Bargain blunders: when being cheap just doesn't pay

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Who doesn't want to save a buck these days? But sometimes being cheap just doesn't pay off. So there are some bargain blunders you should watch out for:

The first is buying in bulk. It doesn't make sense to buy a ton of perishable food you'll end up throwing out. So be careful on those trips to the warehouse club.

The second is filling up far away. Going the extra mile when you fill up doesn't always make sense. Sometimes it will cost you more in the gas you burn to fill up farther away than spending a little more in your own neighborhood.

Next: cheap shoes.You may think you're saving a bundle. But if your cheap shoes fall apart fast and are uncomfortable, you'll wish you had paid a little more for good quality.

DIY projects can also be a bargain blunder. You may enjoy do-it-yourself projects at home. But if it's something beyond your expertise, it could turn into a disaster, and may be worth your time and money to hire someone who knows what they're doing.

Finally, don't skimp on safety. Don't cut corners on fire alarms, smoke detectors and things like child car safety seats. After all, the people you're trying to protect are priceless.