GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn--There’s a big difference between splurging on luxuries and throwing away money on services and products that, while marketed as useful, are actually bad buys. Equally wasteful: Paying for services and products that are worthwhile, but that you could get for free.

The editors at Twin Cities Consumers’ Checkbook ( took a hard look at the things many consumers pay for but probably shouldn’t, and are sharing their Top 50 list to help you start saving money for the things that matter.

You can check out free access to the article thru 9/18. -- is our website. 1-800-213-7283 is the number for questions, subscriptions, etc.