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Certain things we purchase and continue to purchase are like money pits…. check out three of them.

Credit-Card Payment Insurance

The pitch: Pay a monthly fee — often tied to the amount of your outstanding balance — and the credit card company will make payments for you if you lose your job, become sick or disabled.

The truth: This “protection” can cost a few hundred bucks a year, and there are often so many restrictions and caveats on coverage that you won’t see a dime. Even if your claim is accepted, the insurance only pays the monthly minimum for a period of months.

Cheap Paper Towels

The pitch: Shave a buck or two off your grocery bill by tossing bargain-basement paper towels into your cart.

The truth: In a 2009 Consumer Reports review, none of the cheapest towels scored high marks for durability or absorption, which means you’ll just end up using more of them. Savings — gone.

100-Calorie Packs of Snack Foods

The pitch: Built-in portion control takes the guesswork and the temptation out of snack time.

The truth: You can get an ordinary box or bag of your favorite 4 p.m. nosh and small sandwich bags and make your own. Compare: You can get a 4-ounce box of 100-calorie snack cakes for about $4. Or, you could buy a roughly 10.5-ounce box for about the same price and divide it up yourself.

Keep the money in your pocket. In these hard economic times every penny counts.

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