we had to buy our phones, but we love having lower monthly payments and living contract free. It has so been worth it. We also ditched our landline a long time ago.

Guest's picture
Shelley

Unbundled and discontinued long distance. Saved about $30/month.

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

We use the Walmart Family Mobile Plan. We have two cell phones, with unlimited text, talk and web for $60 a month. We don't have a contract. We don't have a land line, either.

Guest's picture
lostAnnfound

I have used Net10 for my cell phone pay-as-you-go plan for years after switching from Verizon. I don't surf the web on my phone, just text and make calls. For me the cost averages to $15.00 per month.

Guest's picture
Louly

A lot of times you can BYOD to a phone company instead of opting in to a contract which can save money in the long run.

Guest's picture
Guest

Calling thorough wireless in my house and using a state employees discount.

Guest's picture
Guest

I share a cell phone plan with my family, so don't have a landline and then I use skype for people I call a lot

Guest's picture
GuestTammy S

We use an internet phone service for our home line. We only pay about a $100 a year.

Guest's picture
Karen L. @love2lovemykids

I save on my phone bill by bundling services with cable and internet.

Guest's picture
Ashley

I added all of my family members onto my cell phone plan (a total of 4). In the end, we all save money and have more services and features than if we were to each have individual phone plans. Altogether, my monthly cell phone plan costs $220, or $55/person, and includes unlimited talk, text, and data (compared to the $80-$90/month per person for the individual plans).

Guest's picture
Tina

We got rid of the landline and just have cell phones now, and use a company discount (always check if the company you work for gets any kinds of discounts for their employees, where I work gets a rather large % discount off the bill).

Guest's picture
Betty

I don't save money on my phone bill. I don't even use it! I have it bundled with tv and internet. If I cancel the phone, the bill would be $5 more per month. They get you coming and going.

Guest's picture
Guest

I never answer my phone unless I know exactly who is calling, and I seldom call anyone. I've never owned a cell phone and never plan to because I would rather read than talk. I'd probably settle for the two tin can phone system if there was only enough string. Gadgets of almost any kind just suck money out of your pockets and interfere with real social interaction.

Guest's picture
Monique

We switched from Sprint to Ting - it is still the Sprint network and our phones still work on it - but now we only pay 1/3 of what we did before.

Guest's picture
Serena

I got out of contract cell phone plans. Just switching to a reasonable prepaid plan cut my bill in half.

Guest's picture
Liz

I have an unlimited data plan, which means I can use it as much as I want and I don't have to worry about going over a monthly limit.

Guest's picture
Matt

I use whatsapp to save on text charges.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I gave up my landline about 5 years ago and don't miss it at all. I use a Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go phone on their cheapest monthly plan, and I very rarely even need all my talk minutes. Texts are free, so I use that a bit more. All in all, I'm not a big phone person so it's pretty affordable for me.

Guest's picture
Brian

I found a service called Ting.com that charges packaged amounts for different services as you use them and no contract. After dealing with subpar prepaid services I have had great reception with Ting and my home cellphone bill is about half of what it used to be. About $40/mo for our typical usage. You may not get an unlimited online package (watching a movie every day on 4g is not advisable with this service. It will get very expensive) but you also won't pay over $100 for services you might not even use to the fullest extent. You also don't have to worry about running out of minutes in the middle of a conversation. You pay for what you use every month.

Guest's picture
J. Pario

Skype.

Guest's picture
Susan P.

I call our service provider every once in a while to see what special offers they have because they never let you know unless you call.

Guest's picture
MELISSA HANSSON

We have a family cell phone plan, a corporate discount with our provider and no land lines. We use the minimum phone minutes available and have unlimited text, which is how we communicate most.

Guest's picture
Dee Dee

I use pay as you go phone service.

Guest's picture
Mary W

A colleague at work said to check my AT&T account for a possible discount. Sure enough - by clicking through a few links, I saved $60 per month and ended up with more on my data plan than before. My sister saved $150 per month by doing the same thing. All just for checking my on line account!

Guest's picture
Christie

We don't have any bells and whistles, we pay it in full each month, and we don't have long distance on our landline. Every little bit helps!

Guest's picture
Marcia

I got rid of my landline and that saves $70 or $80. My cell phone is very plain and I never spend more than $20 per month using it. I am not a texter either!

Guest's picture
Elle

I barely us my landline and make all long distance calls in the evening/night on my cell since it's much cheaper.

Guest's picture
Tim

I converted my plan with Verizon to a prepaid plan once my contract expired and went from paying about $95 a month + taxes and surcharges to a flat $45 per month. Yes, you have to keep using the same old phone and yes, I did have to sacrifice a bit of data allowance (which I rarely fully used before anyway), but to save over $50 a month, I think it's a fair tradeoff.

Guest's picture
Toni B

We use the Pay-as-you go plans

Donna Freedman's picture

Basic landline and pay-as-you-go phone. Lots of e-mail, too.

Guest's picture
Laura J

I use my landline for everything and use my cellphone only when out and about for emergencies. Most calls can wait until I get home, and its safer to have your phone turned off while driving.

Guest's picture
Liisa

No land line, but I'm not sure we save much with the smartphones. We have the plan that makes the most sense for us, but we could do better!

Guest's picture
Monique

I haven't had a land line for years, and I currently have no-contract cell phone service with Virgin Mobile for $25 each month. It comes with unlimited texts, 2.5 GB of data (beyond that they may throttle it) and 300 voice minutes. I never use anywhere close to all the minutes, but if I did come close, I could always call people from my home computer on Google Voice or Skype. FreedomPop has a cell phone plan for something like $7 per month if you pay for the whole year, but it relies on wifi and data to make calls, so it may not work for everybody.

Guest's picture
Alissa A

I limit my data usage and use my employee discount!

Guest's picture
Happy Love

Our landline is packaged with the internet service.

Guest's picture
Susan Smith

I save on my phone bill by bundling services with my cable and internet

Guest's picture
Dean

While I'm sure there are countless ways to save money on phone bills, I receive a 20% monthly discount through my employer. Check to see if your employer offers an employee discount with a carrier.

Guest's picture
Michele A

We ditched the landline years ago, currently we use Republic Wireless with a MotoG phone. The phone is versatile and a good size. We have their talk and text plan for $10 a month. Even adding the cost of the phone its still cheaper than most plans, even the discount ones. It works on wifi, which we already have, but will also make calls and text outside of wifi.

Guest's picture
Christine

Pay-as-you-go plan saves $30 a month...Internet is limited to 2g but I've never managed to run over in 9 months I've had the Used Iphone (from Ebay)...I use maps, email, research business addresses & read newspapers/magazines sometimes too. Video really uses up the bandwidth so I avoid it. I don't download a lot of apps either. Minutes and text are unlimited. Coverage area is really good as I have a national carrier.

Guest's picture
Mai

We don't have landlines. When my brother was in Afghanistan we skyped whenever we can (FB each other scheduled times). I also do the same for friends/family in other countries.

We also save on our cellphone bill through his company. We didn't even realized it until we mentioned where my husband worked.

Guest's picture
Amanda Sakovitz

I save by using a prepaid service

Guest's picture
Linda

I don't talk on the phone as much as I used to and we barely use the landline anymore. I only keep it because we get phone as part of a package tied to out tv/internet and those would go up if I got rid of the phone so it's cheaper to keep it.

Guest's picture
GB

We use our cell phones for all long distance calls.

Guest's picture
Diane

Republic Wireless: buy the phone and then it is $5-$40 per month (incl. taxes)

Guest's picture
Jennifer Marie

I switched to a no contract plan and am saving a lot of money!

Guest's picture
Thomas Murphy

I have a basic plan and don't use it alot to save money