Saving Money on Life's Essentials

There are some things you just can't live without. But there are ways to pay

less for your essentials.

First, if you're grumbling about your sky-high cell phone or credit card bills,

check out


This free Web site lets you enter in some information about your usage and

compares it against other offerings in the market.

You'll get a personalized list of what other cell phone plans or credit cards

would fit your needs and an estimate of how much you would save annually by


Health care is another huge expense. Here's where to go for lower-cost


Check out "free federal clinics" at

if you don't have health

insurance. You can get immunizations, checkups, dental care and prescription


Find out what free clinics and other free care is available in your area at the

Association of Medical Colleges at


If it's just medicine you need, you'll want to check out some programs intended

to cut the cost of prescription drugs. Those Web sites:



Finally, cut your auto insurance costs by keeping your credit score as high as

possible. It's the basis for the rate you pay on car insurance. If it's home

insurance you want to lower, consider raising your deductible.