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When Shopping for These 8 Products, Don’t be a Scrooge

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Most consumers want to stretch their dollar. But sometimes, getting a bargain on certain items can end up costing us more in the long run.

Items such as clothes, cosmetics, and most small office supplies can be okay to scrimp on, but larger and more expensive items like TV’s, vacuum cleaners, mattresses and safety equipment are a different story. Here are eight products you can splurge on without feeling guilty.

1. TV

We all want that shiny new flat screen TV, but it’s wise to do some research before buying. Be sure to check out customer reviews for the models you are considering and find out if previous buyers have had any complaints. Is the TV you’d like to buy an energy vampire? Have there been any recalls? How is the quality of the picture? Check out CNET.com for some great product reviews. As of 2010, a 50- to 52-inch TV cost a minimum of $700 and an average of $1,200.

2. Mattress

It’s essential to your health and your productivity to get a good night’s rest. Go with a quality mattress that will last several years and is comfortable. Do your research before you go to the store. Once at the store, try a variety of brands: is the mattress too hard or too soft? Which models have your friends or family used? Check out Consumerreports.org for ratings, and as usual, read up on consumer reviews online before you buy.

3. Home Safety Products

Smoke detectors, CO alarms and fire extinguishers are products you want to make sure you don’t get on the cheap. There are many less expensive brands out there but in case of an emergency you’ll want something that is of good quality and effective. Don’t go for budget here, your life and that of others depend on it! Fire and safety equipment information can be found on FirstAlert.com and through the National Fire Protection Association.

4. Vacuum Cleaners

Go for an inexpensive vacuum cleaner, and there is a higher probability that it won’t clean as well and leave debris behind. Penny pinching won’t do you any good: head to Amazon.com for customer reviews. Expect to spend at least $150 or more for a good brand.

5. Small kitchen appliances

Items such as can openers and kitchen knives also need to be reliable and durable. Paying $2 on a brand that won’t cut aluminum, breaks or grows dull after a couple of weeks is a waste of money. Look for one that has the potential to last even if it’s a bit more expensive.

6. Couch

There is nothing better than sitting on a comfy sofa after a hard long day at work! Take your time to search around and select the best sofa for you and make sure you like the design and color: this is an item you’ll have for years.

7. Office Chair

An ergonomically correct chair not only can keep you comfortable while you’re working, it can also prevent you from damaging your back. A worthy investment if there ever was one.

8. Paint

Go cheap here and you’ll only end up having to use more paint to make it look as if you hadn’t used cheap, thin paint in the first place. Why skimp?  Go for well-known brands that have a long history of selling paint to consumers. More than likely, these companies have lasted this long because they sell good paint and customers are happy with their results.

The motto here is to only go cheap when you can afford to!

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