Cell phone tips

Saving money and time is a big part of frugal living. These free phone services will save both time and money. Regular 411 calls are now $1.00 to $2.00 a pop. And calling a friend to find a phone number can be a pain. Take some time and program these numbers into your phone. These services will help you with directory assistance, information retrieval (stock quotes, directions, game score, etc), help you find your phone, bid on auctions on ebay, write to-do lists, give yourself a reminder in the future, and much more.

1-800-GOOG-411 – Voice Activated 411 Service
If you never got into texting this is a fast way to get the answers you need. Not only will this service look up the name and phone number for free it will also automatically call the person. This is is increadibly easy to use. Watch a video on how it works here.
*Note: This works on every kind of phone, not just cell phones.

Text GOOGLE – Text Information Retrieval
GOOGLE SMS (Text: 466453) – This text service will give you a wide array of information. Directions, weather, stock quotes, show times, and everything in between. Because it is tied to Google’s database of knowledge there is almost nothing you can’t ask.

1-800-2CHACHA – Voice Activated 411 Service
This is much like GOOG411 but it only works on cell phones. The service is nice but it’s hard to beat Google’s service.

Text CHA CHA – Text Information Retrieval

Cha Cha (Text: 242 242) – This service is much like GOOGLE. If you’re feeling a little crazy and want something different give these guys a try.

Voice to Text Organizer Service
Jott – Write down reminders, appointments, or make a list using Jott. This free service converts the things you’re saying into text for later reference. Simply call Jott and it will do all the work for you. This is very handy for the A.D.D. people out there who think about things that need to be done while they’re running around.

Lost Cellphone
WheresMyCellPhone.com – For those times you need to find your phone but don’t have another phone handy. Enter your phone number in and this free service will call your phone. Hopefully you can find it. This will also work for portable phones at your house. Any number will work.

Emergency Service
112 – Out of range, keypad locked, or traveling internationally won’t stop you from getting emergency medical assistance. Just dial 112 and you’ll be connected to the nearest emergency service provider.

Bid on eBay Auctions
UnwiredBuyer.com – Bid on ‘watched items’ in your eBay account from your cell phone. They offer additional auction updates and allow you to practice bidding. That way you won’t freeze up when the real deal comes your way.

Unlimited incoming minutes with T-Mobile
Grandcentral.com – Sign up for Grandcentral.com and a T-Mobile 5 Fav plan. When you give out your number use the Grandcentral number. Make the incoming Grandcentral number one of your Favs with T Mobile and you get free incoming minutes.

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Rock Bottom Monthly Cost: $29.07
Month-to-month cost = $29.07
Total sign up cost and 1st payment: $41.88 (they include a free month but charge a $29.99 setup fee, $9.95 for S&H, plus $2.56 for taxes).


  • The market leader. They aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
  • WiFi phones available. Make calls anywhere you can connect to a wireless (WiFi) access point.
  • You have a say in which number you get. You can pick a number with your cities prefix and you can choose from a list of four numbers after you’ve narrowed down your search.


  • Most expensive
  • No yearly plan available.
  • Some of your money will go towards the creation of even more ads.

Vonage is slightly more expensive than the others but they provide a high level of service. For the extra few dollars a month they’re probably worth the cost.

Visit Vonage

Rock Bottom Monthly Cost = $26.19

Month to Month Cost: $27.54 (After taxes and fees)
Total sign up cost and 1st payment: – $50.49

Yearly – $209.36 ($17.29/Month) – (After taxes and fees) + $29.95(activation) + $14.95 (S&H)

Total 1st Year Cost:– $254.26 ($21.19/Month) + Monthy taxes and fees (They don’t mention this until after you’ve signed up but you’ll pay an extra $4-$6 in fees even if you do the yearly sign up.


  • Selected as Best VoIP Service by Wired Magazine
  • Owned by Primus Telecommunications Group, a leading global telecommunications company with approximately $1 billion in annual revenue.


  • You don’t have any say in what number you ultimately get. After you’ve submitted your order it assigns you a number. Unlike Vonage which gives you a choice of a few options.
  • Generic prefixes instead of city specific prefixes on your phone.

If you don’t mind having a number assigned to you Lingo provides a good balance of value and service. They won’t go out of business anytime soon and they offer a yearly subscription plan.

Visit Lingo

Phone Power VoIP
Rock Bottom Monthly Cost = $14.08
Month-to-month cost: $23.39 (After taxes and fees)

Total sign up cost and 1st payment – $38.34
Yearly Cost – $238.31 (19.86 Month)

Yearly Total Cost – $253.46
Activation/Setup Fee – Free (activation) $14.95 (S&H)


  • 6 months free with Year signup. Your first 18 months could be $14.08/Month!
  • $15 Activation Fee waived for online orders.
  • Transfer Phone Number


  • They are small enough that they might go out of business (like SunRocket did).

PhonePower offers a very attractive rate for their service. The real only issue is if they can stay in business for an extended period of time. If you’re a gambling type give them a try.

Visit PhonePower

Magic Jack
Rock Bottom Monthly Cost = $3.34 (for 1st year $1.67 thereafter).

Setup + First Year = $39.99 and $19.99/year thereafter

MagicJack offers an unbelievable rate for phone service. Unlimited local and long distance calling for $20 a year! As a customer of MagicJack I would only suggest using them as a temporary or secondary phone. We used MagicJack as my primary home phone number for a few months but there were too many issues to make it work. Hopefully those issues will be fixed and I’ll give them another try. I wrote a post about my experience with them here.


  • Cheapest option hands down. No one is even close.
  • Emergency service is available


  • You must have your computer up at all times to have it work. It doesn’t connect straight to your router.
  • Customer Service is limited and only does chat.
  • Dependability as a primary phone line is spotty

Visit MagicJack

Skype - call the world at rock bottom prices

Rock Bottom Monthly Cost = $7.95 ($5.45/month the first year)

Yearly Skype Outbound service to U.S.A. & Canada – $35.40 plus $30 for an inbound number = $65.40 Year


  • Skype calls between Skype users is free any where in the world.
  • SKype has a wide selections of Skype Phones on Amazon
  • Skype is both computer and wi-fi enabled
  • Skype has no extra fees or extra monthy costs.


  • Skype is not set up for emergency service and should not replace your primary phone line.

Visit Skype

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