You Probably Pay Too Much for These 10 Things

Did you nab a great bargain recently? If it fell into one of these categories, you may have been hoodwinked.

6. Brand-name everything else

Generic groceriesSheila Fitzgerald /

Brand-name medicines aren’t the only deal you should be rethinking. Practically any brand-name product might be a bad deal when lower-priced generics are inches away.

Some people bristle at the thought of generics, envisioning watered-down shampoo or cardboard crackers. Certainly, there are some low-quality off-brands. However, your grocer’s store brand is often just as good as the national brand when it comes to quality and taste.

7. Credit cards

Credit cardDima Sidelnikov /

Things like credit card rewards can blind us to the high interest rate we might pay on a card we’re considering.

It’s an even worse deal when we have money sitting in savings, earning practically nothing, while we pay through the nose for credit card interest. The better deal might be to pull money from savings, pay off the card and file the plastic away.

8. Annual credit reports

Credit reportCasper1774 Studio /

Credit report offers can be among the worst “deals.”

Unscrupulous companies offer to send you a “free” report in exchange for your personal information, which might then be shared with identity thieves. Or, there might be a small processing fee and tiny print that says you’ll be signed up for some credit monitoring service you certainly don’t need.

Under federal law, each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — must provide consumers one free report every year. However, the only official place to get your free report is at

9. Anti-virus software

Anti-virusBillion Photos /

Like an annual credit report, anti-virus software is something you need. It’s just not something that requires you to open your wallet.

A variety of free anti-virus programs are available online. PC Magazine recently selected what it considers to be the best of 2018.

You may also be able to download paid anti-virus software for free via your Internet service provider.

10. Smartphone apps

Smartphone appsKaspars Grinvalds /

It’s so easy to push the “buy” button for that 99-cent app. But more often than not, we’ve spent money on something we either won’t use or could have gotten free.

Do some research before you buy an app. There are plenty of great free iPhone apps and Android apps.

What do you think of our tips? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Maryalene LaPonsie
Maryalene LaPonsie
After 13 years as a staffer for a Michigan legislator, I decided it was time to quit the commute and work from home instead. For the past three years, I’ve been penning ... More

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