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Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?

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My wife and I are evaluating our budget every way we can. Work currently pays for my phone but that will most likely be changing very soon. We both have smart phones and the bill for my wife's phone alone is ~$90/month. When we add my phone the plan will most likely go up to ~$140/month (Verizon).

When we really look at it we don't need smart phones. They are really nice and convenient for sure, but do I need to be able to check Facebook during the day or buy something off Amazon while I'm out and about? In reality most of the stuff that we use our phones for can wait until we are home and can use the WiFi or computer. The biggest utility I'll miss will be Google Maps but again that can be mitigated with planning beforehand.

We're looking at going back to 'dumb phones' and even considering going prepaid. At home we could use Skype over WiFi with our old phones (we have enough lying around) to talk to people or even look into something like Magic Jack or a similar VoIP offering. I realize we'll be going back to the 'stone age' by most people's standards but then we're not like most people in that we prep and plan, right?

If you've done something similar what have you done? What carriers do you use? If you've gone prepaid what do you use for a phone in your home that doesn't get metered by minutes? What other suggestions might you have for reducing cell phone bills?

Maybe check out ting (not my referral link....just a big fan of DC)?  We've considered switching, but the coverage map isn't the best for us.

Interesting idea. Coverage is good for my area. Biggest drawbacks I see are losing our numbers, it appears that you need their SIM card and from what I read you don't get to keep your existing number.

switch to pre-paid phones, i have a verizon pre-paid with unlimited min/data for $55/month. i expect your smart phone would also work on a pre-paid plan. and you can keep your #s

Definitely get away from the big two and buy a phone outright. Any of the alternate carriers will be a better deal. Definitely look at coverage maps. Most use either the TMobile network or the AT&T network and buy their time from them. Cricket, Ting, maybe even TracPhone (which has a few android phones you can use wifi on or prepay for only the data you want). 

If you plan on using your old smart phones, be sure to contact your carrier now and get them to unlock them. AT&T will do it if you explain you'll be traveling internationally and will need to use a local SIMM card. I've never tried with verizon.

And no, you don't have to lose your number. You just have to start your new service before canceling your old service. They can transfer without a SIMM card. It's a change in federal law that allows you to retain your number.


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