Many of the items on this list serve a great purpose and aren’t necessarily considered useless. Rather, they’ve made this list because they’re more like one-hit-wonders than they are daily drivers. People often buy them to fulfill a single hype that quickly fades away. Whether it’s fitness or a hobby, purchases are made to make people feel better about themselves (smarter, more health-conscious, more responsible, richer, you name it). The only problem is a lot of these items aren’t cheap for the average person, and you probably wouldn’t feel so great wasting your money on something you will never use.
The solution doesn’t have to be to stop purchasing these items altogether. Rather, let this be a reminder of all of the things sitting around in your home, office, or car waiting to be used. Some of them must be used for the better of society in general. Furthermore, let this be an eye-opener that maybe you need to slow down before rushing to make your next purchase (big or small). You could save a whole lot of money just by eliminating some items on your shopping list that you know you’ll never use. Here’s our list… what’s on yours?
20. Reusable Shopping Bags
Reusable shopping bags are always bought with good intentions. They make you feel trendy and smart; like you’re making a small contribution to the environment and playing your part in conservation efforts. Well, at least it’s the thought that counts. These are probably the most frequently purchased items that are left unused because they’re tucked away in the back of the pantry somewhere, or already occupied as a carrier of all of those little plastic bags they were supposed to replace. California recently enforced a law that makes customers fork over ten cents per every plastic bag used, which is probably a better option than spending an hour searching for those dang reusable shopping bags anyway.
Fitbits are the latest fitness trend. Not only do they make you look smart and techie, but also like you’re super into health and fitness. Even if you’re obese, wearing a Fitbit can still make you look fit… add a protein shake and people will start to think you’re on your way to a radical transformation. It’s one of those things you buy because you hear the hype about how it gives you all kinds of feedback and accountability, but then you never really figure out how to use it so you end up just wearing it for looks or to make you feel better about yourself.
18. Adult Coloring Books
Adult coloring books are things you know you’ll never use but still pick up and contemplate buying every time you see one while waiting in line at the supermarket. The designs are unique and interesting and make you feel artistic just for appreciating them. That’s exactly what they’re designed to do – they’re a form of therapy. The idea is that people come home exhausted from a crazy day at work and wind down by grabbing a glass of wine and colored pencils. Sounds ideal but no one really does this. If you ever meet someone who actually has a couple completely colored books, you’d probably have second guess their mental stability.
17. Blu-Ray/DVD Players
This is probably one of the most frequently purchased Christmas gifts within the past couple of years. It’s not quite as costly as a TV, yet a much better gift than a crock pot. Sleek and loaded with features, it’s a pretty exciting gift to receive. There’s only one problem – streaming. That’s right, more people are streaming movies and shows through Netflix and Hulu and therefore, DVD’s and Blu-Rays are now only serving as collector’s items. No one really buys one unless it’s a movie or series that they’re an avid fan of. Not only are they a bit useless, but they’re also difficult to resell on Craigslist.
Everyone needs to buy at least one journal a year, only to have just five pages written in and then put back in the drawer to collect dust. Before it ever comes out again, another (cuter) one is purchased with a sure intention to really use it this time, but the cycle repeats itself. Journals are great for taking notes and, well, journaling, but with the convenience of laptops and smartphones, notes are more frequently typed than hand-written. Also, blogs are more exciting and require less manual labor. It’s no wonder journals need to look cute or else they’d never be bought.
15. Alarm Clocks
Many of the items on this list can be replaced by smart phones. Alarm clocks are a prime example of this scenario. They used to be a staple item to have in every home and even in every room. Nowadays, who wants to wake up to the sound of an annoying flashing buzzer when you can customize the alarm on your phone to be any song you want – or even better, just a vibration if preferred. Also, you can program multiple alarms to go off throughout the day, and assign different alarms to specific days. Some people couldn’t live without their smart phone simply because it also acts as their alarm clock.
14. Designer Handbags
Perhaps it’s because designer handbags are such a steep financial investment that they’re not frequently carried on a day-to-day basis. Most women who own a luxury handbag have more than one and rotate them for different occasions. This means that the bags actually spend more time on shelves than they do being carried or serving the purpose for which they were made. Also, they need to be kept in pristine condition in order to preserve their value. Some women will have their bags professionally cleaned after every use just like a luxury vehicle or jewelry. Some might consider this absurd, but other would view it more along the lines of a hobby.
13. Fine Jewelry
It’s common that every married woman owns a bridal set which is an engagement ring and a wedding ring combination that look like a perfectly matched pair. However, it’s rare to see women who wear both together. It’s more common to see women wearing just their wedding band, a ‘daily’ replacement ring (just like a ‘daily’ driver), or none at all. This might be because they don’t want their prongs to collect dirt, they don’t want to lose their valuable rings, or they just prefer to keep them tucked away. Some fine jewelry (necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, etc.) are just purchased for single occasions, making them rarely used at all.
12. Glass Cups
Glass cups look great but they’re just not so practical. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll probably be finding yourself using a more convenient, shatter-resistant option such as a plastic tumbler. Even foam cups are a bit easier to use. You don’t have to worry about washing, drying, and carefully storing those fragile glass cups. And what about coffee or tea? Mugs are the preferred choice as well. People gift glass cups and use them when guests come over, but they’re not really something that is pulled out on a daily basis. Once you’ve shattered a couple of them, you just decide not to replace them and use the plastic cups instead.
You’ve gotta feel bad for the calendar corner stands that pop up at the mall every year around Christmas and New Year’s. Their shelves are always full and they’re always throwing a huge clearance sale of some kind. And if you do end up buying a calendar, it’s usually for the puppies or nature scenes rather than for the intended purpose of the calendar. Maybe you’ll hang it up in the kitchen somewhere, but never remember to flip the pages. How many times have you been to someone’s house or office where the calendar is actually showing the correct month? Rarely.
How many times have you bought a bottle of lotion and actually used it all? This is probably why Bath & Body Works throws bundle sales. You need to buy five in order to get a good discount. That’s because they know you’ll give three bottles away and lose the other two. One will get lost somewhere in your car and the other somewhere at work. You’ll attempt to use the one at work every now and then to appear like you care about your skin, but that bottle will last you a good year or two. Let’s face it, lotions just make great gifts but we rarely use them on ourselves.
9. Gym Memberships
Gym memberships are also bought with the greatest intention of improving one’s overall health and lifestyle. Everyone ought to have a gym membership because everyone needs to hit the gym regularly in life. You have thirty potential days, or opportunities, a month to use your gym membership. The only problem is that, in reality, studies have shown that only 18 percent of the members who join actually hit the gym on a consistent basis. Most people will cancel their membership after only five months. Apparently the chances of you keeping your membership increases if you go with a partner, so there’s a thought.
8. Deep Fryers
Deep fryers only get used a handful of times per year unless you’re using one in a restaurant or you just have a freakish obsession with making homemade donuts. Otherwise, they’re incredibly hard to clean and no one ever knows where or how to store the excess oil, let alone wait for it to cool down enough so that it can be contained and thrown out. Furthermore, fried foods are kind of like a taboo in the current nutritious society we live in. No one wants to eat fried foods on a daily basis. That’s why deep fryers made this list of items that are bought but never used.
Yes, planners still exist. Ever heard of the famous Franklin Covey planners? They’re just ridiculously expensive planners but they come with a whole training program and regimen designed to encourage you to actually use the planner. The planner, if you use it according to the program, is supposed to drastically change your life. That’s very possible, especially if you’re not a millennial, but most people prefer to rely on smart phones for scheduling and planning. Plus, planners are pretty self explanatory so why would you need a training program on how to use one? The answer here is simply because you probably wouldn’t.
Ever been to house or office that is decked out with massive bookshelves that are stuffed to the max? It’s very likely that some of those books are still crisp with unbent pages and covers that are in pristine condition. But no one ever admits to not reading. However, most people will buy books only to read the first couple of pages before losing interest or wanting to buy another book. Some books only serve the purpose of resources for when you’ll ever need to reference something pertaining to a certain topic. But you’ll most likely find yourself turning to Google before opening a book.
Cameras are another tool that has been replaced by smart phones. Whether it’s a point-and-shoot or a high-end DSLR, cameras just don’t get enough use these days. Smart phones are just so much more convenient and you can always count on having a smart phone on you whenever you need to capture those rare candid moments. They’re always purchased with the best intentions… Either to capture your baby’s first milestones or to become a new and exciting hobby. However, photography is probably one of the most frequently dropped hobbies because people find that high-end DSLR’s are more complicated to use than expected.
Coasters serve a great purpose. If you have nice furniture that you want to protect, coasters would also be nice to have. But how often do you actually pull them out when you’re drinking a mug of coffee or a glass of iced tea? They’re a great gift item and they come in a variety of appealing designs, but they’re another item that’s frequently bought but never used. People throw them out all the time, or lose a piece to a set of four and then no longer find any need for the other three. It’s a shame… those poor pieces of furniture.
I know, right? Apparently, only thirty percent of the population floss their teeth on a daily basis. This means that for every ten boxes of floss purchased, only three will actually be used. How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m going to start flossing,” only to back out a couple days later? Floss is probably more frequently used as a string substitute when strings are needed but nowhere to be found. Next time you’re shopping, don’t even waste your money buying a new box of floss and just commit to using the one you already have at home.
2. Scented Candles
Scented candles can really do a good job at making your office or home smell amazing. They can also provide a calming ambiance paired with a glass of wine and relaxing bubble bath. What an ideal situation and excellent sales pitch. The only problem is, unless you’re Amish, you probably don’t use scented candles (or any candles) on a regular basis. It’s no wonder there are companies committed to selling ‘higher-end’ candles that cost an arm and a leg, and stay-at-home moms trying to run a side business by ripping people off with overpriced scented candles. You could probably grab some from the Dollar Tree and get the same use as you would out of a twenty-five-dollar candle… not much use at all.
1. Craft Supplies
How many times have you gone to your local crafts store and spent a fortune on a new hobby? Crafts are not cheap. Whether it’s stamping or painting, you’re going to have to make a real investment. It’s probably best to limit your purchase as much as possible and give it some time to see if it’s a hobby you’re actually going to commit to before buying additional supplies. Far too often, craft supplies go unused and hobbies are too quickly abandoned. This is because people end up thinking they’d rather buy something than make it… it would certainly take less time and probably cost a lot less.
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