Another option is to keep the checking account for paying rent and monthly bills only, and pay cash for everything else. There are plenty of banks (e.g. WaMu) that have free checking accounts with free checks.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
That's what we do. We keep a buffer, and only deposit money for bills and online purchase as we don't have a credit card. We've only had 2 problems which weren't our fault and were very quickly remedied by the bank.