Costs growing out of control? Here are 3 simple ways to trim your household expenses

BOSTON — Inflation continues to cool off but prices remain stubbornly high.

The U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index report for January shows prices are up 3.1% compared to a year ago. The higher cost of food, utility bills and travel is putting a lot of pressure on families struggling to make ends meet.

We spoke with three consumer experts about simple ways you can cut some of your household costs.


Car insurance prices jumped more than 20 percent between Jan. ‘23 and Jan. ‘24, according to the latest CPI report. Renters’ and homeowner’s insurance is up more than four percent year-over-year, the Dept. of Labor said.

Consumer World founder Edgar Dworsky says you should compare prices for car and homeowner’s insurance at least once a year.

“A lot has changed. There are new competitors and new plans out there, so what may have been a good deal [years ago] is not necessarily the best deal today,” Dworsky said.

Dworsky recommends Massachusetts residents compare car insurance prices using this search tool through the state’s Division of Insurance website.

“I checked my car insurance a few years ago and I switched carriers and saved $200 a year,” Dworsky said.


If you’re anticipating a big expense in 2024, like a new car or home appliance, Armstrong Advisory Group Chief Investment Officer Chuck Zodda recommends opening an online savings account to reap the benefits of higher interest rates.

“Interest rates right now are some of the highest we’ve seen in the last ten to 15 years. You can find savings accounts that might yield four or five percent, depending on where you look,” Zodda said. “Start saving money in advance and that way you can actually earn some interest while you’re waiting to make that big purchase.”

You can shop around for online savings accounts at FindBanks or Best Money.


If you’re drowning in credit card debt, Consumer Adviser Andrea Woroch says you should call your credit card company to see if you qualify for an interest rate reduction.

“[Many] people don’t know they can negotiate the interest rate on their credit card,” Woroch said. “Getting a handle on that interest rate is really important because it’s will lower the amount you spend on interest, help you pay off debt faster and lower your overall bill.”

Woroch said you should also revisit your monthly home service providers—cable, internet, and streaming platforms—to see if you can cut costs. If those bills creep up and you’re set to autopay, they can be really easy to overlook. Call your service providers to find out if you qualify for new promotions or discounts. If you’re ready to cancel, Woroch said tell them. Companies will often offer you a better deal to keep your business.

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