Saving Money with Your Mobile or Cell Phone

January 9, 2014

IbottaJust a year ago, Time Magazine cited a CTIA Wireless Association survey that found the average American monthly cell phone bill to be around $47. What you talking about there, Willis?

I don’t know about you, but our family of four pays way more than that for our monthly service. Granted we have three Smartphones on the line and, because we have two teenagers, we have bumped up our data plans and unlimited minutes/texting to avoid overages. All of that costs extra money.

When it comes to saving money on cell phone costs, I know a handful of people who are looking to switch to prepaid plans or those without two-year commitments. I’m thinking specifically about Virgin Mobile and Cricket Wireless.

Coincidentally, I recently received a tip sheet from the folks at Cricket Wireless on saving money using your cell phone. Some of the tips rang true to me and had me thinking about other tips I could come up with on how your mobile phone can save you money–save money, that is, on other purchases you need to make. What I came up with was this–that all the tips involved apps, meaning you have to have a Smartphone to take advantage of these tips.

Considering that a Pew Internet survey found that more than half of all Americans (56%) have a Smartphone, I’d say the majority of Suddenly Frugal readers can benefit from these money saving apps and tips:

  • Gas Buddy: More than 22 million drivers report gas prices whenever they fill up their cars. The app uses this data to tell you which gas stations in your area have the most affordable prices.
  • Coupon Sherpa: Allows you to store coupons for your favorite stores and local businesses on your phone. To redeem, simply show the saved coupons at the cash register. I need to give this a try. Currently, I have the app on my phone but I’ve yet to use it.
  • Ibotta: Gives you an opportunity to earn cash every time you shop at a participating store, such as Walmart or Target. It’s very simple. Once you download the Ibotta app, select a product and perform a task–like tweeting about the brand, learning a fact, or even watching a brief video. As a result, you will receive a set amount of cash back with your verified purchase. I hear tons of other frugal-living bloggers talking about how much they’ve made using Ibotta. I guess it’s time for me to finally add that app to my phone.
  • Muve Music: This is an app for Cricket Wireless customers only to enjoy access to more than 16 million tracks anytime–even offline or out of network–as part of their mobile data plan, without using your data allotment or incurring additional charges. This is for Android phones only.
  • Foursquare: While I’m not as diligent as other Smartphone users is checking in on Foursquare whenever I visit a store, restaurant, or business, nearly every time I do, I save money. Usually some kind of discount pops up on my phone that lets me save on a restaurant bill or a clothing purchase.

How are you using your cell phone or mobile apps for saving money in 2014?

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2 Responses to Saving Money with Your Mobile or Cell Phone

  1. Amanda on January 9, 2014 at 10:23 am

    We use Net10 for our service. They have an unlimited plan for $45 per month, no contract. I’ve also looked into FreedomPop which has a free plan and even lower monthly prices. They use the Sprint network which we don’t have in our area or I would have switched.

    • Leah Ingram on January 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Does this include for a Smartphone/data usage and unlimited texting? How is the coverage as far as making and receiving calls and not having them drop?

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