How often do we shop for certain household items and don’t think twice about what we add to the cart? While some household items are essential, others could use a second glance as to whether you need to buy them.
In some cases, you might be able to find a less expensive substitute, or you simply don’t need to make the purchase. These are the top items to stop buying now.
Scented trash bags
Trash bags are an essential household item, but what about their scented counterparts? Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate at Ownerly, said there’s no difference between unscented and scented trash bags except for the price. Scented trash bags cost more money but are deployed for the same task: taking out the trash.
For those who don’t want to spend additional money on scented trash bags, there’s the option to buy unscented trash bags. Sherin also recommends using a smaller trash can and emptying it out on a regular basis to curb odors in your home.
Kitchen Utensil Set
Kitchen utensil sets are a common household item to purchase or give as a gift. These sets usually come with a wide range of pieces, like spoons, spatulas, and/or ladles, and are sold at a price that seems to be a good deal.
However, Sherin said it’s not always necessary to purchase each item in this set. At its worst, a kitchen utensil set can also overcrowd kitchen countertop caddies or drawers. Rather than having a surplus of items, especially those you never plan to use, Sherin recommends being careful and selective about kitchen utensil purchases.
Whether you need to buy power tools may depend on your household’s overall needs, but generally, there’s no reason to have dozens of unused power tools, like saws and sanders, occupying all the space in your home or garage.
“It may be more cost-effective to borrow or rent a tool rather than purchase it,” Sherin said. “Many large cities have tool lending libraries where members can borrow hand and power tools for basic yard or housework at no cost.”
It’s not uncommon for households to purchase items like floral arrangements, candles, or a custom lightbox, which serve as centerpieces for tables in every room. Buying a centerpiece for every surface in your home can be extremely expensive, depending on the type of centerpiece.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Stefan Bucur, founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home, recommends taking the DIY approach to making your own centerpiece versus purchasing store decorations. Craft your own centerpiece or use items you already have at home, like nice coffee table books. This adds a personal touch to your overall home décor and helps you save money.
This is a controversial item to include on this list, as most households keep paper towels on hand for the purposes of cleaning up spills or messes. The reason why Bucur recommends not purchasing paper towels is because they are a single-use item. It’s convenient to use but expensive and ultimately contributes to waste.
Swap out a reusable alternative instead, like cotton towels. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but it’s also a better bet for your wallet. “Throughout the year, even after pricing in the cost of washing these towels, they will still save hundreds of dollars when compared to their disposable counterparts,” Bucur said.
Small appliances, like air fryers, tend to be among the most regretted kitchen purchases made by homeowners. Blink, and before you know it, you’ll find your kitchen countertop covered in mini waffle makers, blenders, and breadmakers.
The remedy for not buying these items, Bucur said, is to invest in a quality convection or toaster oven instead. This helps save money and space and utilize an appliance that has multiple cooking uses rather than more limited uses.