If you have half an hour to spare, why not take that time to ask for a better deal from your cable company or cell phone provider?
Cable: First, and most important, call your cable provider's downgrade and disconnection department rather than its customer service people. I used the method myself to knock an additional $13 off my monthly bill. As a corporate spokeswoman for Comcast, my cable provider, confirmed, representatives who talk with customers seeking to downgrade or disconnect "are likely trained to really work with the customer to right-size their plans."
Other tips for getting a better deal include using better offers from rival companies as leverage or downgrading to more basic cable service.
Cellphone: Your cable company isn't the only provider you should try to negotiate with. Another is your wireless company.
Prices in the wireless industry fall constantly, so there's a good chance you're paying too much. To find out what better deals might be out there, scour your provider's site. There are some other online resources that can help as well.
BillShrink, which first started as an online tool to help individuals find the best cellphone plan based on their usage profiles, will do a free analysis of your cellphone bill or usage patterns and provide plan recommendations.
Another site, FixMyCellBill.com, will do a free analysis of your cellphone bill and tell you how much you can potentially save. But you'll have to pay at least $5 to find out what plans may be best for you to achieve those savings.