Save money on medications by buying online.
According to Consumer Reports, you can save 25 percent or more if you shop at Web sites such as Drugstore.com and Express-scripts.com. You can also visit BestBuyDrugs.org to research whether it makes sense to buy generic drugs.
Do your price comparisons online.
There are a number of Web sites dedicated to offering price comparisons on a number of goods and services. Forget driving from store to store; just visit PriceWatch.com, Calibex.com or BizRate.com to find out who carries the cheapest lawn mower or coffee maker.
Set up price alerts.
If you don't need something right away and can wait until the price drops to what you're willing to pay, take advantage of Web sites such as PriceGrabber.com and DiscountMore.com. You tell the sites the maximum amount you'll pay for an item, and they will e-mail you an alert when they find a Web site selling your item at or below your desired price.
Shop for cell phones online.
A survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research reveals that 61 percent of people who bought their phones from Web sites such as Amazon.com were either "completely" or "very" satisfied by the price they paid. Only 46 percent of in-store shoppers said the same. When it comes to cell phones, the Web seems to beat brick-and-mortar stores most of the time.
Just remember, if you do buy a product online, make sure you're paying for it through a secure server so your private information is protected. You'll know it's secure by checking the address bar — the URL should begin with https (not http). There should also be an image of a closed padlock at the bottom of your Internet browser window.
By Marshall Loeb