My wife and I were four years out of our old family-plan contract with Verizon, still pushing older "dumbphones" -- with limited talk, no text (I had to purchase a monthly 500 text plan for my wife) and no data.
Although I had made some inquiries about upgrading, the costs were always much too high - especially considering the excessive taxes levied by NY State.
Then - this past summer - I received a special "Loyalty Offer" from Verizon which was extremely attractive - so we took advantage of it. We paid the "discount" price for two new smartphones, and signed a 2-year agreement which includes unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data each.
Due to the pricing of the "Loyalty" package - we ended up essentially getting the 4 GB of data for free - based on Verizon's pricing of $10 per GB. We are very happy with the value of the package, it suits our needs perfectly - and will be able to stay on this plan as long as we want - even long after Verizon stops making it available.
If you have been with a cell provider for a number of years, call them and see what "special" plans they may have available for their long-time customers.