I'm very excited to share this with you!!
Eric and I pretty much live on bare minimum. We do, however, NEED cell phones, internet, and (very) basic cable. (I'm the one who needs the tv... Eric probably wouldn't even care if we had it or not.)
A few weeks ago I called our cable and internet provider because even though we are pretty much on the cheapest plan available, I wanted to see if I could save some more money. We are paying $9.99/month for basic cable, already discounted from $17.99/mo due to a promotion that was going on during the switch to digital tv. BUT we were paying $44.99 for our internet, which to me is crazy. I found out we weren't on the cheapest internet plan so I talked to Eric about cutting back. He wasn't willing to downgrade on speed though because he is a gamer/ we watch movies online/ whatever. I called our provider and after talking to one person for less than five minutes, I found out they had a special going on: The same internet we currently have for $29.99/mo.
Total cable and internet savings: $23/ mo
Today I called our cell phone service provider to do the same thing. We're currently on a 550 minute family plan for $59.99/mo and have 1000 text messages for $10/mo per line. That equals $79.99/ mo total (not including fees and taxes which somehow adds another $16/mo onto our bill.) The first person I talked to said he could save me money by going to unlimited text messages... and it will only cost a few dollars more a month than I already spend. He wasn't quite understanding my reason for calling. Then he told me that I already have the cheapest plan: 550 shared minutes for $59.99/mo. In fact, they didn't even offer that plan anymore. The cheapest plan now is 700 shared minutes for $69.99/mo. I asked him if I could talk to the customer retention department. He happily transferred me and after several more minutes the representative had lowered the text message part of the bill to $7.50/mo per line while increasing us to unlimited text messages! He said it was an old promo code that his department has access to. Then after several more minutes he found he was able to decrease the amount I was paying for the base plan to $49.99/mo while keeping our plan the same. The only catch was that I had to increase our contract by two years starting today, so instead of our contract being over in July 2011, it ends in April 2012. Which is fine by me because...
Total cell phone savings: $15/mo
Total savings a year on internet, cable, and cell phone service because I took a little time out of my day and made a couple of calls: $456
P.S. A while back I realized I was paying a crazy amount for electricity. I did a little digging and found that our current contract for a lower price had ended, and instead of letting me know our electricity provider raised our prices. I signed into our account online and within minutes had committed to a two year contract, thus lowering our price of electricity.
If anyone out there has tips for saving money on bills (or anything else), please share in the comments section!