June 29 2010|08.00 AM UTC

Jonathan Rivers

Stop Wasting Your Money on These 25 Things

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There are many ways that people overspend on a regular basis. They include costs that could easily be avoided, or reduced, by customers willing to do some market research, shop around, or plan ahead. In a downward economy, these useful tips can markedly help consumers reduce their unnecessary expenses. The following is a list of 25 things that many people commonly overpay for, and it most likely includes at least one thing that every person is guilty of spending their hard-earned money on from time to time.

Pseudo-Health Products


There are a number of products marketed specifically to people trying to live healthy lives. They are often presented as “low fat,” “all natural” or even as being “high protein.” But some of these products may actually be full of other non-healthy ingredients, and can be high in sugar. As a result, “protein bars” can end up just as unhealthy as candy bars, while costing up to five times as much.

Brand New Technology


Buying brand new technology is one way to spend more than is necessary. It is well documented that technology prices come down considerably once new products have been on the market for several months to a year. Additionally, waiting allows time for other companies to release competitive technology, presumably leading to better overall products becoming available in the marketplace.

Bottled Water


This is probably the most overpriced of all regularly consumed products. Over 2/3 of the world is covered in water, and filters to covert ‘tap water’ into filtered water are readily available for under twenty dollars. However, millions of people choose to $1-2 on this convenience item each day.

Individual Cups of Coffee


Individual cups of coffee purchased anywhere, whether from restaurants, gas stations, or coffee shops, are invariably priced high. Especially when compared to what one could buy and prepare coffee for in bulk at home.

Prepackaged Food


Buying prepackaged food items such as sandwiches, sliced apples, or desert cups is one way of overspending on products that are relatively easy to make. They also often cost several times more than if one were to prepare these items and store/serve as single servings.

Premium Audio Equipment


Premium audio equipment often costs a considerable amount more than mid-range electronic equipment. And, the disparity in quality is often confused with a matter of taste, or it may not be discernable to the everyman.

Apple Brand Accessories


Apple has built a cult-following over the past decade, and they are able to demand premium prices for many of their aftermarket accessories. There are, however, a number of manufacturers that make products that are compatible with their mp3 players and other products, available for a fraction of the cost.

Sending a Fax from a Business Center


There are a number of free web-based fax services, for which you only need an email address and a scanner. This process can be even easier with an editable PDF file. Sending faxes from places such as Kinkos can cost $1 per page for local, and $2 per page for long-distance faxes.

Car Maintenance at The Dealership


Unless a car is under warranty, going to a dealership for a repair is one sure way to overspend. Car dealerships often prey on the fear of car owners and promise that certain work can only be done by authorized dealerships. Dealerships are also less-inclined to negotiate prices, something that should be done with any type of auto maintenance.



Customers now have the ability to compartmentalize the purchase of music to the individual song level. No longer must consumers purchase entire albums that they may be uncertain about. There are also new services like Pandora.com that offer a dynamic way for people to consistently listen to new music, with the only stipulation being that the listener does not own a hard/digital copy of the music.

Buying a New Car


Buying a new car is a well-documented, poor use of money. Little else need be said about an investment that regularly looses up to 30% of its value within 24 hours of purchase. Add the price of financing a portion or the entirety of the vehicle, and you have the recipe for one of the most illogical purchases on earth.

Package Phone Deals


Most regularly, phone companies sell customers ‘package deals’, which include certain local and long distance services, as well as several other add-ons, such as call-waiting, call-forwarding or caller ID. Many customers do not know they may choose a solitary service such as local calling only. Many DSL customers have land-lines only because it is necessary to operate their DSL – for these customers, especially those that have mobile phones, the objective should be to get their land-line expenses as low as possible.

Buying Additional Warranties for Electronic Products


The typical lifespan of electronics products are 3-5 years. A warranty that last five years may protect you from having to buy a new DVD player after four years. But, with the rate at which technology develops and its price deflates, it is unreasonable for a warranty to cost up to 50% of the item’s purchase price. It is seldom worth the extra cost for something that many customers will upgrade before the needs for repair or replacing.

Late Fees and Overdraft Fees


Paying late fees on credit cards and bills, and overdraft fees on bank accounts can be a disheartening use of one’s hard-earned money. Especially when a minimum payment on a credit card of $15 is missed, resulting in a late fee that can be as high as $39 (and perhaps result in an APR% increase). Overdraft fees can also add up, especially when they are made in quick succession, resulting in fees for each transaction made while an account is overdrawn.

Non-Bank ATM Fees


ATM Fees can add up. They can also be slightly misleading; it’s not unusual for ATM convenience fees to cost $2.00, and for the card-issuing bank to charge up to an additional $2.50 as a non-bank ATM Fee. As a result, it may cost up $4.50 to withdraw $20.00.

Parking Tickets


Often times, parking tickets are the result of either laziness or a failure to pay attention. Depending on the city, they can range anywhere from $39 to $99 for a basic parking ticket, and the price can continue to go up if the ticket is paid late.

Subscriptions to Print Publications


With the increased popularity of online publications, print media is becoming less of an worthwhile expense. Most print publications’ online counterparts offer the same articles and features, and it’s usually entirely free – often with archives too.



For the first time since their introduction, DVD sales are slumping. This is a result of there now being many alternatives for individuals to watch movies without having to purchase them. Netflix offers unlimited monthly rentals, and websites such as Hulu.com, enable users to watch thousands of its titles for free.



Except for use by photographers, film has become all but irrelevant. Digital cameras allow users to view photos immediately after taking the picture; the decision can be then made to delete the picture, or to save some form of it – either digital, or a print, or both.

Home Fitness Equipment


It seems that most people who to purchase home fitness equipment rarely use it. Paying for this type of equipment can often equate to several years of gym membership dues. And, for example, with a treadmill, the equipment is often not useful for a full body workout, such as what one would have access to at a gym.



Most people gamble with a vague sense that they may one day strike it rich. Others, play for entertainment. It cannot be denied that – especially at a casino – the odds are stacked against most gamblers. In any case, gambling is often the source of grief and frustration – presumably, at the thought that any money lost could have better been used by depositing it into one’s money market account.

Paying Full Price


Perhaps a silver lining to a downward economy is that many types of products are now being sold at either discounted prices, or vendors are more willing to consider price negotiations. Even if this were not the case, there are a multitude of websites where customers can do price comparisons, or find deals on overstocked brand name or high-end products that vendors and manufacturers are desperate to get rid of.

Impulse Buys


TV infomercials are constantly trying to convince people that the advertised product is absolutely necessary. A number of obvious and subliminal marketing methods are used to sell these products. Consumers should try and make a point to research before they buy, and not fall prey to aggressive solicitation – whether it is from television ad, or from a door-to-door salesman.

Designer Clothing


With the increased popularity of department store brands such as Zara and H&M, designer style clothing is becoming increasingly accessible. Stores such as these offer prices much more affordable than the design houses that inspired their wares. For those who are not as concerned with fashion, there are a number of ways to cut costs in this area such as buying second-hand, or shopping at stores such as Target and Wal-Mart.

Flowers From a Florist


Flowers are often overpriced, especially at florists, and always around the holidays. Grocers often offer flowers at a fraction of the cost than gift-related specialty shops. This alternative is definitely worth considering given that the lifespan of flowers – once cut – is only several days.

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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Jones February 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I agree with virtually all of those suggestions.

I’d not pick on Apple accessories however and broaden that to all name-brand electronic accessories – particularly those from, say, cell phone carrier stores. I’m amazed when I hear that my parents bought a new phone battery for $40 when I can get one that performs the same, new, from ebay for $5 including shipping and a free case.

That being said, if you really use an item and get lots of value out of it, it’s also wasteful to pay for something that doesn’t fully meet your needs or will require you to replace much too frequently. Sometimes paying for quality makes a lot of sense. For me that realization came in the purchasing of computers, which are central to much of life and work. I’d always paid for the nearly-the-cheapest model and ended up replacing it after 18 months when it stopped running effectively (yes, I did all the suggested maintenance, reinstalled windows countless times, but there were *always* problems after a year or so). I finally said to hell with it and bought a mac, which was *far* more expensive but provided me with a much friendlier user experience and has held up quite nicely with time, thank you. It’s definitely been worth it considering how the lowered stress and better performance I’ve had thus far.

A comment on the phone package deals, too – I have the 3 service deal from my cable company Cox (internet, cable tv, and landline phone) and have wanted to get rid of the damn phone which I only seem to use to answer the telemarketing calls. However, with some of the deals, mine in particular, it’s actually cheaper to have the tricked out phone line than it is to ditch the line completely and pay full price for just the cable and internet. I’ve even tried bargaining, but nope, gotta have all three.

Good items, I’m particularly surprised at how many people buy bottled water. It’s both a waste of money and a ridiculous waste of plastic.


BillShrink Guy February 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Scott: You’re right that the blurb on iPhone accessories can pretty much apply to any name-brand electronic accessories. $40 wired headsets? $80 replacement battery? Urgh.

I think you’ve also brought up a good point that sometimes its entirely worth it to spend a little bit more money on things that provides solid value for you, especially things that you’ll constantly use.

Although we didn’t mention it, an easy alternative to bottle water would be the many snazzy oversize canteen that’s available at many retailers. If you’re worry about taste, chill the water before drinking.

FYI though that sometimes there are just situations where you’ll have to buy a bottle of water. Not a big deal.


Scott Mitting February 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Am I wrong, or wouldn’t changing your lifestyle just slightly, so you don’t have to depend on a car for transportation, you would save far more money than all of these mention items combined (minus the new car and maintenance mentioned)?

A big one not mentioned on here too, that’s completely related, is the gym? Why do people pay for a gym? Is there anything more stupid than sitting in a car to go to work and then sit again to go get exercise? Ride a bike or take a walk. It’s far cheaper, and better full you that the bullshit meat-heads tell you about carbs and protein shakes.


Blottsie February 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Now you know which stocks not to buy…


BillShrink Guy February 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Scott Mitting: Although its true that some people can probably save a bundle if they opt for public transportation in lieu of their own vehicle, you should know that it’s not exactly practical for many people in certain parts of the country. If your job entails you to commute daily or make sales call, or if you job requires you to make house visits, etc. – a vehicle will be the better choice. This is especially for those that lives in parts of the country where public transportation is subpar or non-existent.

As for a gym, although I personally don’t find value in a gym membership, I can see how it can be a valuable routine for some people, especially people that live busy life or don’t have a proper place to exercise/workout because of the lack of facility or space at their primary residence.


Enginerd February 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm

“Little else need be said about an investment that regularly looses up to 30% of its value within 24 hours of purchase.”

No, it loses 30% of the price. The value is a bit harder to determine, but it’s safe to say it doesn’t decrease by 30% overnight. Obviously it’s difficult to get rich flipping cars, but if you buy a good quality new car that lasts for a long time, how is buying used better?

Also, a subscription to time costs about $20/year. Yeah, you can get the articles for free online, but not everybody spends their life in front of a computer (I do, my gf does not). It’s really not that much money for the portability gained, or in at absolute sense.

I could go on. Digital cameras do not have the same resolution as film, although they are close enough for most people. I agree with maybe half of this list (especially bottled water) but a lot depends on personal circumstances.


BillShrink Guy February 17, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Enginerd: Perhaps stating that a new car quickly depreciate in resale value would be a more accurate way to describe it… Very true that many in the list depends on personal circumstances.


B Kelly February 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Thank you, I have tried to teach my son and daughter all of the above. The water esp. But they in return have given me a bit more information with regard to short cuts and savings. I would however feel inclined to purchase new clothing to avoid the Critters one may invite into ones home.


Project Manager February 18, 2009 at 1:23 am

Dude… what’s left?

I get a couple of things, like impulse buys and bottled water… but flowers from a florist? DVDs? Music? Film?


antonio February 18, 2009 at 2:26 am

Agreed on all the things, although I would put something that people tend to have: Gym membership.

You see, this New Year brings “NEw Years Resolutions” and most of them are related with “loosing weight”. What everybody don’t know is that, with some friends, you can just have jogging around your house and enjoy the company of people you like; talking for some time without spending.

Also I will stop or reduce meat and diary; they are becoming more and more expensives every year; and can be sustituted with grains and high protein vegetables.


CherylHill February 18, 2009 at 7:19 am

Okay – I have to agree with most of these as being a waste of money, and not worth me buying. Especially bottled water! – but as a chick I kinda like the flowers, Sorry! ;0) lol


Mike Panic February 18, 2009 at 8:19 am

Sorry, I don’t agree with skipping the Apple branded products. iPod’s are the number 1 selling music player for a reason, they work VERY well. Buy a refurbished one from Apple and save some money, or buy a used one or previous generation one.


Chris February 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm

whoa… my picture is at the top of this post O.o That cliff bar was great after hiking a few miles up steep terrain ;)


BillShrink Guy February 18, 2009 at 3:45 pm

antonio: Hmm a second mention on gym membership. I definitely understand the viewpoint as many people simply have a monthly membership but hardly frequent the gym…

CherylHill: To be fair, we said flowers from a florist, not all flowers ;)

Mike: I’ve actually just scourged craigslist and bought a fairly good condition used iPhone 2G for a friend as a gift. Took a bit of digging and shuffling the bad sellers, but it was well worth the savings! (Especially since the friend doesn’t really have 3G service in their area anyways).

Chris: Great picture! Read your note on your picture page, just FYI though: we were just simply looking for a picture with someone enjoying a bar as a general example picture — this wasn’t a specific slam on your cliff bar ;)


Matt February 19, 2009 at 8:59 am

A good chunk of these are agreeable, but there are a few flaws with the logic.

Audio equipment: Sure, the quality of sound can be virtually the same between the high-end stuff and the mid-range stuff, but you also have to look at longevity. When I was younger I’d buy the lower end stuff and replace it every year after it would break. After college I invested in a high-end polk audio set of speakers which still sound amazing 10 years later.

Apple brand: Yeah. More expensive but how many laptop pcs can you say can be thrown onto a concrete floor from a hight of 5 feet and still work perfectly? My Macbook Pro came out of that exact scenario with a couple dents and scratches and I’m typing this on it right now.

Film: Film cameras cost SIGNIFICANTLY less than digital ones and if people took the time to calculate the cost of the camera, film and processing, they’d find that the cost is pretty much even for somebody who takes a lot of pictures. A casual snapshot shooter will see much better savings buying a film camera and a scanner.

There’s more than just immediate cost to look at and sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Just pay attention before spending and you’ll be fine.


Violet February 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

One thing that I think should definitely have made the list is software! There are countless open-source alternatives to every-day software, from word processing, to the whole operating system. Save money by using Open Office instead of Microsoft Office – it’s free, you can open and save .doc files, export to .pdf, and that’s just one example – http://www.osalt.com/ has lots of links to great open source software.


Vicki February 21, 2009 at 1:05 am

A lot of these suggestions are pretty ridiculous.
Just sayin’.


David Morgan February 21, 2009 at 9:31 am

Free software is not the answer for a normal computer user. I have had horrible time using free software such as open office and gimp. Lack of documenation is the main issue and getting any kind of support or phone support is next to impossible I would stay clear of it.


rr February 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

good article


Bet February 23, 2009 at 5:28 am

Prepare your own food as opposed to eating a lot of prepared food and takeout. The time it takes to fix it can be your de-stress time. You’ll know what it is you’re eating, it will be fresh, you’ll consume WAY less grease and empty calories. Costs a fraction of the prepared stuff, it’s a lot heathier and you’ll enjoy it more.


Davin Peterson February 23, 2009 at 6:02 am

Instead of getting an iPod, but a Creative Zen. The ZEN is cheaper and has more features then the iPod including a buillt-in FM Tuner & Microphone, so you don’t have to buy those accessories for it. Also, stores like eMusic offer music cheaper than iTunes.


Mike February 26, 2009 at 6:05 am

I think that you have missed the point on Magazine subscriptions. These are informative and can be very educational while reasonably priced. They can also be taken places where electronic devices cannot. It is also a major source of employment.there are millions of people that work for small mom and pop print shops and major print companys such as Quebecor World and Donnelly. your attempt to save 5 dollars a month on a couple of subscriptions could cost a lot of jobs.


Adrian Crook February 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Those people in the designer clothes (second to last item) all seem miserable.

I guess money can’t buy happiness!


atlanta February 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

you forgot the pet clothes.


What Eva March 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

“Many DSL customers have land-lines only because it is necessary to operate their DSL”

Not true. That’s a lie perpetrated by the phone company in many (if not most) cities. You could get a DSL-only line from Verizon in Chicago almost 10 years ago, and it was supposed to hit other parts of the country years ago.


Nick Williams March 10, 2009 at 12:12 am

Loving the blog. Great topics and excellent composition!


Bert March 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

Like musicians haven’t taken enough of a hit in the last few years! Way to encourage people to not buy music!
Magazines also. The recession has hit the publishing industry hard. Many people have lost their jobs.
Both music and magazines improve quality of life and are definitely not something I would EVER cut out of my spending.


Alyra March 11, 2009 at 9:03 am

Yes..let’s all promote shopping at Wal-Mart and Target. It’s after all a MUCH wiser decision to save a couple bucks in exchange for buying clothes that will fall apart after three months as a result of being manufactured by children.

While we’re at it, let’s also put the independent, owner-operated florists out of business! In fact, let’s board up all the shops downtown! Who needs specialized stores downtown when we can easily go to the franchise, big-box, gloriously ‘cheap’ stores that we can (I’m guessing) only drive to. You know the ones. Flashing away at all hours of the night at the outskirts of wherever we live. Parking lots that could fit a football stadium, because you can only drive there. Never downtown where you could walk.

So yes, let’s close out all of the independant, owner-operated businesses! Our economy will surely do better once it’s taken out of the hands of the people, and left in the pockets of Corporate America.
But hey, we will save a few bucks.

Sarcasm aside: I would like to mention that I do, in fact, wholeheartedly agree that people need to stop paying for individually packaged foods and especially bottled water taken from the tap, filtered, and sold back to us by tyrannical corporations, I (clearly) do not agree with all methods of penny-pinching presented by this article.

The magazines and music industries certainly do not need people to all of a sudden stop buying their products, because both of those industries are very important to our culture.

I think that the author needs to think twice before telling people which industries to pull their money out of, after all, it wasn’t the small businesses and record companies that got us into this mess in the first place.


Will March 12, 2009 at 7:33 am

Well said, Alyra.


Kate March 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I got rid of my land line a year ago, as well as cable tv. I have wifi and a cell phone. Less hassle and significantly lower bills. I can watch any movie or tv show anytime on line and use a phone card with my cell phone to save money making international calls.
However, I agree with Matt and Scott about Apple Computers. I love my MacBook! It should not be compared to a PC. One is a pleasure to use and the other, PC, can cause a nervous breakdown in a matter of minutes.
Think of the money you save on a psychiatrist!


Gaby March 26, 2009 at 11:57 am

Alyra & Will….
Maybe this article was written in consideration for families that are struggling to survive while providing welfare to the rich with our tax money. If you don’t like Walmart, stay out. As for owner-operated florists, they have always over-charged in order to cover their ridiculous rent. Im not against independant owner-operated businesses, but I am for responsible tax payers that work hard to pay their bills, put food on the table and clothes on their kid’s back, regardless the type of material. You want to talk about magazines and culture? This generation is all about the internet. Yes, jobs are at stake and it sucks, but these are just suggestions for folks like us. Sometimes we need to “save a few bucks” to make ends meet.

I’m just saying, good article, good suggestions for those in-need.


Big Al March 29, 2009 at 4:52 am

On the bottled H20 deal, I take it a step further & recycle my empty bottles by refilling with tap H20, refridgerating & just grab one in a kozy to sip while I drive my 15 yr. old car out on my rare trips to suburban sprawlville for basics shopping at those ultra discount stores that just don’t have any stores in our city. I love flowers too, so I just clip blooms from my own yard, put them in vases I’ve collected from prior florist deliveries and then give them to my friends to enjoy! It can actually be fun to be a responsible steward and still get to enjoy good things in life for free.


Joanne April 4, 2009 at 3:42 am

Love the advice. I can’t think of every money saving idea by myself. I don’t understand the anger and sarcasm in the responses. Advice is just that: use it if you want to or don’t.


kathy April 13, 2009 at 1:43 am

My husband works for a car dealer and their labor rates are lower than many independent shops in our area. He talked to an independent shop owner and not only were all the prices for routine mantenance higher then his, he also has as many technicians working for him so overhead is practically the same. This independent shop owner lives in a much bigger home then we do, he told us that the general population has the preception that independent’s have lower prices and that is why his shop stay busy.


PJ Van Hulle April 14, 2009 at 1:27 am

Awesome information! I recently realized that the fees I was paying for getting disorganized with bills would cover the cost of hiring someone to keep me on track.

The bottled water… that’s a tough one for me! I carry my own bottle everywhere with me. But if I run out of my own water, tap water tastes so yucky to me in most places.

I really appreciated how nicely you’ve organized and explained everything, especially with adding pictures, too. (Can you tell I’m a visual learner?) ; )

Love & Prosperity,


PJ Van Hulle
“Who Says Making Money Can’t Be Fun?”
Real Prosperity, Inc.


Debra April 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Folks, as a over 50 something person I have lived without these above things. They all have truly not been around as long as you think. Buying new has rarely been an option even before this “depression”. I’ve lived the past 10 years without a television – get a lot more done between work and bedtime – don’t need the gym. I drive a car because my job requires travel during the day time but weekends and after work I walk or ride my bicycle. I have a computer because of work. DVD’s pushed out the individually owned movie theaters, recorded music has shut down the family/neighbor’s getting together and sharing what talents they have. There is always change – sometimes it hurts sometimes it doesn’t.


liza April 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I had my landline dosconnected from my cable and downgraded my dsl to the lowest price 19.99 a month and I invested in the magic jack for a one time payment of $50 and $20 a year after that. The down side for some might be the fact that your computer has to stay on for it to work. This will cost you about $5 no more than $10 a month.I think this is still a major savings


Phillip April 20, 2009 at 7:10 am

My grandfather would tell all the folks who spend hours every week burning of excess energy in gyms and spas, and running for miles to go nowhere, that he could show them how to put all that effort to work on crops to feed those who can’t afford food or spas. How much energy do we waste producing fertilizers to grow tons of sugar that’s eaten and wasted going nowhere and producing nothing? It only broadens someone’s “carbon footprint,” doesn’t it?
Quit your gym, start a big garden, you’ll shape up and eat healthy, too!


Libby April 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Amen Debra! Change is scary but it isn’t always bad… The record companies will be okay distributing music through internet, and magazines sell advertising on their web site. (Remember when you bought the magazine and the first 20 pages were ads and every third page thereafter?) These are good tips for people who are looking to save money; if you bought a macbook, then you were not the intended audience for these tips! How many new jobs have been created by the advent of the world wide web??? Certainly we all realized as those jobs were created that other jobs would be lost?
P.S. I have the Creative Zen mp3, bought several years ago at 1/3 the cost of Ipod. The song downloads are cheaper as well.


haverwench April 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Davin Peterson: Alas, the ZEN player is not an option for those of us who use Macs. I need a player that will work with both my Mac and my husband’s Windows box.

Bert: To be fair, he never said not to buy music–he said to buy individual songs you want, rather than buy a whole CD to get one song you want. This can actually be a better deal for the musicians than CD sales. As for magazines, the publishers wouldn’t make an online version available if they couldn’t make money on it, so I don’t see how it harms them to take advantage of it.

Alyra: The article said not to pay more for “designer” clothes. That doesn’t mean your only alternative is el cheapo sweatshop garments. In fact, I hate to break it to you, but a lot of the designer labels are made in third-world sweatshops. H&M, by contrast–a store specifically mentioned in this tip–does not use sweatshop labor and does make high-quality garments. So unless your argument is that a garment will hold up better just because it has a designer label, I don’t understand your beef.


Azafatah April 23, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Absolutely agree with the stupidity of buying water. However, if you constantly refill bottles be aware of bacteria microbes & wash thoroughly…they love the nooks & crannies that enter your mouth with each sip.
Skype(also Tpad) has reduced long distance phone bills tremendously. Free download, easy installation of a great $28 webcam…voila! Family & friends around the globe are ‘almost’ in the same room. Just mind your state of dress when answering!


Hazel April 24, 2009 at 4:36 am

Many years ago, I was amused to discover that my neighbor, who hires a lawn care service for mowing, fertilizing, and chemically deweeding his relatively small, flat yard also goes regularly to a gym. He buys coffee and his lunch at work. The topper, however, for him, is that he also criticizes his wife for spending too much on groceries!

Can this marriage be saved? Doubtful…


Mayf April 24, 2009 at 6:57 am

I am always seeing the thing about immediate price depreciation when you buy a new car – but when you look at a low-maintenance, long lasting brand like Toyota or Honda – you’ll often find that the used ones price is almost as high as brand new. I buy new ones and drive them for 12 years, over 200K miles with almost no problems. The cost of ownership that way is very low.
I love flowers but get depressed seeing them die. I buy perennial plants and get to see their blooms year after year instead!
Good list! Add the savings you get by not using credit cards and paying interest, too!


Sally April 24, 2009 at 7:33 am

Good sensable advice. I think it is such a waste of money to pay someone $90 an hr to do something that we could do ourselves but are too lazy or afraid to tackle something new. For example,simple household repairs. It seems to me that we have become such an indulgent society, with little respect for what things cost.


Paul May 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

got to agree with most of these. I find it funny how people are so obsessed with earning more money but then waste it so easily.

Though i do disagree with some of these:

package food – total agree if you are buying them every day, however I’m often on the go and simple didn’t plan well enough or was to tired so end up buying a sandwich for lunch. I think most people with busy jobs will do this every so often.

Flower – you really think i can arange flowers as good as a professional florist can? No chance, and if i removed them from the garden (that look nowhere near as good) i would get an earful.

Fitness equipment – The best buy i ever had was a treadmill, it cost me -20 (i won’t go into details, but cockup with the company i bought it off, meant they ended up paying me £20, i never told them and kept the treadmill). That was about a two years ago, I probably go on it an average of twice a week, it would cost me atleast £3.00 to got to the gym each time.

So saving of 3 times 2 (twice a week) times 52 (a year) times 2 ( 2 years) is 624 add 20, is 644 pounds i’ve saved with that investment.


karen May 27, 2009 at 8:38 am

I agree that prepackaged foods are a waste. However, do not compound the problem by packing your own in disposable bags. All of those plastic containers that fall out of the cabinet every time you open it can be put to good use.
When packing lunches I use a reusable lunch bag and fill it with lunch in plastic boxes. Fruit and pretzels alike have homes there. Oh yes, remember to bring your coffee mug and or a water bottle to refill.

Speaking of coffee, for a while there was not free coffee available at work that anyone wanted to drink. I found a small drip coffee maker at a garage sale for a song and made my own.

My husband’s coffee and WiFi solution did bring him to Starbucks. He registered a gift card online and by buying a coffee a week he gets a couple of hours of WiFi at any Starbucks for a week. He refills the card and only buys a regular coffee.


Shaamex June 2, 2009 at 4:54 am

Both our phone company and cable company charge $5.00 a piece for just talking to a person to pay a bill. They give you an auto person as an alternative and 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t work and you have to talk Mr. or Ms. Expensivo anyway. Cha Ching!


Alyx July 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I have to agree with all about Apple computers. One of the best things about Macs is that you don’t have to keep buying new puters and/or update programs as often as you do with a Windows-based PC. We have an imac g3 that is 11 years old and still working great! I’ve found literally dozens of programs for $1 or less at 2nd hand shops that have given my little girl much pleasure and helped her in school. Brand name software.

Also, 97% of viruses are created for Windows OS. My husband worked in a school which he convinced to switch to Macs. He was in charge of all the computers. Each year, a technician for the Macs only had to be called a few times but the Windows PCs were constantly breaking down/crashing/getting viruses. Apple may cost up front, but it saves a bundle in the long run.


KAMMIE July 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm



Mike July 30, 2009 at 10:04 am

I can’t believe that cell phones are not on this list. Most people I know spend 60-100 a month on their cell phone plans. If you are always on the go and need it for work that may be fine, but I know people who pay 30-40 for the bottom rate plans and never use their minutes. We have 3 prepaid phones through Tracfone and spend about 280 a year that in under $8 per phone per month.


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