Special Report

25 Things You Should Never Buy and What to Buy Instead

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21. Bottled water

Most bottled water is just regular tap water run through a filter. While some people may prefer the taste of water that is filtered, it is much easier and more cost-effective to get your own filtration system and run your own tap water through it.

In addition to being cheaper, filtering your own tap water instead of buying bottled water is also much better for the environment. All those plastic bottles add up over time, and since plastic is not biodegradable, they just sit on top of landfills or make their way to our oceans.

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22. Slicers

Many places that sell kitchen gadgets have an entire section for slicers — banana slicers, avocado slicers, hot dog slicers, etc. While these gadgets might be fun and save a bit of time, they are not worth getting.

The reality is that you already have a slicer in your kitchen — a knife. If you find you are struggling to quickly and efficiently chop up a piece of produce, the solution is not to spend money on a slicer, but to practice (and perhaps sharpen your knives). You’ll get the hang of it quickly, without having to spend money or sacrifice storage space for a slicer.

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23. Sandwich bags

There is no reason to use a plastic sandwich bag when a reusable bag or container will do the trick. Using a tupperware container or a lunch box will save you money in the long term, as you won’t have to keep buying bags.

Just wash out the container and use it again the next time you take food somewhere. This also keeps some plastics out of the environment.

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24. Extended warranties

Extended warranties are one of the dirty little secrets of the appliance, auto, and electronics industries. First, there is a good chance you will take good care of your major purchases. Even if you don’t or something unforeseen happens, many manufacturers are required to offer a standard warranty that will likely cover your item.

If your purchase is damaged outside of the initial warranty, there is a good chance that the manufacturer will fix or replace it if they are responsible for its issue, according to Consumer Reports. Even if not, repairs may be less expensive than the extended warranty, which may cost over $100.

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25. Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets leave laundry smelling nice and reduce static cling. Yet they are generally not good for either your clothes or the dryer. Dryer sheets are coated in acid that melts in the dryer and coats clothing, leaving them soft and smelling good. Yet this acid gets into the dryer as well, particularly the lint trap, which can make it difficult to clean properly.

Instead of using a dryer sheet with every load in the dryer, consider using balls of aluminum foil — they take out the static cling without the negative side effects.

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