Last updated on February 4th, 2020 at 03:21 pm
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Okay so technically an iPod & a Pay As You Go Tracfone don’t actually make a smartphone, but they do come pretty close.
I can call and text people whenever I want from wherever I want (Tracfone has great coverage in my area). When I am in a free Wi-Fi hot spot I can check e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I can update my Facebook status, pin a pin to Pinterest, upload a photo to Instagram and perhaps even watch a short Swagbucks video clip to earn some points on the go.
Yes I know that if I had an actual smartphone I could use a data package and check all these things with out the need of a free Wi-Fi spot but have you noticed all the places with free Wi-Fi lately? Target, Lowes, Kohls, Starbucks, McDonald’s and on and on the list goes including most shopping centers. Truthfully beside when I am in my car or watching a child’s soccer game I am usually in a free Wi-Fi hotspot at least 75% of the time I am not at home.
I suppose if I had a data package I could posts pictures of my son’s soccer kick automatically, but then again perhaps not being able to do that makes me concentrate on the game and I don’t really think my Instagram followers care that the picture was taken an hour ago and not 10 seconds ago.
Our family actually owns 3 Tracfones and only I carry a iPod in addition to my cell. The other 2 people quite frankly don’t understand the draw of constantly checking social media or using coupon apps. All together we pay just under $400 every January buying year long service cards with enough minutes to last us all the entire year. If you do a bit of math you will realize that means we spend under $11 a month per cell phone.
How do we keep our bill so low?
1. We have pay As You Go Plans through Tracfone
For our area Tracfone is the most economical choice with great coverage. At 3 texts per minute and minutes for just a few pennies each when you buy the big one year cards and purchase triple minute cells you can’t beat it.
2. We buy the once a year card giving us 365 days of service and plenty of minutes
These cards also provide us with enough minutes for of us to make it through the year.
3. We have triple minute for life phones
Which means whatever minutes are printed on the card we buy get tripled pushing our cost per minute lower.
4. We text rather than talk whenever possible
A text is worth 1/3 of a minute, meaning we can receive or send 3 texts for 1 minutes worth of service.
5. We don’t talk a lot
If we want to have a long conversation we use our home phone, which cost us $18 a month, and gives us peace of mind that all our children have a way to call us 24/7 in case of emergency.
6. We rarely send photos
Photos cost us around 2 minutes each to send and receive, and none of our phones take very good pictures, so we just don’t use this feature much.
7. I use my iPod a lot
Whenever I am in a free Wi-Fi area I use my iPod to send non time sensitive messages to my friends through Facebook rather than pay for a text. I have also used my facetime App or Messages App to call and text people for free in Wi-Fi areas.
However I will confess..
Even though more and more businesses are offering free Wi-Fi I do get smartphone envy now and again, mostly when I am out yard sale shopping and would love to see if an item would go for more on eBay, but I don’t think those few times I crave one would make it worth the monthly cost.
How about you? How do you keep your family’s phone plans low cost?
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.