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14.12.2012 in Saving Money by Lena Gott 9

7 Things You Don’t Really Need But Buy Anyway

Recently, as I was shopping at Target and buying yet another round of products to keep our household running, it occurred to me that I could easily stop spending money on things that we don’t really need but are simply conditioned to buy.

What first got me thinking about this were the dryer sheets I paid $4.99 for. Really? Do we really need little sheets of fabric softener to make our clothes smell and feel nice?

I grew up hanging my family’s clothes on the clothes line in the back yard.  The clothes often ended up smelling like grass, fresh air, or even mildew if I accidentally forgot to bring them in before it rained!

But what do I do now? Pay perfectly good money to make our clothes smell like “Fresh Rain” or “Springtime.” Boy, have I been brainwashed!

Including dryer sheets, I thought of seven relatively unnecessary items – some large, some small – that I’ve bought before, yet don’t truly need.

Small Unnecessary Costs Can Add Up Over Time - Here Are 7 Ways to Save Money

  1. Pacifier wipes – These are basically wipes you set aside just for cleaning pacifiers when they fall on the ground or otherwise get dirty. Good old soap and warm water works even better!
  2. Tape dispenser bracelet – The holiday commercials always make these things look so cool!
  3. Mini notepads – I inevitably grab a couple of these throughout the year in the Target or Michael’s $1 section. But scraps of paper (which we all have plenty of) would work just fine! I used to make my own tear-away notepads in college…maybe I’ll give that a try again.
  4. Pre-packaged portions of snacks – I’ll admit, sometimes I get really lazy and pick up a package of individual serving sized goldfish crackers. I know they are many times more expensive than the large box, but I do it anyway! Gotta cut that out, especially when I could use the different to buy food for Backpack Buddies. It’s so tempting when you’re in the store, though – more and more things are coming in individual serving sizes these days.
  5. Leaf blower – My husband may disagree with me on this, but I think leaf blowers are a bit silly. Whatever happened to an old fashioned raking session, which also doubles as a pretty good workout?!
  6. Foot spa – So I was suckered into buying one of these by Walmart. I thought it was going to be some glorious foot pampering apparatus, but it turned out to be nothing more than a tub to hold warm water (The “heating” element doesn’t really heat but supposedly keeps the water from cooling off too fast. Didn’t seem to be the case!).
  7. Dryer sheets

I could probably think of at least a dozen more things that I’ve bought because I thought they were worth it, but don’t actually make my life “better.” If I can  cut out just a few of these at a time, I think I’ll be overall happier with less  clutter and more money in my pocket.  :=) How about you?

What are some things you buy that you don’t really need to yet do so out of laziness or for the sake of convenience?

Have you purchased something that didn’t live up to expectations & you later regretted spending the money?

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This article has 9 comments
  • Carol J. Alexander 15.12.2012 4:01 AM Reply

    I agree! I was shopping recently in the baby aisle of Walmart for my expectant daughter-in-law and saw those pacifier wipes. Could not believe that anyone would actually buy those. When I had babies, and the pacifier got dropped, I just popped it in my own mouth, sucked it off, and then gave it to baby–for free.
    Carol J. Alexander recently posted..A Time to ShareMy Profile

    • Lena 15.12.2012 5:11 AM Reply

      Yes! That, or just blow on it really hard to remove the germs. LOL

  • mbhunter 20.12.2012 3:13 AM Reply

    My mom would buy some dryer sheets and then soak them in fabric softener. It’s the sheets that are the expensive part, so she reused those and got a big thing of fabric softener for a lot cheaper.
    mbhunter recently posted..Personal finance boils down to recognizing good deals in contextMy Profile

  • Great article! I stopped buying those expensive little bottles of dishwasher rinse aid when I learned that white vinegar works just as well – leaving dishes squeaky clean with no scent or chemicals.
    Eliza from Happy Simple Living recently posted..Day 24 of the January Money Diet – Cancel SomethingMy Profile

    • Lena 26.01.2013 12:14 AM Reply

      I’ve never used the rinsing aids (other than what already comes inside my regular dishwashing capsules, but I’d be up for trying vinegar because my glasses are less-than-spectacular looking when they come out of the dishwasher. Thanks for the tip!

  • Gemma 04.05.2013 4:10 PM Reply

    I must admit that I too have bought a footspa and it has just been forgotten and I am only reminded of it when I see new ones in the box at every car boot sale I go to lol. I would be surprised if any adult had not bought one once a upon a time – its like a right of passage – and a big waste of money :-(.
    Gemma recently posted..Never buy these 21 thingsMy Profile

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