Saving Money on Your Cellphone

Tips for saving money on cellphones as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.

Check For Coverage

The main thing you have to be careful of with a cellphone company is whether or not you'll have good coverage. In some areas where I live, Cingular doesn't have good coverage.


By Pat Giles

Cancellation Policy

When signing up for a cellphone or changing companies always know what the cancellation policy is. Find out how long you have to cancel the service if the coverage is not what it needs to be. You don't want to end up having a phone for two years that only works on your front porch.

Go To The Store

Last month I was in the market for a new cellphone and a new cellphone carrier so I went online looking for the best deal. For various reasons I was unable to complete an order online and ended up going directly to a Cingular store (one managed by Cingular). They matched the deal I found online plus gave me an addition rebate on each phone. They were also able to transfer my existing numbers, something that was not allowed with the online retailers offer.


By Fisher

Use Your House Phone Whenever Possible

The cell phone I have is one of my daughter's. I have to be extra careful of minutes, especially since a recent month when I caused them to go way over. I use my cell as a phone book, so I can find numbers I need quickly. Most people who have cells also have a 'house phone'. So, my tip is when at home, use the house phone for all calls that are not free on your cell phone. I use mine to find the number, then I call on house phone.

By Linda

Cancel Your Landline

If you have a good coverage with your cellphone, consider canceling your land line or cutting down the services you have. For example, just get the minimum phone at home, with no long distance. Then use your cellphone for long distance. Cancel services like caller ID, voicemail and call waiting on your land line as well.


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September 12, 20080 found this helpful

Be very careful if you chose to discontine your land line. If you have a security service, you need the land line for it to operate. But you can talk to the phone company and sign up for a basic program. Then use your cell as you main phone.
Saw a very well done TV news program on this very subject. You also need to keep in mind, you may need a land line in case of emergency. Do keep an eye open for one of the older Princess type phones. If there is an emergency as we had at 9/11 the only phones that would work were the old non digital types. I keep one in with my emergency supplies as a "just in case".

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By denise w (Guest Post)
September 12, 20080 found this helpful

Our whole family lives all over the US and we all have the minimum through verizon. I pay 100 month and I have 3 phones and my son has texting which is included.


We have 700 airtime minutes and nights after 9.00 pm and weekends are free. we never go over our minutes cause the son has text. I think this is a great deal!

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September 13, 20080 found this helpful

We also use Tracfones (I just bought my 16-year-old one). A prepaid plan is the best way I can think of to avoid "surprises" on the bill. By having to pay by the minute, we tend to think before dialing--and are avoiding becoming "addicted". Nothing bothers me more than people with a phone glued to their ear! What ever happened to delaying gratification, making up your own mind, etc.?

We both have the "double minutes for life" plan, and I buy my minutes cards at Sam's Club, which, all in all makes it around ten cents a minute.


Coverage tends to be good, since you are using whatever service is available. I buy the daughter a certain amount of "units", beyond that, they're her responsibility.

Works for us!

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September 13, 20080 found this helpful

i logged on to the tracphone web site and got an account with them. i now get e-mails with codes so i can get free min.s whenever i add them to the phone. this has saved me a lot of money. if you don't get a code for the time that you need to add min.s (I don't always get one when i need one) all you have to do is type tracphone codes in your search thing and it will take you to where someone who has gotten the codes for that month has posted them on line.


I call and add minutes with my land line and the last time they added 2 times as much free time as I would have gotten if I had gotten my min.s on line. that saved me a lot of money. i hope that this has helped you!

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September 14, 20080 found this helpful

If you have kids, you probably need cell phones to stay in touch. That's life today.

But I'm keeping my landline phone. If someone steals my cellphone or I lose it, there goes my personal info and schedule and whatnot. Nobody's going to break into my house and steal my landline phone.

And at home I'm never outside of coverage, I don't have to worry about "bars" and minutes, and, best of all, my purse doesn't ring and interrupt meetings and conversations because I've forgotten to put it on vibrate. How many meetings I've been in where someone says she's waiting for a phone call from a child to be picked up from school, and the leader says put it on vibrate, as if it's a new idea. And how many conversations have been interrupted by unnecessary cell phone calls. How rude. All too often it screams look-at-me-I'm-important.

I sign up for the no-junk-phone-calls list and I also make it clear to people I don't want to be on anyone's speed dial. Sure, it sounds cranky, and it simplifies my life. I don't want to be ruled by a little electronic device.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
September 15, 20080 found this helpful

Be careful of "Bundling" your services. Several years back we had a severe power outage that lasted over a week in our area. The problem many people had was they had gotten rid of their regular phones & "bundled" their phone services with the cable company. When you have a power outage because of flood, earthquake, tornado, ice or wind storm your power will likely go down for many days & you'll need to have a real PLUG IN, old-fashioned landline phone that works without electricity. A computer phone like Vonage will not work & your cell phone won't stay charged & the cell towers were over worked anyway so many couldn't get through. Your electric "portable" phone land-line won't work, only the PLUG IN type of phone with the cord that's attached directly to the wall will work if the power is out.

Yes, of course you can still charge your cell phone in your car, but we found it was even difficult to get gas for our cars because the gas stations didn't have power to pump the gas. Also, these days they are getting rid of many of the pay phones in our area because they think they are only used for drugs & no one needs them anymore. Unfortunately, pay phones were the only way for many to communicate in our power emergency.

If you know a storm or hurricane is coming, please charge your cell phones ahead of time & buy an emergency charger for $20 before hand, just in case. Also, before you decide to bundle cable services & get rid of your landline phone, think twice! You may just need it in an emergency! Also, like "doccat5" mentioned previously, If your home phone is a portable plug-in type, then buy yourself a plug-in phone ahead of time because they were all sold out during our power outage!

One last thing, I totally agree with Jantoo... I LOVE my land-line phone... This way if I'm out shopping, or what not, I can do my thing in peace. No one is constantly bugging me with phone calls & if I REALLY need to call someone, I keep quarters for the pay phone on hand just in case. This way I have no contracts to worry about & no extra monthly phone bills. But, being that I drive a 15 year old car, I do have to admit, that having a prepaid cell phone could be handy if my car broke down.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

Ok many ways to conserve money with cell phones. First if you have non traditional phone service power outages are NOT a problem. Those devices do not take a lot of power. Get a decent sized battery backup to power the modem router and phone device while the power is out.

The Price difference between a land line and something like say Vonage will PAY for the battery backup AND a small generator off or craigslist in LESS than a year!

Next cell phones. unless you REALLY HONESTLY never use a phone that much you will never ever in your life save money with a prepaid phone.

WHen giving a phone to grandma? go Virgin Mobil. $20 gets you a phone (go with the black and white candybar phone if you can find it they will go 6 months between charges if you leave it off) and $80 gets you 12 months of service (around 360 minutes) which is nice.

For everyone else if you can go metroPCS thre basic $35 plan has unlimited Minutes (NOT good if you travel out of your local area GREAT if you tend to stay put) $40 adds unlimited texting.

Any telephone that does not come with a power plug will work on a regular line service. Some cordless phone even keep space batteries in the base AND WILL USE those batteries to power the base if the power goes out Pretty nice.

Also do not let them fool you. If you need VERY basic services its $21 a month (you pay for EVERY call though) May be able to go even cheaper if you drop off "tone" dialing. switch to PULSE to dial out switch back to "tone" if you need to enter numbers in answering systems etc..

You can almost always get a better deal IN the store if your smart because online you either take it or leave it THERE ball game BUT in the store that sales person "WANTS" your sale he gets a commission or "spiff" for making that sale. He may work a lot harder for you. While the pricing on plans is usually fixed you might score an accessory or two or free texting or something like that. always shop around.

ALSO get a generator! they are NOT expensive if you shop around on craigslist etc.. I scored big time and got a 6500watt genset for $180 !! wow $700 generator. Have had to use it a few times already worked great.

All the time I see under $100 gensets. these are small 1500 watt units etc.. but thats ok. Thats enough run a fridge laptop your router equipment (phone etc..) and a few CFL or LED lights. Be sure what the CONTINUOUS rating is not the "surge" rating. you want at least 1500watt 2000watt would be prefered. if you want to run some serious stuff (multiple freezers fans tv's computers etc.. you need more power but for just a few thing the smaller units are fine and can be had cheap. Ideally you want to run it at 50% load they are usually rated to run 11-12 hours on a tank of gas at 50% load.

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By Cresanna (Guest Post)
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

Look into Consumer Cellular. It's a no-contract plan and my parents & I LOVE it! Very reasonable rates. I share a plan with my parents and pay less than the cheapest plan I can find anywhere else. I've had good coverage too.

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January 10, 20160 found this helpful

had our phone line downgraded to internet service only. (much cheaper) then when the bill came in, looked and the # was on it. The phone will work for emergency (911) calls and ALL incoming even while connected to internet. so I give that # out as my home # now. let the answer machine answer , and be amazed how many unwanted calls cut down.

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