25 Useless Household Items That Cost You Money

Every day we are all bombarded with advertisements and marketing strategies that companies use to sell their products to us. Most of the time, it is a bunch of worthless items that we really don’t even need.

There are so many useless household items out there that are completely unnecessary and end up costing a ton of money. Even if it seems like a small purchase, it all adds up in the long run!

Here is a list of worthless items that are commonly found in households that can create unnecessary spending.

Let’s get started!

25 Useless Household Items That Are Costing You Money

1. Paper Towels

Why people still buy paper towels is seriously beyond me. A 12-pack of paper towels can cost upwards of $40!

Paper towels can easily be substituted with cloth towels, old clothes that you were planning to donate, or any other type of textile that is machine washable.

You can save a ton of money each year by ditching the paper towels.

2. Air Freshener –

Plug-ins, sprays, scented filters… Even candles. These useless household items can cost a fortune if you have to buy new plug-ins and scents every few weeks.

Most of these products smell extremely artificial and are not really that great for your health anyway.

If you still want your home to smell nice on a budget, try using essential oils. They last much longer and are much cleaner for your home!

3. Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets –

Dryer sheets typically aren’t expensive for an entire pack, but every little cost adds up. These are worthless items that don’t serve a necessary purpose in your home.

Try swapping these with dryer balls. They are a one-time cost and can be used for years.

4. Bottled Water –

Bottled water can be expensive. Especially if you are buying a case every few weeks.

Instead of buying cases of water, try using a refillable water bottle and filling it up with filtered water.

This will help you save you money and avoid clutter in your kitchen as well.

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5. Dish Sponges –

Sponges are another useless household item that can also be quite expensive if they are a regular thing on your grocery list.

Instead of using sponges, try using a rag that can be washed or a long-lasting, reusable wooden scrubber.

6. Single-Use Cleaning Products –

Disposable, single-use mop heads, toilet scrubbers, and duster heads are worthless items that can cost you a lot of money. A pack of Swiffers costs $15 for just 30 mop pads! If you use 3-4 mop pads every time you mop, that can get pricey!

Instead of mopping with a single-use pad, try just using an old rag or t-shirt with a natural cleaner. Then rinse it off in the sink and toss it in the washing machine after you finish cleaning the floors!

You can also swap single-use toilet scrubbers and mop heads for a reusable toilet brush and a reusable duster.

7. Paper Plates and Paper Napkins –

Wasteful… expensive… not necessary.

Instead, invest in a nice set of dishes, bowls, and cloth napkins. You will never have to buy paper plates again!

8. Knick Knacks & House Clutter

Knick knacks are the little “décor” items that are always at the front of the store and are always conveniently on sale.

It can be difficult to walk past these cute and trendy items in the store and not feel inclined to buy them.

You might catch yourself thinking, “Well it’s only a $5 mug!”.

But think about it: the more knick-knacks you buy, the more money you spend. If you purchase new, worthless items every time you go to the store, you are spending a lot of unnecessary money.

These items won’t do anything for you but sit on a shelf in your house and collect dust.

9. Cable T.V.

Cable T.V. is another cost that adds to your monthly bills.

It can be extremely expensive and is almost completely unnecessary these days.

You can find some great shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video in place of cable television.

Or you could swap out T.V. completely with an even cheaper option like reading or watching Youtube videos.

10. Subscription Services

Subscription services can be super costly.

And most of the time, you end up with useless household items that you would never even purchase in the first place. 

To save yourself money each month, cancel these as soon as possible.

Some services like Billshark or Trim will even cancel your old subscriptions for you.

11. Overly Expensive Pet Supplies

Specifically pet clothes and unnecessary pet gadgets. 

I love my two dogs more than anything, but I can’t deny the fact that pets can be costly!

Why add to the cost of food and treats by buying them clothes, pet shoes, and other crazy gadgets and gizmos from the pet store? Try a cheap pack of tennis balls and long-lasting Kong toys for entertainment!

12. Popcorn Popper

I’ll admit, I used to have one of these. Actually 3, because most of them are made cheaply and break every few months.

You can achieve an amazing bowl of popcorn with a regular pot on the stovetop.

13. Disposable Razors

If you shave regularly, then you know the struggles involved with buying plastic, disposable razors. A general pack of razors can cost $20 or more per shopping trip if you aren’t careful!

Razors are not useless household items and are needed in most bathrooms.

So instead of buying them regularly from the grocery store, try an epilator or a safety razor. These are larger upfront costs but can last forever and will save you money on reoccurring razor charges.

14. Multivitamins and Other Pills

According to Healthline, Americans spend billions (yes, that’s billions with a B) on vitamins and other pills that sometimes are not necessary.

If you are looking to keep your body healthy without buying a ton of vitamins, try getting recommendations from your doctor for the nutrients that you absolutely need. And don’t forget to exercise!

15. Cookbooks

I know more than anyone how difficult it is not to hoard cookbooks.

Most of the time, people will buy cookbooks only to use a handful of recipes in them.

Fortunately, you can find almost any recipe for FREE on Google or Pinterest. Cookbooks can be tempting but your wallet will thank you if you learn to find free recipes online.

16. Flavored Waters and Soda

Flavored waters and sodas are worthless items that aren’t good for you anyway. If you buy a pack (or 5) of soda or La Croix whenever you go to the store, you will be adding an extra $10 or more to your grocery list.

This can easily be avoided by adding a lime or a lemon to a large glass of water! You can also buy a Soda Stream if you are someone who loves carbonated water.

I usually buy a case of lemons, cut them up, and freeze them to throw a piece or two into my water whenever I want to spruce up my drink game.

17. Plastic Kitchen Containers

Plastic Tupperware containers can be costly and usually break or crack within a year or so. (Or if you are like me, you will buy a bunch, lose all of the lids and end up throwing them all away anyway.)

If you invest in a nice set of glass containers with lids, you will never need to buy Tupperware again!

18. A Huge House

If you think about it, living in a large house with extra rooms is the worst reoccurring costs of all! 

If you have rooms in your house that you don’t use, you are paying for wasted space.

Try to downsize or rent out any extra rooms on AirBnb if you aren’t able to move right away.

19. Plastic Straws

Need I say more?

Plastic straws are one of the most useless household items around.

Try using a reusable glass or metal straw instead. You will never need to buy plastic straws again!

20. Overpriced Groceries

People spend so much money on pre-packaged foods and “meal prep” type items. There are thousands of cheap, easy meals out there that you can whip up yourself for a fraction of the price.

Couponing is another great way to cut down on grocery costs.

There are also so many amazing ways to earn cashback on your grocery store purchases. You are already buying these items, you might as well earn some money back while you’re at it!

Some of my favorite cashback sites are:


Rakuten is one of the largest cashback sites out there. They offer cash back for shopping online with over 2,500 stores.

And once you sign up, you will receive a $10 bonus!


Ibotta is great because you can earn cashback from online AND in-store purchases. You also have the option to be paid in cash or with gift cards.

You will receive $20 in welcome bonuses when you sign up!

21. Useless Kitchen Gadgets

Useless kitchen gadgets aren’t necessarily a reoccurring cost, but they will cost you money upfront. They usually sit in your drawers and never get used anyway.

Some of these worthless items include:

  • Banana slicer
  • Meat Spatula (Yes… I’m serious. I have seen them.)
  • Burger Press
  • Quesadilla Maker
  • Egg cooker
  • Bread maker
  • Salad Spinner
  • Electric can opener
  • Meat shredding claws
  • Tea Caddies
  • Etc.

…The list goes on and on. These are considered “convenience items” because you can usually achieve the same result with pots, pans, and a basic silverware/knife set.

22. Robot Vacuums

You might not realize, but robot vacuums actually still have some reoccurring costs that come along with them.

Not only are they extremely expensive upfront, but what these companies don’t tell you is that you have to buy expensive filters and other attachable gadgets for it once every few months.

You can easily replace these with a $10 broom or a regular vacuum.

23. Unnecessary Organizers

It seems like there is a type of organizer out there for everything these days. The other day I saw an advertisement for a sock organizer… For SOCKS.

Being more minimalistic and not buying so much stuff will reduce the need for so many organizers.

24. Having Fast-Food Delivered

I am not going to lie to you and say I never eat out. Everyone gets busy and needs a quick meal every once in awhile!

But if you consistently order food and have it delivered, it can add up. Eating out even once per week can be costly if you are feeding your entire family.

Instead, try meal prepping and cooking yourself some meals from home. Then freeze them so that you can easily pull them out whenever you need a quick meal.

25. Overly Extensive Holiday Decor

Holiday décor can get expensive and are typically useless household items that you can only use a month or two out of the year.

To save money here, you could either try decorating with the bare minimum or DIY some household holiday decor. Try using materials you already have laying around your home to make some amazing household items.

Get creative and have fun with it!

Then you won’t have so much stuff to store all year round and you can spend some family time making holiday decorations! 

I would love to hear from you! Have you swapped any of these items in the past? What other worthless items have you stopped using to save money? Let me know in a comment!

Useless items that cost you money

14 thoughts on “25 Useless Household Items That Cost You Money”

  1. Great list! There are definitely things on this list that will help cut down on costs and also good for the environment to quit buying. We are definitely a society addicted to disposable items!!

    • Hi Shara!
      I totally agree! Most of the items I listed are also just not great for the planet! Thank you for reading!

  2. I’ve tried to eliminate a lot of these but I am still guilt of several of them especially soda. Pepsi is expensive and bad for you.

    • Hi Mike!
      Yes, it can definitely be hard giving up certain things, especially if you have been buying them for awhile.

    • Hi Hannah!
      I have heard of them but have not tried them. I still have a ton of regular cloth towels and haven’t needed to buy new ones in years. They are so cute though, I might have to try them someday!

  3. Great list! Seems like convenience has become more important than staying on a budget. I need to go through your list and write down the things we can do without and substitute when we can for items that will save us money! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Denise!
      I definitely agree with you, most of the items listed are more convenience items that can definitely be substituted with cheaper options. I am so glad you found the information helpful!

  4. We don’t have cable TV, but we do have video subscription services. However, in order to lower the cost, everyone in my family pays for one and then we all share.

    • Hi Mariah!
      That is exactly what we do too. We each pay for one subscription and then we all share the services with each other so that we have options. Thank you for reading!

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