I'm not sure if this post exist before hand but here it goes:--
There are plenty of calling cards available in the market, I personally use Himtel, and have been using for 2 yrs + and got no complains on it so far. This is when ppl back at home doesnt have internet access to their phone or laptops..
Skype: always does the trick with video calls
Iphone: similar to skype- and you have facetime included
Gmail -- did you know that people at home can make a call on your cellphone (USA ) for free using your gmail account. You dont even know to lose any mins if you have a gmail accoung on your cellphone with dataplan
Viber-- its an app now available in blackberry, iphone, android and i think in windows phone to. but you need wifi or dataplan. you do not have to sign into anything, but yes you do need to register your number. This way you will be able to talk to you relatives and friends over voip!!! this doesnt keep your phoneline busy.
whatsapp-- always good to chat, and group coversations is made easy.
3 to 7 video chats = this is available with google hang out. to do this in skype you need to be a premium member while google has is for free
smartphone apps- there are plenty of smart phone apps that you can use to text home or call free of cost.
the way i do it???
I talk to my parents or relatives or even friend via viber, if they are not connected to the internet, i text them using a text free app. since they have gprs enabled they would be able to come online. video chats are done sometime. and if its very urgent and things cannot wait, I always have himtel to back me up. So far haven't lost any mins like ive read in so many threads "touchwood".
Hope this thread was helpful to some!!