Clark Howard is a down-to-earth, self-made millionaire with a syndicated radio show and a popular website (clarkhoward.com). He’s the one you see on HLN in a simple studio, standing with a boom microphone as he takes calls from viewers and tells them how to save money and make money. Now, in Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times (Avery, $18), he puts his advice between two covers. Our favorite tips:
1) Buy your teen a Peek, the “poor man’s Blackberry,” and get unlimited texts and e-mails for $10.
2) Order prescription eyeglasses for as little as $7 a pair at zennioptical.com.
3) Fire your cable provider and watch cable television for $7.99 a month on Hulu or Netflix.
4) If you’re an occasional movie watcher, rent through redbox.com, which — unlike Netflix — charges you by the rental ($1 to $8), not per month.
5) Shop item-a-day deal sites for electronics, where some gadgets are discounted up to 75 percent off retail. Looking for a computer? Go to dealnews.com, which aggregates deals from more than 2,000 dealers.
6) Buy perishable groceries only as you need them, and buy nonperishables once a month. Howard insists people can save big — even get out of debt — by following this one rule.
7) Join a hospital gym, and you most likely will pay month to month with no fee to join.
8) Never finance a car for longer than 42 months.
9) Let online pharmacies bid for your business at bidrx.com.
10) Never pay for phone service again. If you have Internet service, you can plug your landline into a device called an Ooma, which retails for between $200 and $249, and pay no more than $11 a year in FCC charges.
11) Use seatgeek.com, a good alternative to Stubhub, to find the best discounts on tickets to concerts and sporting events.
12) Apply for a Fidelity Retirement Awards American Express card. It deposits 2 percent cash back on all purchases directly into your IRA, 529 college savings plan, or Fidelity brokerage account. No games, no gimmicks, no limits on what you can earn, and no annual fees. (This is Howard’s pick for the best credit card out there.)