18 Overrated Household Items to Skip for Budget-Friendly Living

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By Darryl Henderson

We could all do with living a little more frugally. So many of us spend money on items for our homes that we just don’t need! If you want to cut back, here are 18 popular household items that are a waste of money.

Single-Use Kitchen Gadgets

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Single-use kitchen gadgets are often marketed as making food preparation quicker and easier. However, items such as avocado slicers and strawberry hullers may just be a waste of money, as the same product can be accomplished with basic kitchen knives you already have!

Specialized Cleaning Products

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Ask most people to check their cleaning cupboard, and they’ll likely find a bathroom cleaner, a kitchen cleaner, and stainless-steel cleaners. While specialized cleaners give the impression of a more targeted clean, multi-purpose cleaners are often all you need for all rooms and surfaces.

Disposable Plates and Cutlery

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Many people buy disposable plates and cutlery for easier serving or avoidance of washing dishes, but not only are these a waste of money compared to reusable kitchenware, but they’re also bad for the environment. The Guardian reminds us how single-use cups are subjected to slow decomposition, resulting in increased microplastics. That’s awful.

Decorative Towels

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A recent bathroom renovation might have left you feeling the importance of pleasing aesthetics, and decorative towels are great visual additions. Yet, in reality, they’re just not practical. They collect dust and only create extra laundry to do, making them a complete waste of money.

Fancy Ice Cube Trays

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The novelty of a uniquely shaped piece of ice for summer cocktails can soon wear off. Fancy trays not only take up more space in the freezer, but they also have a higher price tag. Regular ice cube trays are cheap and serve the same purpose as the fancier varieties, so stop overcomplicating things!

Single-Use Bathroom Gadgets

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With a higher focus on self-care these days, many people are opting for single-use bathroom items like facial scrubbers or foot spas. However, a simple hygiene routine with products you already have will do the job just as well. You can also save money by opting for reusable razors instead of disposable ones.

Fancy Storage Containers

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Those fancy container designs might be pleasing to the eye, but really, they’re an unnecessary waste of money. Plainer versions do the same job, and you can even avoid paying anything by recycling containers you already have. Simply wash them out and give them a new purpose!

High-End Air Fresheners

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Premium fragrances and bottle designs easily catch our eye; the more premium a fragrance looks, the more premium we expect our homes to smell. In reality, basic air fresheners work just as well, with Martha Stewart suggesting that you can even make your own air freshener using essential oils.

Expensive Cooking Utensils

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High-end utensils are usually marketed as being the best of the best and often backed by the biggest names in cooking. You’re led to believe your cooking will be less impressive if you don’t have the best utensils, but in reality, basic utensils do the same job effectively. You’re just spending unnecessarily!

Designer Trash Cans

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Think about it: your trash can is designed to hold trash, so it’s never going to be a pleasant thing to have in your kitchen. The most basic models will do the job effectively, so spending big on elaborate functions or a self-raising lid is just unnecessary. 

Gourmet Spice Blends

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If you’re a passionate foodie, then spices are a staple for your kitchen. Those expensive gourmet blends can be very enticing, making cooking a lot easier, but buying basic spices separately is the most cost-effective (and versatile) solution when you blend them yourself at home.

Luxury Bedding Sets

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Many people dream of luxury bedding with elaborate designs and indulgent materials. However, the novelty can quickly wear off, especially when you’re faced with a more delicate wash cycle and a higher price tag. Basic bedding offers comfort and functionality at a reasonable price, and that’s all you need.

High-Tech Kitchen Appliances

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With the rise of smart homes, more people are installing high-tech appliances, yet how useful are they really? As long as a kitchen gadget does what it’s supposed to, the basic models will perform the same task. What’s more, high-tech items have more that can go wrong, making them counterproductive.

Premium Laundry Detergents

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High-priced detergents can make you think that your laundry will be cleaned less effectively if you choose cheaper brands. Despite this, budget-friendly detergents will clean your clothes just as well; as The Spruce advises, you can even make your own laundry detergent by mixing borax, washing soda, and soap flakes.

Premium Paper Towels

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Premium paper towels are marketed as extra absorbent, so many people think they will use fewer paper towels at one time, therefore saving money. However, the higher price tag to begin with often means you don’t really save any money at all, and after all, cheaper paper towel brands will do the same job!

Specialized Food Storage

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Many food storage containers are marketed as having a specific purpose, to be used for one particular food group. How does that make sense?! The most basic reusable storage containers can easily be used for various types of food, and they will avoid clutter and save you money.

Premium Water Filtration Systems

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BLUETECH, via LinkedIn, explains that water filtration is vital for removing impurities from tap water. While water filtration is definitely a worthwhile investment, premium systems might not be. Highly-priced systems might claim more purification, but basic alternatives provide more than enough quality water filtration for safe drinking.

Bath and Shower Accessories

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Finally, most bathroom accessories are based on personal luxuries rather than being needed. Items like sponges, loofahs, back scrubbers, and other cleaning products can easily be avoided by simply using your hands to give yourself a thorough wash. Not only that, these types of accessories can accumulate bacteria! Now that’s gross.

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