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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - When it comes time to make a big purchase like an appliance, or finding a safe, fun kennel for your dog to visit while you're out of town, it would be nice to haveadvice on products and location.

That's where the Twin Cities Consumer Checkbookcomes in to play.

Executive Editor Kevin Brasler visited KARE 11 Sunrise with tips for just those such occasions and others.

Buying appliances

  • Many big chains rated low for advice by salespeople
  • Don't assume best deals are from big chains or online
  • Don't assume sale prices are good prices
  • When comparing prices include fees for delivery, hauling old appliances and installation
  • Get competitive bids
  • Pay by credit card
  • Skip extended warranties

Kennels

  • Inspect facility
  • Indoor/outdoor space
  • Proper fencing
  • Make sure it's clean
  • Size up the staff
  • Big price differences for basic boarding...extras add up fast

Plumbing do's and don'ts

  • Everyone knows where shutoff valves are and how to use them
  • Keep all flammable and combustible materials away from hot water heater
  • Don't pour grease down drains
  • To avoid pipes freezing: cover ones that run through attic, crawl space, exterior walls or unheated basement with insulation
  • Turn off water supply to outside spigots, remove hoses attached to the house
  • Run garbage disposal before running the dishwasher
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