If you didn't know October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, then you must not have done any shopping the past few weeks.
Stores are filled with pink products promoting cancer research.
But before you snap up all those products, you may want to think before you go pink.
Not Just Soup Cans
It's not just pink soup cans anymore. Hundreds of brands have now gone pink for breast cancer awareness.
Even athletic clothing is now covered with pink ribbons.
"My mom passed away from breast cancer about nine years ago and she was my best friend," said Tricia Roberta.
So for Roberta and millions of others with cancer in their family, pink products contribute to a great cause.
"The more we can show people that we are for it, thats great," Roberta said.
Other shoppers outside the Newport, Ky., Target store we spoke with, like Annie Blazer, also try to buy pink when possible.
"We see them everywhere we go, so I know it's all part of cancer awareness month, and we try to get those products everywhere we can," Blazer said.
Some Products Questioned
But not all pink is created equal.
The group Breast Cancer Action has launched a "Think Before You Pink" campaign, questioning companies that don't automatically give to the cause or place pink ribbons on questionable products.
For instance, some items -- like Yoplait Yogurt -- require you to mail in lids or labels for money to be donated.
Other products simply feature a pink ribbon, with no explanation of whether any money goes to the cause.
And the group recently got the manufactures of "Promise Me" pink perfume to promise to change some ingredients considered carcinogens.
Some other pink products that recently sparked criticism:
However, each KFC bucket sold last year did give 50 cents to the Susan Komen Foundation .
The Bottom Line
So please, support the cause and give generously. But read the fine print on those pink products to make sure at least something is going to Komen for the Cure or to other cancer research.
To find out how much of your dollar goes to the cause, go to CharityNavigator.org . The Komen foundation sends 80 percent to research: some others are not as generous.
And that way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
"Like" John Matarese on Facebook
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Money Headlines
Many children need braces. That expense can run into the thousands. Angie's List has tips to help you cut costs, not quality.