13 Everyday Items You’re Wasting Money On Without Even Knowing It

Are there any products you’d recommend buying the cheaper versions or brands?

Some things you can and should spend money on but after someone recently surveyed a popular online frugal community, they volunteered these products as ones to save money.

1.  Store Brand Toilet Paper

Man with roll of toilet paper in WC, closeup
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Aldi and Walgreens have decent store-brand products. For example, for homeowners who have a septic tank, their single-ply toilet paper is one to stand by. This single-ply works for others, although “I know some people who refuse single-ply.”

2.  Clothes

Asian Woman trying clothes in shop mirror
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There is no reason to spend $75 on a pair of pants or $50 on a shirt, especially when you realize the same shirt or pair of pants will be 80% off next year. One person commented that their favorite clothing brand was “the clearance brand” or from the thrift store; you can always find good stuff there.


3.  Glasses and Sunglasses

Retro Geek Girl wearing glasses grainy vintage portrait
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Many people agree that maintaining a pair of spectacles was difficult because they are so easy to squish. You can sit on them, step on them, and others could accidentally do the same. “I buy all of my prescription glasses (including sunglasses) online. It’s so much cheaper than the brick-and-mortar eyeglass shops.”

4.  Reusable Food Storage Containers

Lunch box meatloaf, bulgur, nuts, cucumber and berry.
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Using cheap thrift or dollar store food storage containers eliminates that anxiety of not getting your good Tupperware containers back. Holidays and family get-togethers are the most common time when your plasticware gets lost in the back of someone else’s cupboards.

5.  Farmer Markets and Roadside Stands

Blurred and happy brunette woman holding paper bag with groceries with red pepper in focus.
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At the end of a long day at the farmers market or a roadside stand, the vendors loathe reloading the leftovers into their vehicles to haul back to the shop. However, it is well known that many, if not all, farmers are willing to let their remaining inventory go for pennies to avoid bringing it home with them. ” You can get amazing deals on top of already cheaper/better produce, and you get to support your local community and start building relationships with the people who grow your food.”

6.  Electronics

young woman smiling at phone screen
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You don’t have to spend $1k or more on a cellphone to get good quality. Several noted they don’t know how to access the majority of the high-end functions of their phone.


On the other hand, you can get a Samsung device at one-third of the cost and still hit all the immediate functionality needs. You can also find a decent 32-inch TV at Walmart or Target for a reasonable price to serve all your viewing needs.

7.  Furniture

Beautiful woman in sunglasses sitting on sofa
Image Credit: HayDmitriy via DepositPhotos.com.

Everything except mattresses is on the list of furniture that many individuals feel ok buying second-hand. In addition, scores of people “prefer wood to artificial materials” because they could “refinish it if necessary.” Another declared, “I recently got a huge wooden armoire for $60. It is cheaper than the cheapest furniture.”

8. Single-Use Products

Child made a bookmark from yellow and blue folded paper
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A long line of paper products is made for one-time use because part of their life cycle is being torn to get to something contained inside. Things like “wrapping paper, mailing envelopes, and so many office supplies” they go to a dollar store for because they “are most likely going to be thrown away but hopefully recycled if possible.”

9.  Books

cheerful girl wearing glasses holding book in front of mouth
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Somebody admitted they “only read stuff from the tiny libraries, public libraries, or borrow from friends. I always return the books and keep them in great shape, so my friends don’t mind lending them out.”


10.  Kitchenware

Top view of butter and knife on white plate on blue background
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Cutlery and dishes are pieces you can cheap out or buy second-hand. “I got my dishes from a friend who was going to donate hers.” Someone else added those dishes are their absolute favorite. Dishes tend to break, and it feels a lot less painful when that happens, and you know you didn’t pay much for your glassware.

11.  Essential Oils

Woman with two bottles of medicine or perfume
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One couple explained how they generally only purchase organic essential oils. But one occasion, the spouse did not grab the organic lavender oil for the baby’s bath. There was the thought of returning the essential oil, but they “looked it up, and apparently, non-organic lavender is fine because it naturally deters bugs, so they don’t spray pesticide on it.” This quick search gave the parents relief that the cheap version was not so far off from the expensive version.

12.  Eyeliner and Mascara

Portrait of woman close-up look aside red lips
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via DepositPhotos.com.

Most make-up enthusiasts concur you can get away with wearing cheap mascara and eyeliner. “It’s not worth the high prices, whereas I’m willing to spend more on concealer or foundation.” Although a decent make-up ensemble could get expensive, these are some of the few items you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to acquire.

13.  Tools and Appliances

Housewife cooking with multicooker
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Jim_Filim via DepositPhotos.com.

Thrift stores in well-to-do areas tend to have a great selection of appliances and tools. Most will agree that older equipment is better built to last compared to the newest versions. Unfortunately, upwards of consumers “beat the quality issue by shopping at thrift stores.”

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.