Go Direct, Young Man (& Young Mama)

The devil really is in the details. For many renters, it's not the rent, utilities or cable that break the bank. Staples such as shampoo, laundry detergent and toilet paper -- those everyday, recurring items -- can add up, and can take a real bite out of your pocketbook if you're not careful where you buy them.

Corner stores and bodegas are known just as much for their high prices as convenience, and one of the hallmarks of a savvy shopper is buying in bulk at Costco or a supermarket. But a number of manufacturers are starting to make it even easier to save money.

Paint seller Benjamin Moore announced this week that it will sell its products directly to consumers via its Web site, delivering right to their door. It's the latest in a growing number of companies trying to sell to consumers directly – at lower, often wholesale prices online. Carl Minchew, Benajmin Moore's director of product development, says as more consumers turn to the internet, the decision to sell online just made sense.