Category Archives: Frugal Tips

How to have a Free Home Phone

Frugal FridaysWelcome to the Frugal Friday edition of MTOM.  As you all know, I’ve made saving money, one of my life-long goals…it’s an addictive hobby to say the least.  Today I’ll show you how you can have a free home phone.  Yes I did say “free”….after you’ve followed my explicit directions below, you won’t have to pay a dime to have a free home phone.

I know what some of you are saying…”Having a home phone is so antiquated” or “everyone uses their cell phone instead of a home phone these days”.   I agree for the most part with this line of thought, however, there are still plenty of people who insist on having a home phone or would get a home phone if they knew they could have it for free.  My parents, for example, have always insisted on having a home phone…they’ve had the same phone number for almost 20 years and they are still paying AT&T (complete choice package) to have it.  They are one in a countless pool of baby boomers who still insist on having a home phone. 

The reason that I have this free home phone is that I’m thinking about going down to a $10/mo. cell phone plan through Airvoice Wireless, which I’ll explain in a future post.

So basically, to get this free home phone, you must have high speed internet (wireless) through your phone or cable company because your free home phone will be through the internet (VOIP). 

The instructions below are simple and easy:

1) Sign-up for Highspeed DSL/Broadband through your local phone company like ATT or through your cable company (use must have a router for wireless service)

2) Get your free home phone number through Google Voice.  You will have to have a gmail account. There are other VOIP services that you can sign up for such as Call Centric, but I’m not sure if the service is free.  I used Google Voice.

3) You will need to purchase a telephone VOIP adapter.  I used OBIHAI (OBI100).  It wasn’t expensive….about $35 if purchased through   You can plug any type of phone into this adapter.  I purchased a VTECH wireless cordless phone system through Wal-mart as well.  One quick note worth mentioning.  Google Voice does not allow you to make 911 calls, however, you can pay $12/yr. through Anveo, who has partnered up with OBI.Click on this link to find out more.  Or you could just use your cell phone to make emergency calls. 

You So there you have it.  If you follow the simple instructions from above, you’ll be talking on your free home phone in no time.

Frugal Friday: Introducing the Coupon Czarina

Frugal FridaysWelcome to the Frugal Friday edition of My Take on Money.  Every Friday my goal is to bring you exciting ways to save money. 

We all know that one of the best ways to save some hard earned dough is through couponing.  Couponing is not new…it’s been around for years but it really didn’t get popular until TLC kicked it up a notch with the Extreme Couponing reality shows.  Of course, you don’t have to go to the extreme to save money these days.  If you coupon responsibly and only buy what you need, when it goes on sale, then you can reasonably shave 50-75% off of your grocery bill every time you shop.  However, there’s an art to couponing as it takes strategic planning and some perseverance but in the end, it’s very rewarding to see the grocery bill drop in half at the cash register….it’s honestly like an adrenaline rush.

But anyway, check out these great deals from my friend, the Coupon Czarina.

In her own words…

Well I went to CVS and loaded up on Dial Body wash (they have some great new scents out now), Rightguard Bodywash and Deodorant and Pantene shampoo; let’s do the breakdown:

Dial Bodywash—2 for $7, $2 off 2 coupon, and $2 in EB (limit one on this deal) had a CVS coupon for $2 any Body wash.

Right Guard – 2 for $6, $2 off 2 coupon, $2 in EB (6 items was the limit on this so I got 6 products because I had many coupons; 4 body washes and 2 deodorants)

Pantene Shampoo— 2 for $7, $3 off 2, $1 in EB (limit one) Used CVS coupon for $1.50 off any shampoo, had 2 of these.

There was also a deal on any Listerine, Reach or Rembrandt—Spend $10 get $5 in EB.  I had a CVS coupon for $2 off $10 for any Oral product.

Also had CVS coupon for $5 off $15 or more purchase.

I had $23 worth of coupons….my total was almost $40 so I saved over half and got $14 in EB.  Great shopping there.

I also went to Publix and got great deals on vitamins, bodywash Dial and Dove for men, Activia yogurt, Purex detergent, etc.  I saved over $40 the bill came to over $100 but I got it down to $60.  I got steaks, a whole sub, etc.  By the way, Publix has a $5 off coupon when you purchase $15 of either Dial Bodywash, Rightgard Deodorant or Purex Detergent.

Czarina shopping










So there you have it, as you can see the Coupon Czarina saved a good bit using coupons and you can too. 

Do you like to coupon? What are some great deals you took advantage of using coupons?

How to get free or discounted food from fast food restaurants

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to the Frugal Friday Edition of My Take on Money, where every Friday, I give you a frugal tip for the week. 

Today’s frugal tip: How to get free or deeply discounted food from taking restaurant surveys.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been paying attention to the receipt(s) that I get from eating out at fast food restaurants.  I’ve been dumping them in the trash without even a second thought.  However, little did I know that I was throwing away an opportunity to get free or deeply discounted food….that is, until a couple of months ago. 

As you know, there are hundreds of fast food restaurants out there and competition is stiff these days. As a matter-of-fact, I get a boat load of coupons in the mail every week.  That’s one of the smart ways restaurants get new and repeat customers.  Another brilliant way is by offering a reward to customers, in exchange for their feedback via customer surveys. Most restaurants are interested in finding ways to improve their bottom line so customer opinion is very valuable.  I personally like doing the surveys because it gives me a chance to voice my opinion about the things I DISLIKED about my visit to the restaurant….lol.

The surveys are easy and normally take no longer than 5-7 minutes in length to complete so it doesn’t interfere with your day.  I’ve gotten free cookies from Subway, free chicken from Popeye’s and $$’s off of a salad at Wendy’s just to name a few.  It’s great because the surveys are a win-win for me and the restaurant chain.  I get to save money and they get valuable customer feedback. 

So the next time you order some food from a fast food restaurant, look at the receipt because you might be passing up an opportunity to get free or discounted food!

Tell me about some of your frugal finds.