ShopSmart Reveals Eight Things to Never Cheap Out On

Have you ever bragged to a complete stranger about an amazing deal on a cute pair of shoes? Do you feel angst at the thought of buying something at full retail price? The joy brought on when getting a great bargain is undeniable. However, according to the May 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, there are some items consumers shouldn’t skimp on.

“According to a new ShopSmart national poll, more than three-quarters of American women buy stuff they don’t need just because it’s on sale,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “At ShopSmart, not only do we work to find our readers the best deals on items they purchase every day, but we also want to be sure consumers know that there are some items on which they can’t afford to cut costs.”

Worth the Price

  1. Paint: Even though you can find a gallon of paint for as little as $11, cheaper paint will take several coats to cover a single wall, and it likely won’t hold up for an extended period of time.
  2. Gas Grills: Look for features such as premium-quality burners, stainless-steel grates, and heavy-duty construction. You should realistically expect to spend at least $150 for a quality product.
  3. Big-Screen TVs: If you’re investing in a really big screen television—50 inches or more—you’ll want to own it for a while. So go for as big a screen as you can afford from a reliable brand.
  4. Blu-Ray Players: Instead of replacing one cheap DVD player with another cheap DVD player, consider trading up to a Blu-ray player, which supplies true high definition to your high-def TV.
  5. Fire Protection: Aerosols such as First Alert Tundra are much cheaper than traditional fire extinguishers and may look like they’re easier to use, but they’re a lot less effective as well–a true safety concern in the event of an emergency.
  6. Mattresses: Can you really afford to not get a good night’s rest? Don’t spend below $800 for a queen-size set or you’ll risk years of sleepless nights and all the effects associated with sleep deprivation.
  7. Grass Seed: Inexpensive blends may contain a large percentage of weeds and annual grass seeds, which will die after one season. Spend more for the good stuff.
  8. Canister Vacuums: Cheaper vacuums can be both ineffective and frustrating, so expect to spend around $200 and up for a quality product.

Launched in Fall 2006 by Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon Consumer Reports’ celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. The magazine features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. ShopSmart is ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time. ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Borders, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.