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Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands

Elisabeth Leamy, Diane Sawyer (Foreword by), Robin Roberts (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-470-55421-0
352 pages
December 2009
Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands (0470554215) cover image


Good Morning America correspondent and ABC News columnist reveals tips for achieving unbelievable savings

In this battered economy, saving money matters more to consumers than ever before. But most people are tired of hearing about all the small stuff, like skipping their morning latte. They tried that, and it didn't work. Americans want fresh, bold ideas and Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands has them. In fresh, engaging prose, Elisabeth Leamy shows consumers how to save big on life's most important and costly items. Filled with actionable advice and the insider secrets readers are hungering for, Save Big

  • Details how to save a lot of money on a few things rather than merely saving a little on a bunch of small items
  • Reveals the keys to saving money and the challenges consumers face
  • Educates consumers on how to save thousands on the five things most people spend the most money on: houses, cars, credit, groceries, and healthcare

After the turbulent economic events of the recent past, more and more consumers are focusing on budgeting and creative ways to save money. Save Big can help.

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Table of Contents




PART I Houses: Home of Savings.

CHAPTER 1: Buy a House ASAP.

CHAPTER 2: How Much Should You Spend?

CHAPTER 3: Doing the Deal.

CHAPTER 4: Getting a Good Mortgage.

CHAPTER 5: Choosing a Mortgage Professional.

CHAPTER 6: Cut Your Closing Costs.

CHAPTER 7: Appeal Your Property Taxes.

CHAPTER 8: When to Refinance.

CHAPTER 9: Pay Off Your Mortgage Early.

CHAPTER 10: Sell Your House Yourself.

PART II Cars: The Cheaper Road.

CHAPTER 11: What to Buy.

CHAPTER 12: What Can You Afford?

CHAPTER 13: Where to Buy a Car.

CHAPTER 14: Choosing a Reliable Car.

CHAPTER 15: Bargaining for the Best Price.

CHAPTER 16: Make Your Car Last.

CHAPTER 17: Car Insurance for Less.

PART III Credit: Loans for Less.

CHAPTER 18: Protecting Your Credit Reports.

CHAPTER 19: Understanding Your Credit Score.

CHAPTER 20: Raising Your Credit Score.

CHAPTER 21: Cut Credit Card Debt.

PART IV Groceries: Guerilla Grocery Shopping.

CHAPTER 22: Price Matching.

CHAPTER 23: Stockpiling.

CHAPTER 24: Creative Couponing.

CHAPTER 25: Wild Cards.

PART V Healthcare: Curing High Costs.

CHAPTER 26: Choosing a Health Insurance Plan.

CHAPTER 27: Negotiating with Your Doctor.

CHAPTER 28: Picking Your Prescriptions.

CHAPTER 29: Haggling with Hospitals.



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Author Information

Elisabeth Leamy is the Consumer Correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America. She also reports for World News and Nightline and writes a weekly column for ABCNews.com. Since joining Good Morning America in 2005, Leamy has investigated a wide range of topics for the morning program. She's known for her dedication to educating consumers. Leamy has received thirteen Emmy Awards and four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. Her first book, The Savvy Consumer, was published in 2004. Find additional links and lists to help you SAVE BIG at www.ElisabethLeamy.com.
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Elisabeth Leamy's Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands is invaluable because it focuses on big expenses, including mortgages, cars and insurance, and makes each step understandable."
—Gail MarksJarvis, Chicago Tribune, December 2009

"Advice is practical, clearly explained and, best of all, does not require daily maintenance or routine deprivation. … Even if readers choose only one or two tips from the hundreds offered, Save BIG should live up to its tantalizing title – and you can read it over your latte."
—Joanna Brichetto, BookPage, January 2010

 “Save BIG is a tremendous source of savings for you, the consumer. I learned many things from reading this book on how to save BIG rather than save small. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to save thousands or possibly millions in a lifetime by just some simple adjustments to what you do.”
— Sheri Newton, Associated Content, www.associatedcontent.com January 2010

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Press Release

January 04, 2010
SAVE BIG: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands

Every tip in Elisabeth Leamy’s book, SAVE BIG, has the potential to save readers at least a thousand dollars.  Anything less didn’t make the cut.  “I don’t believe in penny pinching,” writes Leamy, Consumer Correspondent for Good Morning America.  “I like to pinch $1,000 bills!”  In fact, there are $1,176,916 worth of savings examples in the pages of SAVE BIG -- welcome news in this troubled economy.  (Wiley; January 2010; $24.95; Hardcover).  Sound impossible? 

Leamy achieves these BIG savings by targeting our top 5 costs: houses, cars, credit, groceries and healthcare.  “The key is to identify the areas where you spend the most money, because that’s where you can save the most money,” Leamy says.  SAVE BIG is the antidote to the depressing advice we’ve been hearing for years that we should banish lattes from our lives, install low-flow showerheads and pack our own lunches. 

“Why give up life’s little pleasures and conveniences,” Leamy asks, “when you can save much more money by attacking a few BIG, boring expenses instead?”  Some examples:


  • Fight junk closing costs when you buy a home and save $2,530.
  • Refinance into a shorter mortgage.  Save $103,536.
  • Appeal your property taxes and save $1,265 a year.


  • Buy a “dark horse” car instead of the most popular make and model and save $ 6,814.
  • Pay cash for your car and save $2,608.
  • Exercise a “secret warranty” where the dealer fixes flaws for free and save $1,400.


  • Ferociously guard your credit score and save $2,916 a year on your mortgage.
  • Undergo rapid rescoring before finalizing a mortgage and save $72,000 over the life of the loan.
  • Negotiate for a lower credit card interest rate and save $1,272.


  • Price match using simple online tools and save $4,628 a year on groceries.
  • Stockpile and save $5,772 a year on groceries.
  • Master creative couponing (Click don’t clip!) and save $7,956 a year.


  • Raise your health insurance deductible and save $2,700 a year.
  • Take the over-the-counter version of a drug instead of the identical prescription version and save $1,763 a year.
  • Hire a medical billing advocate to fight hospital billing errors and save $6,858.

A recent Consumer Reports poll showed Americans have responded to the recession by ushering in a new era of “intelligent thrift.”  79% of respondents said they will continue to purchase only what they truly need post-recovery.  Two thirds said if they were to win $10,000 they would use it to pay down debt or build their savings.  SAVE BIG will resonate with an audience hungry for a new direction.  Elisabeth Leamy has spent years educating consumers and offers life-changing advice at this critical time. 

Leamy appears on Good Morning America several times a week, digging up new ways to save money, alerting people to dangerous products and giving a heads up about scams and rip-offs. Leamy also reports for World News, Nightline and 20/20 and writes a weekly column for ABCNews.com.  Leamy has received thirteen Emmy Awards and four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. Her first book, The Savvy Consumer, was published in 2004.

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Save Big: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands (US $24.95)

-and- Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire (US $18.95)

Total List Price: US $43.90
Discounted Price: US $32.92 (Save: US $10.98)

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