With the advent of cell phones, Internet phoning and new technologies such as Skype, you can save a lot of money on long-distance (and local) calls. But it also can be confusing to navigate the myriad options and still get the best service for your buck. Consumer Reports offers some suggestions on how to save:
Try Internet phoning.
It's not as complicated as it sounds. To get started, you need something called Voice over Internet Protocol, which relays phone calls via a high-speed Internet connection. Service costs about $20 a month or more and offers unlimited local and long distance calls -- which could save you about $400 a year if you already have high-speed Internet. You'll also pay less in taxes. Check with your cable company to see if it offers a package with your cable or DSL, or try a company such as Vonage, which specializes in VoIP. Just remember, you must have an Internet connection and electricity for it to work -- so have a basic land line or cell phone as a backup.