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  1. Look at your cell phone bills from the past few months. How much of what you're paying for do you actually use? Plug your bill information (usage, phone type, and ideal plan) into comparison websites like Whistleout and MyRatePlan to compare suggested plans from your own phone ompany and others.
  2. Not quite ready to switch networks? Call your provider and ask how you can trim your bill. Phone companies are always introducing new plans, and your current company might offer a package comparable to what you already have for less. You have even more leverage if you're close to the end of your contract, when the company is likely to work harder to keep you. You could save $360 per year just by asking what deals are available!
  3. The WhatsApp and Google Hangouts mobile-messaging apps let you communicate via your data network or Wi-Fi. The savings are worth it. Sprint, for example, charges $30 per month for unlimited texting–which means you could sock away $360 per year.
  4. Instead of paying for pricey international cell phone or data service, use Skype to connect to most international cell and land lines. For example, you can call U.K. landlines for $4 (for 400 minutes) per month, compared with $10 for monthly international cell phone plans. 
  5. Racking up big billing penalties for using up all your data before the end of the month? Instead of shelling out for more data, look closely at your data habits, either using your phone's settings or free apps like My Data Manager (iOS) and Onavo Count (Android).
  6. Consider getting a contract-free plan—even though you have to buy your phone up front, sometimes it can be cheaper in the long run than committing to a two-year contract. Here are some of our favorite budget options:   Pay as you go: Ting Ting charges you only for what you use. Zero calls, zero data but a ton of texts? That's $11 a month (for up to 1,000 messages).  
  7. For multiple-phone families, getting everyone together on a family plan rather than individual cell phone service contracts is an excellent savings option. The more lines you have on one plan, the greater the discount per line. For example, T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan charges $80 per month for two lines, while four lines on the same plan cost $100 (paying $25 per line rather than $40).  
  8. Some networks like Republic Wireless and Scratch Wireless use "hybrid calling" phones, which rely on Wi-Fi but can use cellular networks as a backup. Your monthly bill could be non-existent! The catch? If you don't have reliable Wi-Fi access, you'll find that your smartphone won't work, period. Plus, you'll have to shell out upwards of $350 up front for a midrange phone.   
  9. Unless you're truly prone to accidents, don't bother buying cell phone insurance. Most plans add between $4-$8 a month to your bill, not counting your deductible (what you'd pay to replace your device), which is often up to $100. According to Consumer Reports, only one in five of their readers bought a new phone because their old one was lost, stolen, or broken. That's an extra $96 dollars a year towards insurance you most likely won't need!   
  10. Finally, if you can't even remember the last time you picked up your home phone, consider discontinuing your landline service and going cell-only. If your landline phone bill is normally $50 per month, you can save hundreds this year in services and fees. Not sure about cutting the cord completely? Switch to an Internet phone such as Ooma ($150) and all you'll pay are monthly taxes and fees of about $5. 
  11. Through Amazon's Subscribe and Save service, get stuff you know you need (such as diapers and toilet paper) monthly at a discount and save at least $40 per year.
  12. Going for the fish in the freezer case—rather than at the seafood counter—lops up to 40 percent off the price, making a cod fillet as much as $3.20 cheaper per pound. If your family of four eats fish once per week, you pocket almost $125 annually!   Plus: The Correct Way to Freeze Everything »
  13. DIY alternatives–most can be made from a combo of baking soda, white vinegar, hand soap, lemon juice and tea tree oil–will save $40 a year.   Plus: Easy and Affordable Homemade Cleaning Products »