Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Do you have an extra clock in your home? Place it near the phone. Just watching the minutes tick away will remind you to keep those long distance conversations short!
We've been using One Suite for over a year now. The way it works is you are given an 800 number and can set up your home number as a default. The cost is 2.9 cents a minute (there is no service charge). The minimum order is $10.00.
It has saved us hundreds of dollars in long distance over the year. You can order over the internet and recharge when your minutes get lean. They tell you how many minutes are left each time you call. What we do is put the 800 number in our memory dial on the phone.
Before we started with One Suite, we kept getting slammed by long distance providers. Our special 7 cents a minute Sprint service (plus a monthly service charge) was taken over by a slammer and they were charging us 25 cents a minute plus a service charge.
We have cut long distance service to our phone for both local and out of state long distance. (You have to call the phone company to do this. Make sure you tell them you don't want either.) This has made our monthly bill cheaper, too. Logs of who you called and how much time you used are available on their website. (20 minutes x 2.9¢ per minute = $0.58)
The only drawback that I have found with this service is that there system goes down from time to time. It has happened very often but there has been a couple times when I was unable to reach the number in the last year. Not enough to sour me on the service.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I get free nights and weekends, eliminating the need to pay for long distance. Plus, I get caller ID free on the phone. I have T-mobile service and save a ton.
Editor's Note: There is a website like this that I have used for a number of years called OneSuite.com. You have to dial a long number to call long distance but you can program it into your phone.
I have never had a problem with them, their customer service is excellent and I have had them for two years now.
By Fran Marie
Another option is to use email and written letters in place of phone calls some of the time.
P.S. The man at the phone company didn't even know if we "had" to have a long distance carrier. He had to put me in touch with a customer care rep.
I also save money on long distance and don't have to by calling cards. And I can beat the vonage price I use SKYPE on my computer and I pay $24.99 for long distance calls anywhere for a Year That's right $ 24.99 for the year. My landline service for long distance was out of this world. And the town I live in only has one phone company so just about any call I make is long distance. Now you can't beat that.
I buy calling cards from a salvage store. They are 67 minutes for $1.50. Work out great. So I buy a bunch of them at a time.
I bought a phone card at Costco for 19.99 then add money when I want too. I've added as little as $5 at a time. It takes a few phone calls to get my pin number memorized and it drives my husband crazy WHEN he make a phone call but other than that we save. Our monthly bill is for basic local service at $24.99.
Tip for Senior Citizens on low income....check your local phone company for Life Line service. It is based on your income, but will cut your phone service about in half. My 85 year old mother uses this, and her bill is about $14.00 a month. She also doesn't have a Long Distance carrier. Another phone company (AT&T) feature is measured service. If you don't make a lot of outgoing calls it will save money since you are not charged for incoming calls, and pay a pennies per minute for outgoing local calls, but it greatly reduces your base phone bill.
Personally, we only have a single line with no extras (except CallWave) and no long distance carrier. I discontinued that when they began to charge $2.00 a month whether I use Long Distance Service or not. Actually, most of my family members have computers and internet service, and we keep in contact by emails, and also by Yahoo Messenger. We have a son in Missouri and a daughter in Utah, and we "talk" to them almost daily on Messenger. Also still have the cell phones on our sons family plan. So phone bills are no longer a big problem here. In fact, if I didn't need the phone line for my internet service, I would disconnect it completely, but we are in an area that so far has nothing to offer except dial-up or satellite, and that is a little more than we wish to pay.
Harlean from Arkansas
I just found this sight yesterday & got this email about saving on Long Distance. We have a cell phone for long distance, but I think the info here is more cost effective.
Does anyone know what Dean may mean about buying phone cards at a Salvage Store? I wonder if he means a store where they buy items from stores going out of business.
I buy phone cards at the Dollar Tree. For one dollar you get 30 minutes. I use very little long distance at home since I have a cell. But my hubby is hard of hearing and the cell just does not work for him so he has to use the land line for calling family in another county. Hope this helps someone!
Post By Dean (Guest Post) (07/20/2007)
I buy calling cards from a salvage store. They are 67 minutes for $1.50. Work out great. So I buy a bunch of them at a time.
I'm new here, so this is my first post.
I wonder what Dean meant when he said he got calling cards from a salvage store? Could that be a store that buys out other retailers?
I have an all-inclusive phone plan....... at home, so I can call long-distance as needed without having to keep track of every little minute I'm on the phone.
And for when I'm out, I do have a prepaid cell phone for emergencies only!!! If someone finds themselves home most of the time...... this would work well.
Use Skype! Skype.com. I use it, it's awesome. $30.00 for unlimited calling to anywhere in the USA for a whole year! I can call landlines and cell phones. it's awesome! (no i don't work for skype, but i love it!)
I have to have a landline b/c I don't get cell service at my place. Even worse, I live JUST over the line from one A/C and another, so ALL my calls from home are long distance!
I ditched AT&T and got Unitel instead. I spend between $1 and $4 a month now on long distance! I don't use it much, but that used to be $20-30!
Seeking angels on earth who can help me. I need advice and opinions on the most reasonably priced, clearest reception, easiest to understand, and most reliable way of communicating long-distance, without having to worry about the expense each and every time I make a phone call. In other words, a specific cell phone carrier, Magic Jack, etc.
For me, it is long-distant to call any of my family; and I stay constantly depressed because of it, as my better judgment tells me, "I just cannot afford those individual phone calls." I even bought a Magic Jack 3 months ago, but have yet to hook it up. Because of so much negative feedback, I'm almost afraid to try it. Should I?
Someone please help to put my mind at ease, by sharing with me your own advice, opinions and/or personal experiences. I will be forever grateful. Thanks in advance, dear web friends.
Earthly Angel Mom
By Lois Jean from Brandenburg, KY
We use Verizon and have a set rate for our bil . All my family lives long distance away and I too had bills that I wanted to hide. Now no mater how much I talk (and I'm gabby!) my bill stays the same. They told me that unless I abused it (meaning used it for a business I quess) it wouldn't go up. You can go on the Verizon web site and read all about it. I don't know anything about Magic Jack.
Magic Jack is a good way to spend your money wisely assuming you have a decent internet connection and a computer. The call quality is good, but you need to use a computer to connect the Magic Jack to; without a computer, there is no phone.
There is a new product marketed by Nettalk (http://www.nettalk.com/) where you can get lifetime unlimited calls for $99.95. The nice thing about this product is that you can hook it up to your computer or directly to your internet modem. I have done some research on 2 different forums and people are pretty happy about it. So I am planning to get this product for myself.
I don't have long distance on my phone. I use prepaid phone cards for long distance. They cost more per minute, but when one is used up that's it for the month. A lot of people that I know have cell phones with a large amount of free minutes to be used at certain times.
What I have found that works for me is Verizon. Here are the highlights and some tips.
First - anyone you call who has Verizon as well is free. Period.
Second - they have free calls at night and all day weekends.
Third - they have the coverage. I had AT&T when I moved to Tennessee and in my new location I had no signal, and in many places in TN I had no coverage. Verizon did.
I highly recommend, no matter what service you buy, BUY your phone out right. I went into the store and asked if they had a used phone I could buy and they had 4 or 5. Perfectly good phones turned in for trade.
By purchasing your phone you don't have to have a contract (usually for two years). In a contract you have to pay the amount every month whether you can afford it or not. Off a contract you can cancel your service for a month if you need to and start it again later.
This would have saved me a lot of cash when I was laid up in a hospital for 6 months. I was paying for a phone I wasn't using.
And if you happen to go abroad to a country that has no service for your phone you can stop your service.
If you're a senior you can get a discounted monthly service. If you have an elderly relative that trusts you, get the phone in there name for the discounted service but use your address so you get the bills. Be responsible.
I use my local cable company for a basic 'bundle'. That includes land line phone with 24/7 long distance in all fifty states and Canada plus caller ID and call waiting. It also includes high speed cable for my computer and oodles of TV channels. All three services cost $115.00 a month (including all taxes) total and the price is good for one year. One month before the year is up I call the cable company and let them know I can't afford a rate raise and they extend the same price for another year. I've not had a rate raise in three years ;-)
I have taken long distance off my regular phone provider. The lowest rate they had was about 15 cents per minute and a long distance fee of about $3.00 per month. I now buy Long Distance calling cards. Sometimes they are on sale 2 for 1. The minutes (including sales tax) come out to about 3 cents. Watch because some cards must be used within a year from your first call. Be careful when you renew card because they charge more than I originally paid. So just buy new cards when on sale to keep on hand.
I use Vonage. They have free long distance. I only pay about $33.00 a month. You also get free caller ID and free call waiting. You have to have high speed internet in order to use it. It hooks up to your computer. I have not had any problems with it.
I have a friend in Texas who can not call long distance. She calls me hangs up and I call her back on my cell phone. It is legal as far as I know. I have many extra roll over minutes so I can call her with no charge to her home phone. It works for us.
The Magic Jack is easy to use. Just plug into your computer and plug the phone line into the Magic Jack device. It will download and give you a phone number.You have to answer a couple of questions so it will know what area code to give you. But, it has a drawback! Whoever calls you will be charged with the call unless they have long distance on their home phone or they can use a cell phone. I just tell my family and friends to call, I won't answer, and I call them back. Problem solved.
I too use pre-paid calling cards for long distance. Presently I can ring London for 1.8 cents/min; no connection fee; no maintenance feel. I put the 'access' number in Memory and it's just one push of the button to connect. Been doing this for years. Just do a search on-line for 'best pre-paid long distance card' [or International].
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
To save on my phone bill I had the phone company eliminate my long distance capability from my phone. I then purchased a MCI phone card from Costco $19.95 for 600 minutes. This card allowed me to call at any time for the same price.The time that it took me to dial in my extra numbers took less than a minute.
I also saved on the taxes that would have been charged to me by my local phone company on top of the long distance charge. I was able to keep track of what numbers were or were not long distance.
I can recharge the phone card when needed for the same cost. I also gave my teenage daughter a card so that she can learn to budget her time. The savings have been tremendous for our family as I have been doing this for over a year.
This is a good tip if you have trouble with long conversations. However make sure that you read the fine print carefully. You'll see that most cards charge extra minutes for certain countries, states, etc. The card should come with a list that says which countries 1 minute = 1 minute and which countries 1 minutes = 2-6 minutes. Make sure you know before you call. (02/23/2005)
I use an internet service called onesuite.com which is like a calling card. There is a 800 number to call which has been programmed into my memory phone on 0. So the only thing I do different is dial "memory 0" before making the long distance call. The cost is under 3 cents a minute for anywhere in the US any day/anytime, and although I do not call outside the country, the prices listed on the site seem cheap to me.
There are no other fees and you can look up your account to see how many minutes you talked to who and when. It can be recharged online in a choice of denominations and can either be programmed to recognize your phone/phones as the pin or you can dial it in if you are not home. Great savings and very convenient. (02/24/2005)
If you have cable internet, try this site: vonage.com
We have phone service from them. It is unbelievably cheap. (02/24/2005)
I checked out the vonage.com and I like the fact that they offer call waiting, caller ID, and others for free. As far as the plans go, some months I will not use 500 minutes and other months I could use more so I still would be paying the monthly fee. With the MCI card from Costco, I pay 2.99 cents per minute within the US anytime any day. I know how many minutes I have each time I make a call. I keep my card in a pocket I made in front of of my address/phone book. This way I know where it is at all times. (02/25/2005)
I got a MagicJack, it is unbelievable. It works great. You need High Speed Internet to use this.(10/29/2008)
By Joan Dykes