Ways to save in 2012

January 9, 2012 2:04:23 PM PST
Your New Year's resolution may be to follow a simple formula, spend less, save more.

But as consumer reporter Nina Pineda found out, even if you think you've cut just about all the fat from your budget you can probably slash even more, from some everyday spending you may not have thought about.

Starting with health care, once you get your bills, vow to examine each , mistakes on medical bills -happen more often than you may think.

"Some insurers will pay you if you catch errors," said Amanda Walker, Sr. Editor, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports also found over-the-counter medication can be up to 50 percent cheaper at Target and Walmart than at supermarkets across the country, and buying generic will always save plenty. While you're in the supermarket, watch out for "the sale cycle"

"Some staples like cereal and chicken will go on sale at a regular cycle. When you see it on sale, the next 12 weeks it should probably go on sale again. Note that down, make some room in your freezer and stock up," adds Walker.

And dont be a stickler for name brands this year, popular is more expensive.

Walker adds, "We've looked at store brands over the years, we've done taste tests with them, we found that in most cases, many cases, they taste as good or better as the name brand and you can save up to 50% or more so it's definitely worth a try. Sometimes the ingredients can be slightly different so the taste can be slightly different, so you want to try them and see how your family likes them."

You can also save big bucks, splitting a membership cost for a warehouse club then sharing the bulk goods among neighbors.

"Split the membership with a friend or two, you can split the cost of the membership and the cost of the items and divide them up," adds Walker.

When it comes to your car in 2012, see if you can price drop your auto insurance premium you may not need as much coverage as when you bought the car.

"If you haven't had any tickets or infractions for a few years you may be entitled to a break but you have to ask," she adds.

And if you like to shop onlinem vow to only use sites which offer free shipping, most anything you're looking for can be shipped somewhere for free.