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      Money Talks: The 5 Golden Rules of Saving on Everything

      One way to save money when you shop is to look for sales and use coupons.

      But that's the tip of the iceberg. Want to pay less for everything you buy? Then remember the five golden rules of saving.

      Rule number one? Never buy new what you can buy used.

      From cars to clothes to furniture, buying pre-owned is a simple way to save from 20 to 90 percent.

      So before you go to the mall, go to stores that sell used, and sites like Craig's list and eBay.

      Rule number two: When it comes to lower prices, ask and you might receive.

      Cable bill too high? Ask for a discount. Ask for a lower rate on your credit card. From doctors to appliances, don't be ashamed to ask for a better deal.

      Golden Rule number three? Don't needlessly pay for a name.

      If a generic will work, save 10 - 50 percent. From food to drugs, generics are often nearly identical.

      Golden Rule number four - if you're buying something you won't often need, like a ladder or lawn mower, form a neighborhood co-op and split the cost.

      And golden rule number five? Use your imagination instead of your money. Homemade gifts are often nicer than store-bought. A picnic in the park can be more fun than a restaurant. There are infinite ways to cut expenses without sacrificing quality of life.

      There you have it - the five golden rules to cut costs. Want more specific ideas? I've got hundreds waiting for you right here at