Published on November 21, 2008, by

People are ditching land line phone service in droves, but for those of us who still need it there are a few things you can do to reduce the monthly charges.

First, make sure you’re not overbuying service. If your local phone company is like ours (Verizon), then their default plan includes unlimited local phone calls. This is usually more than folks need, but don’t count on the phone company to mention that they probably offer cheaper metered plans that include a parcel of local minutes for a lower monthly fee. As with many things in the land of Cheap, it can’t hurt to call and ask if you can downgrade.

Also, be sure you’ve ditched any add-on services that can push up your monthly bill quite a bit. We find caller ID indispensable at nearly any price, but can do without annoying call waiting, which is only a service to those calling you. And if you’re paying the phone company for overpriced voice mail service, consider getting a modern cordless phone system with digital answering for the same features and no monthly fee.

Finally, for those long distance calls you’re not making with a cell phone, look into a cheap alternative long distance provider. Their rates are almost certainly cheaper than your local phone company’s rates for both in-state and interstate calls.