5 Shopping don'ts

Consumer Reports offers advice to save you time, money

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There are things you never want to do unless you want to pay more than you should, or run the risk of ending up with crumby merchandise.

The first, when it comes to shampoo, toothpaste deodorant and other personal products like these, Consumer Reports said you never want to buy the at the drugstore. The consumer agency said that's where these items cost the most. Instead, go to Walmart or Target where you can usually find these items for half the price.

Next, don't overlook the dollar store.  If you haven't been lately, you're going to be pleasantly surprised. They have lots of brand name items like Lipton Tea and Heinz Ketchup. You can save 25 to 35 percent.

Something else you don't want to do, spring for the extended warranty. Consumer Reports gives this advice over and over again and they said the reason; the extended warranties are not worth it.  They also maintain that if you end needing repairs, they usually cost the same as a service plan.

Another thing you should never do, pay too much for cable, phone and internet service. Shop and compare bundle prices and don't be afraid to switch carriers.
Your current provider may even offer you something better to stay.

Finally, don't buy certain refurbished items. According to Consumer Reports, you should skip refurbished smartphones, point and shoot cameras and pocket camcorders.

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