I just wanted to post an update to this thread.
I still have the same Google Voice phone number that I had way back then, and it still works great for free phone calls. I stopped using Google Hangouts completely. I use an android tablet, my home's wifi, and the free Google Voice app for androids, and the free Talkatone app for androids. I open the Google Voice app and then to place a call, it calls my Talkatone number, I then answer the Talkatone app, and then Google Voice places the call to the person or business I wanted to call, so all they see is my Google Voice phone number and not the Talkatone number, which I give to no one.
Then if someone calls me on my Google Voice number, it gets forwarded to my Talkatone app, and I answer it and talk to them, and if I press 4 on the android touch screen, it records their phone call perfectly on Google Voice.
And I haven't had a phone bill in many years. It is a free phone as long as you have internet service. I also use it on an android smartphone on wifi at businesses, or it can use data on my pay as you go smart phone, so it works fine for mobile phone use as well. The data will cost you over time. Lately, I completely dropped it, and just use wifi, since almost every major business has free wifi, I find that I rarely need to use data anyways, and it was costing me about $8 per month to keep data available on my android phone.
Anyways, if you're trying to get by cheap, this is about as low as you can go and still have internet available at home, which is almost essential in today's world. As long as you have wifi available, you can have a free phone.