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A lot of great business ventures are based on a simple creed - ‘Create a Need and Fill It’ and it works every time. Throw in a little marketing and some slick packaging and consumers will beat a path to your door. Try this experiment - take a leisurely walk around your supermarket and don’t buy a single thing. Just make random mental notes of all the products you have no use for. Most likely, you wouldn’t even consider buying most of the products on display. Pay close attention to the spice rack. Unless you’re a gourmet chef, you probably won’t recognize half the names. Just pronouncing some spice names can be an ordeal. So many spices - so little time.
If you have another afternoon to idle away, spend it at your local discount pharmacy. Look at the choice of hair care products. How do people manage to arrive at a decision on the perfect shampoo and conditioner? A full disclosure is warranted - I use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo because I figure if it can’t harm the kids than it can’t possibly damage my bald spot. I never use conditioners because I’m not sure exactly what they do and, frankly, I’m concerned they might have a detrimental effect on the size of my bald spot.
Which brings me to the point I’m trying to make; there are so many products out there that frugal consumers can do without. Here’s my list of 12 Things I can do without. I hope your list is even longer.
Editor's Note: I implore anyone that is age 12 or older to ignore Frugal Nomad's advice on #9. It's a small price to pay for your fellow man.
1. Hair conditioners:
They’re expensive and who really knows if they’re even effective or what the long term effect is. What if those chemicals seep into your skull and mess with your brain cells? I’m not a scientist but I’m just not comfortable with exposing my scalp to exotic mixtures of coconuts and herbal weeds.
2. Paper towels:
I don’t care if they’re on sale, get a cloth. We can all do without paper towels and they’re a complete waste of resources. Try using a sponge or take a pair of scissors and apply them to an old bed sheet or towel and you’ll have a year-long supply of rags.
3. Garbage Bags:
If you recycle, the bags your groceries came in should be big enough for whatever waste you generate. I know they don’t fit nicely in your kitchen garbage bin but there is an easy solution to that, get a smaller bin that can handle the standard size paper grocery bag. Without a big bag, you won’t have any opportunity to leave your garbage rotting away in your kitchen.
4. Bottled Water:
Unless you live near Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, your tap water should be fine. Think about it; the same people that insist on drinking bottled water use tap water to cook and make their morning cup of coffee or tea. If the water tastes funny, get yourself a purifier.
5. Fuel Additives:
I’ve never used them. Ask almost anybody who knows about fuel efficiency and they’ll tell you that it’s all hocus-pocus. They just don’t make a difference. For the life of me, I can’t understand why these products are still on the market.
6. Window Cleaning:
Try this. Use water and a sponge to get rid of the heavy dirt. Then use a newspaper and regular water and see the results for yourself. Crank up the water pressure and blast away at your windows for the tough to reach spots. Really nobody cares about whether your second story (or for that matter first floor) windows are spotless.