For many of us, the importance of having a landline in the home has reduced greatly in the last ten years, but many consumers are still having to cling on to a landline in order to support their internet, even if many are now using contract mobiles to make calls whenever they like rather than having to be tied down to a phone in their house. For others who aren't using the net, a landline is still an essential way to keep each touch, but prices are rising ever year. So whether your landline is annoying extra or a vital part of your household bills, how do you make sure you aren't paying above the odds for the service? Getting the best deal - and keeping updated Any consumer who regularly switches between household service providers can tell you that the number one saving for any utility is in knowing who you're getting the service from and not being afraid to move to another provider if the grass is greener. Making sure you're on a package that suits your needs can mean you're not paying for more than you should be, and switching to a different provider can lead to one-off cheaper deals or a more long term monthly reduction in costs. If you're not sure what provider to go with grab a copy of your latest phone bill and take a look at what you're spending on line rental and calls. When do you make the most expensive calls, and who too? If you can identify a common time you're calling then you can look at getting a landline that gets you a better deal during those times. If you find that you're calling the same numbers often, see if you can find a deal that lets you specify certain numbers to get a discount on such as a friends & family deal. Just switching once is only a part of keeping up to date with your landline though. You should always check the market and compare deals every year when your contract is coming to an end - renewing a contract without checking what else is out there will end up in you paying more than you should for your landline. Stay in the know Make sure that whatever provider you choose or whoever you are currently with you understand the pricing schemes. It can sometimes be hard to find out the important information about a tariff, but doing so will save you money. For example, in a recent poll nearly 25% of BT customers believe that off peak calls started at 6pm, when in fact off peak starts an hour later on the service, running from 7pm to 7am. Call Online One of the best ways to avoid call charges is not to make calls using your phone at all. Mobile contracts can be a good way to avoid having to use your landline if you get a large number of free minutes, but you can also use the internet to call people. Using a program like Skype you can call any other Skype user for no cost at all, or you can even use the program to call a normal telephone and charges much smaller than your typical peak rates from a landline company. If you regularly call people who have access to the internet you can save a ton by connecting over Skype, though you'll need to buy a PC headset first, unless your computer or laptop comes with one installed.