Best Recession Bargains From Consumer Reports

We know, we know: everyone’s poor. But just in case you want to offer your favorite retailer a little economic stimulus, Consumer Reports has rounded up a lot of discounts and deals on luxury purchases like cruises and basic things like, uh, a house. Our favorite tips, inside.

The bargains are broken down into four separate posts. The first post offers advice for those looking for a new TV or car, or looking to take a cruise. CR suggests that you “cruise in your backyard” to save money. While that was surely a possibility in our old neighborhood, we think they mean departing from a nearby port to save on airfare.

We also appreciate the advice on digital cameras. For instance, we know our iPhone’s crappy camera (combined with the lack of flash) isn’t so hot, but it’s good to know that 6 megapixels is plenty for most people.

If you’re looking for clothes, cell phones, or furniture, check out these tips on finding sample sales or making sure your couch won’t collapse the day after you bring it home.

Just in time, here’s some advice on buying a grill. Apparently stainless steel grills are a bitch to maintain, so get that rustproofed undercarriage.

Feel free to share good recession discounts you’ve found in the comments.

(Photo: dooleymtv)


Edit Your Comment

  1. John Henschen says:

    The link to grills is broken…

  2. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I got a SPECTACULAR cell phone snap in the hospital with my LG Voyager (2 megapixels, apparently) that blew up with great resolution to 8×10″.

    There were relatives with a battalion of digital cameras there, but the cell phone snap is still the best pic we got. (Partly, I think, because it was too dumb to “correct” for the light. But the resolution was more than adequate.)

  3. HogwartsAlum says:

    I’m thinking about the prepaid phone. As I do research, I’m finding it would be nice if people could call me back during the day without tying up my work line.

    Also, if I have an emergency…

    • fatetwister64 says:

      @HogwartsAlum: i have used a prepaid phone for years. My month phone bill is lese then 10 bucks. Save 50 bucks a month X 24 months = 1200 in my pocket.

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        @HogwartsAlum: I use Virgin Mobile. Not only is it around $8 a month and the phone was free, but they also give you the ability to earn 5 free minutes a day (basically watching commercials online for a few minutes). I don’t “chat” on the phone so it is perfect with me.

  4. I Love New Jersey says:

    If you have some old film camera equipment sitting in the attic or basement, you could trade it in toward the purchase price of the DSLR of your choice.

    • Ratty says:

      @I Love New Jersey: Most people do not need DSLRs. Unless they’re prepared to shell out more than 3x+ the body price for a set of decent (and not evn good at that point) lenses, they are better off with a point and shoot.

      • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:


        Agreed. Unless photography is a serious hobby or a current (or future) career choice, then a 35mm SLR or a “happysnap” (read: point&shoot) digital should be fine..

        Canon 40D costs around $800 for the body… (50D is more, since it is newer)

        A GOOD lens (ie, L-series) costs $1200 or more (Some lenses run up to 10,000) and this is a 1.6crop (Full Frame, equal to 35mm, the body costs $2500 minimum)

        • Ratty says:

          @Dooley: I have and love my 40D, well worth it for MY needs (and in my opinion the 50D isn’t worth the price jump). But my prime lens broke and I’m down to my last lens right now which is limiting. Point and shoot, wouldn’t be an issue.

          I see so many people buying things like the Canon rebels or the Nikon 80Ds, and they never shoot in anything other than fully auto or maybe portrait, and only ever using the cheap plastic kit lens the camera comes with. And those people wasted $500+ on equipment they’re never putting to use and are more limited by that than someone who bought a quality $200 point and shoot would have been.

    • H3ion says:

      @I Love New Jersey: Still use my Canon F1. Can’t figure out how to put a lens filter on a digital camera.

      • Ratty says:

        @H3ion: Lens fileters screw onto the ends of the lenses. If you have a DSLR you can have lens filters.

        • Jenni Davids says:

          @Ratty: That’s true, but not all of the truth… if you have one of the higher end point and shoots or ‘bridge’ cameras you can add lens filters. I often use a CPL on my Panasonic FZ28.

          @H3ion: Are you sure you’ve tried the right size filters?

  5. HIV 2 Elway says:

    The only grill anyone should ever buy is a Weber One-Touch.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    There are some very good sales to be had and in a very good selection of sizes. I scored a $160 dress for $70 last week. It’s also about looking at how you’ll use your clothing. Even if it’s a little more than what you would normally spend if you can name five realistic situations in which you could wear something (prom dress to McDonalds doesn’t count) it might be worth it.

    I saw a champagne colored dress at Filene’s Basement that was on clearance – for $500. It was originally priced at $1250 and it was beautiful. But I couldn’t bring myself to spend $500 on a dress I could only wear for special occasions (but not weddings).

    I’m also a big fan of coupons. Places like NY & Company email you a coupon right away if you sign up for their mailing list. I stay subscribed for the coupons but if you don’t buy business appropriate clothing very often you can get the coupon and then unsubscribe.

    • edwardso says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I always sign up for newsletters from places i online shop because I constantly get free shipping or coupon codes. My friends are all amazed at how much clothing I can get for next to nothing.

    • HRGirl wants a cookie says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I love It’s a big game where you click around for coupons but you’ve got to be pretty clever to find the good ones.
      I went last night and the clearance section was all %50 off, and I had a coupon for $20 off $100. My total was $99.34 so the manager let me pick a lip gloss and discounted it so my new total would be $100.55, then applied the discount. Total savings: $74.25. Total cost: $80.08. Paid for with a gift card that I got from doing a focus group. Out of pocket cost for a brand new summer wardrobe (19 items) = $0!

  7. chris101d says:

    Gay club cruising joke? I laughed.

  8. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    A six megapixel camera may sound like a great idea, but good luck finding any recently manufactured cameras of that resolution. There’s essentially a mega pixel arms race going on right now.

  9. sponica says:

    I just gave away a crapload of furniture for free because I am now graduated from grad school with no employment prospects and had to move out of NYC back to NH….so my recession era deal is to scope out freecycle and craigslist. You might be able to score some decent items for free or next to free.

    I realize I could have sold my stuff, but leaving it on the curb for the magical gnomes and in the bedroom for my replacement was so much easier.

  10. Southern says:

    Does the Gas Grill link work for anyone? Just gives me a blank page..

  11. meechybee says:

    FYI, Generations has had their “business sucks sale” out since about 2002 (the store is around the corner from me and is much-photographed). So, I guess sucky business actually DOES SELL.