Monday, May 04, 2009

How to Squeeze a Nickel: Tips from Consumer Reports

Shrink your cell phone bill; flatten toilet paper rolls and rent an apartment when you travel. Those are a few of the money-saving ideas in the June issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine polled staff members and readers about their tips for squeezing a nickel.

“These tips show that it’s important to be creative when trying to cope with the recession,” said Kim Kleman, Editor-in-Chief, Consumer Reports.

Here are a few of the tips:

  • The website can help you analyze your cell-phone bill to determine whether you’ll save money with a different plan.
  • Call up your Internet, phone, and cable companies and try to get a better deal. It could cut your bill in half.

  • Many plumbing fixtures have a lifetime warranty. Try calling to get parts sent for free.

  • Rent an apartment when you’re on vacation. You live like a local and it’s cheap.

  • Forego buying tub and toilet cleaners. Consider using white vinegar and baking soda for cleaning chores.

  • Flatten the toilet paper roll a bit. It doesn’t spin around as much and waste paper.

  • In the supermarket, look at the unit price. Many items such as tuna have a quantity surcharge—the bigger container has a higher unit price than the smaller one.

  • Buy kitchenware (pots, pans, knives, etc.) at kitchen-supply wholesalers. Many are open to the general public.

  • When shopping online, check Google for a coupon for the site before checking out. "

The complete report, “How to squeeze a nickel,” is available in the June issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands May 5 and online at Consumer Reports.


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