The air fryer is one of the most useless new appliances to hit the market in the past decade. It’s an easy-bake convection oven for adults. It doesn’t do anything that a regular convection oven can’t do, except sometimes to make more noise than a regular oven. It uses fans to circulate air in the same way.
It’s useful to some extent for cooking small batches of food, so if you are living in a college dorm, by all means, pick one up. But for everyone else, it’s just a waste of money. The food you are eating isn’t really fried. That’s the illusion. It’s just baked. You baked your frozen French fries and wasted money doing it.
Cable is just about the biggest waste of money and more and more people are starting to realize that as they switch to streaming services like HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, Netflix and so on. Most of the major networks like NBC also have their own streaming services. This gives you plenty of options and sometimes they are free.
But cable always costs money and most of the time you are paying for a bunch of programming that you are never actually going to watch. Streaming options allow you to pick and choose in terms of networks as well as the programs you watch because it’s all on-demand and you can drop your services easily, whenever you want.
Toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper. You don’t really need it – at least not as much as you may have been using over the years. When you think about it, wiping your bottom with wads of paper really isn’t the cleanest way to go about it. There is a better method and it’s called a bidet.
The bidet acts basically like a shower for your bottom. It’s also cheaper in the long run than buying wet wipes, and it is certainly both cheaper and cleaner than using countless rolls of toilet paper. Toilet paper is rising in cost along with everything else and the amount you use isn’t really going to change unless you change your hygiene methods.
If there’s one fruit that always seems to go to waste, it has got to be bananas. When you buy bananas at the store, you are never buying just one and what happens is that the others go bad before you can even eat them. Then you’ve just thrown your money away basically unless you freeze them in time.
Even if you buy them when they are green, you run into the problem of them not being ripe for a few days, and then, once they are ripe, they go bad after a few days more. Nobody is eating bananas that fast. We aren’t saying to never buy bananas, but if you absolutely need bananas have a plan to eat some, cook with some or freeze some going in, otherwise they are a waste of money.
Pre-sliced, Pre-cut or Pre-grated Foods
Laziness is certainly going to lead many people to pay for convenience but it's still a waste of money. Slicing, cutting, and grating don’t take so much of your time and energy that it warrants spending the money to buy your food that way. Cheese can be grated, cut into sticks or sliced with minimal effort.
By buying foods pre-cut, you are paying almost twice as much for a lot less food. Particularly when you are buying for the whole family, wasting money on these things is going to hurt you in the long run. If you really don’t like chopping and grating, at least consider buying a food processor before spending your money on convenience alone.
You may think you are saving money by buying cheap lightbulbs but that’s usually not the case for a few reasons. The first thing to understand is that buying a cheap lightbulb means you are going to have to replace it more often. And why spend more money buying light bulbs more frequently than buying the more expensive ones that will last?
Another thing to note is that while a cheaper incandescent bulb will save you more money upfront, it won’t save you as much in the long run when you consider energy costs. LED lights use less energy and therefore you’ll be paying less on your electric bill. It's important to consider all these factors; the cost of the bulb is just one piece of the puzzle.
If you are still subscribing to paper magazines, you are spending too much money. It’s usually cheaper to order digital subscriptions or even individual digital issues than it is to buy a printed magazine that these days costs nearly $10 per issue. Better yet, it may be time to ditch the magazines entirely.
Magazines are overpriced as it is. These days, they are just filled with advertisements, so you mostly end up paying for a bunch of ads. There’s little useful content in your celebrity gossip magazines or your food and housekeeping magazines to warrant the cost of maintaining a subscription, so stop throwing money away on ads.
The landline telephone is a relic of the 20th century and really has no place in the age of cell phones. Your internet provider may try to talk you into paying for a digital one for about $10 per month and that’s also a waste of money because it certainly adds up.
There’s little reason to have a landline unless maybe you are running a business from your home. Most people have a cell phone now and you are more likely to use that than a landline. Provided you keep your cell phone charged, the landline is useless, but moreover, it’s a waste of money.
Fresh Cut Flowers
Fresh cut flowers are another expense you don’t need. Cut flowers are enjoyable for a few days, and after that, they wither and dry up. People will appreciate them for special occasions sure, but don’t feel like you always need a fresh vase of flowers in your home. Nobody will care enough to make it worth it.
Flower bouquets are expensive, even if you buy a small one from the grocery store. And in the end having the aesthetic of real flowers in your home isn’t worth it, because they are dead and won’t last. If you like flowers, consider buying something potted that you can take care of like an orchid which is the best flower anyway.
Bottled water is another home expense you should be taking out of your budget. There’s nothing wrong with tap water per se but if you want fresher tasting water, you can always purchase a water filter or a refrigerator with a water filtration system. Using the water in your home will cost you a lot less money.
Water bottles are expensive and some premium brands from some geyser from a far away country are a ridiculous amount more. Water is water and it's not like drinking water is just the best experience ever that you should put a lot of money down to do it. Just get yourself a nice water bottle and refill that.
Paper towels are wasteful in more ways than one, but you already knew that. But even if you don’t care about the trees, you should be thinking about your wallet. It's easy to go through paper towels fast if you use them for cleaning often and you can save more on something reusable – you know – like a real towel.
It's better to buy a bunch of towels and wash those as needed than fill up your waste bins with paper towels. Just think how much you’ll save not only on the paper towels themselves but the trash bags you are filling up with used paper towels as well.
Fabric softeners are a huge waste of money that you really don’t need to be adding to the cost of cleaning your clothes. Sure, fabric softeners might feel nice to some people, and for other people, they can be downright itchy, but it’s important to note that they aren’t even really making your fabric any softer.
Fabric softeners make your clothes smell nice, but their other function is to coat your clothing. The softeners leave a coating that lubricates the fibers of your clothes so that they feel softer on your skin. They don’t contribute anything to the cleaning or stain removal process, however, so they are a waste of money.
Individually Packaged Foods
Individually packaged foods are another convenience but it's really not worth your money either. Put your crackers and chips in plastic bags for snack consumption and secure the big bags with a chip clip or a twisty tie just like the good ol’ days. One big bag of Cheez-Its is going to go a lot farther in terms of feeding people than a bunch of little bags.
On top of that, individual packaging is just plain wasteful and bad for the environment. So, even if you don’t care about paying more money for less food, just think of the waste you are creating. It’s really not that much work to seal your food.
Women Specific Products
Women-specific products, particularly things like soap, earplugs, or even over-the-counter medications like laxatives, all come with a pink tax. Women end up paying more for these things that are virtually identical to the male version except maybe they come in pink. But if you want to save money, it’s important not to play their marketing game.
Stores charge more for these women-specific products because they know people will buy them. If you don’t buy them, the demand goes down. Spending more money than you need on something like earplugs is a waste. The stuff in blue works just as well as the stuff in pink, so why spend more money on it?
Disposable razors are yet another wasteful item in terms of creating more plastic waste as well as being a waste of money. Disposable razors result in more plastic being thrown away because they aren't just a head, they are also a handle. Sure, it's convenient to be able to throw them away, but it's costing you more money in the long run.
Buying replacement razor heads for a reusable handle may seem like the more expensive option but it's important to realize those razor heads can last you weeks whereas a disposable razor is only meant to last with one use. You'll end up spending more on disposable razors than you would on fewer razor heads, and you'll be doing the environment a favor as well.
We absolutely get why people love K-Cups and other "coffee pod" type products. What could be better than a fresh cup of coffee in a mere matter of seconds? Plus, you're not stuck with a full pot of coffee that you may or may not get around to drinking before it goes bad.
However, when it comes to wasting money, you can't do much worse than these coffee wonders. While a normal pound of coffee runs anywhere from $10 to $20, a pound of K-Cup coffee costs more than twice that—$50! They may be convenient, but if you're trying to save money, stay away from K-Cups!
What's not to love about a little robot servant continually patrolling your floors and keeping them clean? However, despite the fact that robotic vacuums have been on the market for almost two decades at this point, they're still not very good at their job.
In theory, a Roomba seems like the perfect use of money—you pay for the vacuum, and you get extra free time that you don't have to spend on chores. However, there are just too many flaws with the design. For one thing, your Roomba can't climb the stairs, so if you live in a multi-story house, you'll need at least two. Plus, Roombas work best when your floor is completely clear of clutter, which means you'll have to clean before the Roomba can clean!
One-Purpose Kitchen Gadgets
One-purpose kitchen tools are some of the biggest wastes of money out there. Whether it's an egg cooker or an apple slicer, these single-purpose gizmos take up too much space and cost too much money. They might seem convenient, but that's not the whole story with these questionable gadgets.
For one thing, the quality for these novelty kitchen tools isn't always great. Sure, they might look slick and effective in the infomercial, but you shouldn't believe the hype—a lot of these things are garbage! Plus, a lot of what these gadgets do can be accomplished with cheaper, multi-use kitchen tools like knives, pots, and pans.
Getting in shape is always a noble goal, but that doesn't mean you need to pay an arm and a leg to lose a few pounds. While it might seem smart to load up your home with weights, exercise bikes, and other workout equipment, that's money you don't actually have to spend.
Instead of buying the equipment yourself, it's much more cost-effective to just spend that money on a gym membership. At a gym, you'll probably have access to higher-quality equipment than you would be able to afford at home, and, unless you become a full-time bodybuilder, you'll probably never use your personal equipment enough to make it worth the money.
People in the United States spend billions of dollars a year on multivitamins and other supplements in an attempt to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, we may as well be flushing those billions of dollars right down the toilet instead because multivitamins aren't helping anyone stay healthy.
Despite years of research and countless studies, we still have no reliable information that says multivitamins actually provide any health benefits. For most people, taking them has absolutely no effect on health. If you want to ensure you're getting the nutrients you need, your best bet is a well-balanced diet!
There's nothing better than sitting out on the porch in the summer enjoying the cooling temperature as the sun sets. It's almost perfect except for one tiny (but incredibly annoying) problem—mosquitos! When these blood-sucking villains are around, you'll never have any peace. So, many people turn to electric bug zappers to keep mosquitoes at bay.
However, there's only one problem with that plan—bug zappers are terrible at keeping mosquitoes in check. While they do attract other kinds of bugs, mosquitoes fly right past them because they're drawn to the carbon dioxide in our breath. If you think that bug zappers are keeping your backyard mosquito-free, think again!
If you find yourself frequently printing out things for work or other reasons, having a home printer might actually make sense financially. However, for the vast majority of us, buying a printer is a purchase that we don't need to make—there are much better options for your sporadic printing needs.
These days, more and more business takes place completely digitally, which has drastically reduced the need for everyone to own a printer. On those rare occasions when you do need a printer, it's probably more cost-effective to just run to Office Depot or a similar store that offers printing services.
These days, keeping your home is more convenient than ever thanks to an ever-expanding roster of new cleaning products. Some people think that Swiffer-type cleaners are the best thing since sliced bread, and while they are extremely easy and convenient, they don't make any financial sense.
Because of the disposable nature of these cleaning pads, it means you've constantly got to keep your supply replenished, and based on the average price for a box, you're spending about 25 cents per Swiffer pad. In the long term, a good old-fashioned broom and vacuum are going to be much more cost-effective, and they still get the job done!
Vacuum-Sealed Storage Bags
This is one product that hurts to put on this list because, on paper, vacuum-sealed storage bags are so worth it. The cost of compressing your clothing in these storage bags is much more cost-efficient than buying additional storage to hold everything. However, as anyone who has tried to use them can tell you, vacuum-sealed bags are just too good to be true.
The problem with these bags is that they're often poorly made, stored, and shipped. Customer complaints are frequent and range from bags with holes in them to bags that gradually lose their seal over time. If the technology improves, these are a knockout, but for now, they're just a waste of money.
Luxury Skincare Products
If you're using pricey luxury skincare items you've got one of two problems—you're either overpaying...or underpaying! These brand-name, top-shelf products are not going to do anything for your skin that the skin creams at the drug store can't do. Everyone seems to have a skincare secret that revolves around a deceptively affordable product.
Or, instead of overpaying for luxury skincare, you could use that money for something a little more invasive (and effective) like botox or the like. That's going to cost you a pretty penny too, but your results will be much more noticeable than wasting that money on hundred-dollar skin cream or serum.
This one is a little complicated. There's nothing wrong with buying a weighted blanket if you enjoy that weighted, heavy feeling. But bear in mind that's all you're getting for your money—if you're buying weighted blankets for their purported health benefits beyond that, you're getting scammed out of your hard-earned money!
While some people swear that their weighted blanket helps with things like anxiety, there's nothing beyond anecdotal evidence to back that up. In fact, there seem to be no scientific studies done at all on the benefits of weighted blankets. So, buy one if you like the sensation; otherwise, you're just wasting your money.
Is there a home product that people won't try to "smart"-ify? From your fridge to your bed, it seems like everything these days is hooked up to the internet—and nine times out of ten, it's completely pointless for them to be! That includes the newest trend of "smart" scales. Weight loss has never been so pointlessly convoluted!
The selling point for smart scales is that you can have your weight uploaded directly to an app to keep track of changes over time. The only problem is that there are tons of free apps available that can already help you track your weight, and all it takes is a few extra button clicks. A normal bathroom scale works just as fine, and it will save you a ton of money by omitting features you don't even need.
Toilet Cleaning Tablets
We'll admit that those toilet cleaning tablets you place in the tank turn the water a fun shade of blue, but they could actually be costing you money without realizing it! The products definitely work as intended and keep your toilet sparkling clean, but they might also be causing damage.
The chemicals found in these tablets are so strong that they can actually cause damage to the parts in your toilet tank. Additionally, they can get trapped in the flush valve of the toilet as they get smaller, which can lead to a poor seal. This is one case where a good old-fashioned cleaning is the way to go.
If you're home after a long day of being on your feet, nothing sounds better than a nice, relaxing foot bath. While there's nothing wrong with treating your feet, buying a dedicated foot bath is not the best way to spend your money. You can get the same results in your tub without having to shell out extra money.
There's nothing inherently wrong with a foot bath—a high-quality one is probably going to work exactly as expected. However, as we've seen before, one-purpose gadgets are rarely worth the money and the space they take up. Soak those feet in the tub and relax knowing that you're saving a pretty penny!
Fancy Shower Heads
If you've got the money to waste on a fancy shower head with 100 different settings, then by all means, spend away! But when it comes to luxury items, this is one that's particularly ridiculous. No one ever really NEEDS one of these fancy add-ons.
For most people, you spend maybe ten to fifteen minutes a day in the shower—is it really worth laying down the big bucks for a gizmo that's going to make your showering experience marginally more relaxing and luxurious?