From the prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet to the artwork on your walls, here are six things that many people overpay for.
You don’t have to buy expensive art pieces to liven up your home. Flea markets often have cheap and conversation-worthy pieces that are less than half of a home décor store’s price. Even better? DIY wall décor. Cover an artist’s canvas (found in craft supply stores) with a sheet or bold printed fabric, gather tight, and staple in the back. Cut remaining fabric, hang, and enjoy.
2. Air Freshener
You can make a Febreeze-like air freshener at home — and never pay more than a dollar for a fresh-smelling home or car again. Place a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, a splash of a fresh-smelling fabric softener and water into an empty spray bottle, or better yet, your old Febreeze bottle.
According to Jennifer McCarthy, contributor and health insurance expert for TheSimpleDollar.com, overpaying for medication can be avoided. “If you’ve been prescribed medications or you’re treating a sore muscle, chances are there’s a generic version that is significantly cheaper,” says McCarthy. “The active ingredients are the same, so what you’re paying for is the name.” However, she says you should check with your doctor before going generic.
4. Bathroom Cleaning Products
Avoid loading up on tile, tub, and toilet cleaner. Instead, make your own all-in-one product. All you need is 1 part dishwashing soap, 2 parts vinegar. This combination is the ultimate homemade cleanser that is more cost-effective than the name brand concoctions you can spend heavily on.
Many music services charge around $10 for monthly subscriptions and while that may not seem like a deal breaker, it adds up to $120 a year. But when you can download apps like YouTube and pull up that song that’s stuck in your head for free, why pay?
6. Drugstore Products
Kelley Gubler, one of the bloggers behind DiscountQueens.com, says that many drugstore items such as shampoo, toothpaste, and back-to-school supplies, are usually overpaid for because people neglect to use in-store coupons.
The first thing [people] need to know is that each of the major drugstores has their own coupon system, says Gubler. “These are the coupons that print at checkout with your receipt. It makes me sick to think about the times I tossed these in the trash with my receipt because they are just like cash.”
According to Gubler, each week drugstores offer coupons on different ad products. By combining the items in the ads with a sale and/or an in-store coupon, you can pay as little as half of what you would normally shell out.
* Image courtesy of Getty Images.