MoneySaver: Consumer Reports' Cost-Cutting Guide
Everyone’s looking to save money these days, but sometimes cutting costs can be a real no-brainer. Consumer Reports put together their best money-saving tips, with ideas for saving big in almost every category – no matter what you’re buying.
Every time you flip on a light switch, you could be saving money. Consumer Reports’ top savings tip for the home is replacing regular light bulbs with energy-saving CFLs, or compact fluorescent bulbs. Just switching to CFLs can save you about $56 over the life of each bulb.
“I have a gentleman who changed out all of his bulbs, and he saved $100 a month,” Ann Geracel, of Conservation Consultants, said.
When it comes to health, it’s a no-brainer to buy store brands instead of name brands for over-the-counter medications. You get the same active ingredients, but can save a whopping 70 percent.
It’s also important to shop around – Consumer Reports says buying at superstores can save you an extra 20 percent.
At the grocery store, be creative: stack store sales with coupons, and don’t forget Internet coupons. Several sites offer coupon savings.
Save on travel by using discount sites, which can save you 40 percent or more. Just be forewarned that you won’t know details like the exact hotel or airline until after you’ve paid.
Bundling your TV, phone and Internet is another obvious bargain that can save you hundreds of dollars. Take advantage of initial promotional rates and, when the promo rate ends, threaten to switch to a competitor.
“Prices for bundled services are down as much as 20 percent in the past year, and because of competition, your rate may not go up once the promotional period is over,” Consumer Reports’ Paul Reynolds said.
Consumer Reports says whenever you make a purchase, make sure you uncover every discount via sales, coupons and coupon codes, and always ask for a price break. You should also skip the extended warranties.