TODAY   |  March 14, 2014

How to find the hottest hotel deals

Personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi and Lisa Gerstner of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance join TODAY to offer helpful tips for finding the most economical hotel room, as well as how to save money on insurance.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now is the time to do a little spring cleaning for everything except your wallet.

>> you could be saving money right now on everything from your health care to property taxes to insurance. here to show you how, personal finance editor and -- good morning. let's dive right into these. we'll start with home and car insurance . what can people do now?

>> pick up the phone . the easiest way to save money. just call your insurance agents and let them know if you've made any improvements to your home or are using your car less because as an underwriter, you're less risky as a client. if you install new smoke detectors, alarm systems, you've gotten a watchdog, let them know. that could reduce your home insurance by 20%. similarly with car insurance . if you've taken the keys away from your teenager, or gotten a tune-up. you can save.

>> if you're traveling, how do you save money on hotels?

>> two websites, and t back bid says they save about $143 per reservation.

>> property tax bills can be a real gut punch. what can you do to change that number and make your savings greater?

>> your property tax bill has gone up, you may have a case for an appeal. you'll want to go to your local tax assessor's office or website and look up your record. things like number of bathrooms, bedrooms. square footage . compare that to similar homes, so pull cards of homes with similar square footage and bedrooms. if yours is a lot higher than similar properties, you may have a good case for an appeal.

>> an appeal scheduled, deadlines, that varies from state to state.

>> make sure your understand your local rules.

>> but you can knock thousands of dollars off.

>> a friend of mine saves $5,000. this is an annual savings.

>> let's switch to health care benefits. you can save a lot of money if you know what you're doing. what's the tip?

>> if you know what you're doing. a lot of us make mistakes, especially now with obama care's open enrollment coming to a close, also a lot of employers are offering. you're not overcovered or undercovered. we're leaving a lot of us, about $750 in wasted money because we choose incorrectly. so take the time to talk to an insurance agent or your employer's plan to learn. especially if life changes. like i'm pregnant. i have to review by health policy this year to make sure i'm covered enough.

>> i think a lot of people just refresh.

>> can't do it.

>> how about cars? they could be money pits, but there are some free services that you can use to save yourself cash.

>> there are auto clubs around the country that will do checks for you. pep boys will do different things. if your check engine light comes on, they'll do a little diagnostic for you to see what's wrong. good year will do things for tires. if you have good year, they'll rotate them for free at certain locations.

>> sometimes, your manufacturer will help you out.

>> awareness sounds like the key.

>> thanks so much.

>>> coming up next, an easy friday night fish dish you can make right now after this. play in it. work in it. go wild in