Did You Buy Any Of These 4 Things People Buy But Never Use?

There are some things in life that we buy and use all the time. Computers, cars, and tooth brushes come to mind! However, there are tons of other items that we’re exposed to every day via advertisements that are not good buys. In fact, they can be money wasters.

I think it’s always important to evaluate an item by a cost-per-use. For example, you might only wear a pair of $40 red heels once a month, but you’ll probably use your $40 coffee pot every single day. So, below I’ve gathered some items that I personally don’t think are worthy of my hard earned cash, but you might disagree!

1. Small Appliances

I recently went to the store to buy a toaster, and I was pretty amazed at all the random appliances that I saw. Cake pop makers, donut makers, grilled cheese makers, and endless appliances to make the perfect egg were all over the store. While I imagine that there are some people who get use out of these every single day, others might buy them on a whim and never use them.

Most of these appliances were inexpensive, in the $15-$30 range, but if you had 3-4 of them in your house, well that’s a hundred bucks that you could have used for something else!

2. Gym Memberships

This category does not include people who make working out a part of their everyday life but more the average person who works out sometimes. As we all know, the beginning of the year is when most people buy their gym memberships. They make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape and then their gym attendance tapers off towards the end of the year.

I’ve even had friends who had multiple gym memberships because they joined a traditional gym and then also have a Crossfit gym. Maybe I’m just not that into fitness, but I can do a lot of working out with some YouTube videos in my living room, and those are free!

3. Magazines

I love magazines; I really do. However, living out of the country for three years and seeing $25 People magazines in the grocery store really got me out of the habit. Sometimes I see magazines in the stores here in the States, and I’m tempted to buy them.

However, one look at the $3.99 price tag on the back always turns me off. Plus, I get my entertainment from reading the news online and blogs, which are typically free.

4. Warranties

This is definitely a topic that’s up for debate. I tend to shy away from warranties. For example, I didn’t buy Apple Care for any of our computers (knocks on 42,982 wood surfaces.) However, I would probably buy a home warranty when it’s time to purchase a house if I thought it was reasonable.

One way to get around this is to have an emergency fund to help you pay to repair items if they break. Again, this is one topic not everyone will agree on!

What are some other things that people buy but never use?

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About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. She enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com.


  1. You got me with the magazines. One more than on occasion I’ve purchased a subscription to a magazine because I love the IDEA of being a reader of that title. But at the end of the year I have a stack of unopened magazines that I’ll never read because I don’t have the time.

    As for warranties – I always avoid these now. Usually these are just schemes to squeeze out a few extra dollars from you. Instead I buy items with my credit card which doubles the manufacturers warrantee up to a year. Many credit cards have this protection plan, check the fine print of yours. Just make sure you pay off the card before the end of the month.

  2. Last year I had my gym membership good for one year, but I just seldom used it. I didn’t have time enough to go to the gym and I know that I only wasted money on that.

  3. I’m totally guilty of owning a blender and a popcorn maker, but I use mine super regularly (as in I’m sitting here with a fruit smoothie in my hand as I type!). I also will be getting a gym membership, but I only get them from gyms where I can cancel without cancellation fees or having to break a contract.

  4. My mother in law is so guilty of #1. They can generally afford it, but she is always buying some piece of crap…err small appliance and usually off of TV. Then, she gets a second one for free and sends it to us – can you tell I feel lucky?! 😉 We’re totally guilty of the magazines though have gotten a bit better about them now that we have little ones – they’re like magnets to the kids and get ripped to shreds so we’ve cut back on them which is a good thing. 🙂

  5. We made the error of putting some small appliances on our wedding registry. I feel bad about it because we never would have bought them ourselves and now they’re largely gathering dust. I’m thinking of our drink mixer, chiefly. My husband had ambitions of making REALLY THICK milkshakes but that has only happened rarely. Our panini press/griddle only gets occasional use. Thankfully he does use the waffle iron on a regular basis!

  6. I do subscribe to a lot of magazines because it is so much cheaper than buying them on the newsstand. However, I must admit that many times after a year, I drop them because I don’t get the good out of them that I thought I would. I have a blender and food processor that I used frequently in the past but now don’t so much anymore. I do have a lot of high end pots and pans that I use daily. Gym membership? HA! I hate exercising so much that I resent the time I spend walking and riding my bike. I sure as heck am not going to pay to be miserable! We’ve bought extended warranties on cars in the past but currently both vehicles are old enough that even those warranties have expired. An item that I buy a lot of that did not make your list is books. And I usually get them from Amazon where I can’t read much of the book before buying. Even after reading the reviews, sometimes I receive a book and decide I just don’t like it, which is not a reason for returning so I’m stuck with it.

  7. I am *super* guilty of buying and never using small appliances. I have a whole cupboard full – with many things still in boxes. Hopefully the cook boyfriend will put them to good use?

  8. I have a gym membership but I go 3-4 times a week so I see the value in that. We have two magazine subscriptions, one I get for ‘free’ as we get credits for recycling that we can use on various products. The other we pay for, but we do it strategically, as we get coupons for a few kids clothing stores that we shop at anyways, so the subscription pays for itself.

  9. I get asked now at Best Buy if I want to buy the replacement warranty on my $10 headphones. Um no….I think I’ll just replace them when they break. LOL.

  10. Our family uses all of our small appliances but we don’t have a grilled cheese maker or a cake pop maker because that’s just a waste. We don’t read magazines.. we try to use our gym membership when we can. It’s a waste of money if you have these but don’t use them!

  11. I use my gym membership a decent amount, and I got a really good price on it, so I’m fine with having it! And the “small appliances” I have are all multi-taskers or oft-used single-taskers (like a rice maker). And many of them were gifts, so the only cost us storage space in our cabinet.

    I haven’t gotten warranties on things, but I don’t buy many things that have warranties. I do have one magazine subscription that I’m actually months behind on reading. I probably wont renew it, but I liked having something tangible to read that wasn’t on the computer (both so I could take it anywhere and because the computer can be so distracting!)

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