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Check with your local telephone company to see if you qualify for one of its low-cost plans. Most phone companies offer a discount plan to the elderly or needy. Usually the plan is just basic local phone service and the cost ranges around $10 to $20 per month. If you apply for a plan for the needy, you may have to prove your income to qualify.
Research some of the VoIP services to see if there is one that suits your needs. Magic Jack has a one-time start-up fee (to buy the device) and then a low-cost annual rate of about $35 per year as of 2014. You must have a quality Internet connection, so some people consider using it only as a second line.
Skype is another VoIP service that
is available at little or no cost. Google offers free calling over its Gmail email service. Long distance charges are generally free or very cheap with VoIP.
Ask your cable or Internet provider if they have telephone service they can package with your other service. You may be able to combine cable television, phone service and high-speed Internet and save that way.
Consider eliminating land-lines from your home altogether. As an alternative, if you want to keep a land-line phone in your home for emergencies when cell service may be compromised, you may want to make all of your long distance phone calls from your cell phone and only use your land line phone for local calls. Many wireless companies have affordable packages that include calls from the U.S. all over the country or all over the world.