$10 a month phone bill with unlimited calling.

If you have internet already, don't chat for more than a few minutes on your cell and don't mind the inconvenience of buying a phone card every two or three months, you can have a phone for around $10 a month.

How to do that.

Get a  cellular TRACFONE to just use for quick calls. (Net10 is another option but slightly more costly per month yet less per minute)

  • These can be purchased on sale for around $10 at Walgreens/Grocery Store/Walmart, etc. . or on their web site
  • Purchase a 60 minute phone card for $20.00. It's good for 3 months. 
  • Buy a phone that has a double minutes card with it and you will get 120 minutes for the same price. (Some of the more expensive Tracfones even come with triple minutes for  life.) If you want to go a step further and buy these phone cards tax free and with a small discount. get them at www.callingmart.com.
  • The discount codes given in the book that comes with your Tracfone are ok but not the best deal. To find better deals go to Fat Wallet or preprepaid.com

For longer calls use the internet.

  • Find the option that best fits you.
    • Google voice: This is a complete free phone number, answering services and much more. This is what I use for free at home and on my iPad/iTouch when paid with the talk atone app.

    • Skype: Depending on what plan you choose this can be free to a few dollars a month. You can also do video calling with them.

    • OOMA: This is more expensive ($180) to start with but it will allow you to make free U.S. calls and low international rates. You do have to pay local and fed taxes which come to about $5 a month. It also has an app for Android, iPad, iPhone, or iTouch.

    • Magicjack: No computer required. Can use this when you travel. 

    • FaceTime: If both parties have apple devices you can do video talks for free over wi-fi.

    • There are numerous other options.
If you are low income you can get a free phone with 250 free minutes every month through SafeLink. To qualify you must have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines, or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP).
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8).
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
  • The National School Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF).
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
  • Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met).
  • Other assistance programs in your state.
If you participate in any of these programs the sign up is very simple and fast as they have that info available to them.