Chronicle Advice

We don't know everything, by any means, but we will do the research for you in order to advise you towards a healthy, happy and clean lifestyle.
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Pet foodMarketwatch notes that pet stores and websites like PetFood.com and PetFoodDirect.com offer significant discounts via coupons or loyalty programs. Photo: Jamaal Ellis / ©2013 Houston Chronicle

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Pet foodMarketwatch notes that pet stores and websites like PetFood.com and PetFoodDirect.com offer significant discounts via coupons or loyalty programs. Photo: Jamaal Ellis / ©2013 Houston Chronicle

ToothbrushGet a free one from your dentist (you should be getting a check up every six months, anyway). If you want a fancier electric toothbrush, head to a big-box store, look on Amazon or perhaps even Best Buy. Photo: UniversalImagesGroup, Getty / Universal Images Group Editorial

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

ToothbrushGet a free one from your dentist (you should be getting a check up every six months, anyway). If you want a fancier electric toothbrush, head to a big-box store, look on Amazon or perhaps even Best Buy. Photo: UniversalImagesGroup, Getty / Universal Images Group Editorial

Party suppliesWhat have we learned? For kitchen items, go to home good stores. For office supplies, go to an office supply store. For party supplies, go to a party supply store. Once again, cheaper and better options. Photo: Cindy Schultz /  00019033A

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Party suppliesWhat have we learned? For kitchen items, go to home good stores. For office supplies, go to an office supply store. For party supplies, go to a party supply store. Once again, cheaper and better options. Photo: Cindy Schultz / 00019033A

Flower bouquetsDon't be tempted by the pretty displays at the grocery store. Head to a flower supply store (see a pattern?) for better deals on flowers that will last longer. Photo: Tomayia Colvin / ONLINE_YES

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Flower bouquetsDon't be tempted by the pretty displays at the grocery store. Head to a flower supply store (see a pattern?) for better deals on flowers that will last longer. Photo: Tomayia Colvin / ONLINE_YES

Bottled waterUnless your town's water supply has been poisoned, there's no reason to ever buy bottled water. Not only is the product horrible for the environment, but tap water costs 300 times less. Just buy a stainless steel canteen for your tap water drinking purposes. If you're worried about the taste, get a purifier.

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Bottled waterUnless your town's water supply has been poisoned, there's no reason to ever buy bottled water. Not only is the product horrible for the environment, but tap water costs 300 times less. Just buy a stainless steel canteen for your tap water drinking purposes. If you're worried about the taste, get a purifier.

Name-brand spicesFew can tell the difference in taste between name-brand spices and generic options. Health-food stores (as do some grocery stores) sell them in bulk or vend loose spices. Both are more cost-efficient options. Photo: Brett Coomer / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Name-brand spicesFew can tell the difference in taste between name-brand spices and generic options. Health-food stores (as do some grocery stores) sell them in bulk or vend loose spices. Both are more cost-efficient options. Photo: Brett Coomer / © 2012 Houston Chronicle

Name-brand drugs The difference in ingredients between name-brand drugs and generic versions is negligible or non-existent. But the difference in price can be significant. Stick with generic and save.  Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Name-brand drugs The difference in ingredients between name-brand drugs and generic versions is negligible or non-existent. But the difference in price can be significant. Stick with generic and save. Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Gift cardsMany of these gift credit cards come with activation fees.  Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images / 2006 Getty Images

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Gift cardsMany of these gift credit cards come with activation fees. Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images / 2006 Getty Images

BatteriesBuy batteries in bulk from big box stores or online. They get marked up in the checkout aisle. Photo: STEVEN SENNE, Associated Press / AP2001

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

BatteriesBuy batteries in bulk from big box stores or online. They get marked up in the checkout aisle. Photo: STEVEN SENNE, Associated Press / AP2001

Cleaning suppliesDetergents, fabric softeners, roach sprays -- all cheaper at big-box stores. Photo: Lowe's

You should never buy these items at a grocery store

Cleaning suppliesDetergents, fabric softeners, roach sprays -- all cheaper at big-box stores. Photo: Lowe's

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