Are you an occasional cell phone user? Send a few texts a week, maybe have a few quick calls throughout the day? If so, you may be able to save a significant amount on your monthly cell phone bill by switching to a prepaid plan.
Take a look at the last 6 months of billing on your current plan and count up the total minutes used per month. Once you've got an average minutes per month, divide your monthly bill by the average monthly minutes to calculate a per minute rate. If you're paying more than 10 cents a minute, here's how to save some coin:
1. Cancel your subscription and port your number to a T-Mobile prepaid plan. I looked at a lot of different providers, and T-Mobile offers the most value for your cell phone dollar. Stores like Target will sometimes put the T-Mobile prepaid starter kit w/ phone on sale, so you can save even more with that bundle ($100 of minutes and the phone is free).
2. Purchase a $100 card to qualify for gold rewards immediately. You'll get 1000 minutes and it will last for a year.
3. Buy your refill cards from discounters like CallingMart.com, ephonecard.com or others. With applicable coupon codes, you can consistently save $10 on a $100 card.
With this method, you will pay an effective price of 9 cents a minute. The average entry-level plan from the major providers will cost around $40/month regardless of your usage. Forget in-network/my faves, etc.-- if you use less than 445 minutes a month, you will save money with this method. Plus, you have the added benefit of no contract and no monthly bill.