Supplements, Bottled Water, and Other Things You Should Never Pay For

10 things you should never pay for


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10 things you should never pay for

Don't Throw Your Money Away

For struggling Americans, savvy spending is more important than ever. Still, even the thriftiest consumers occasionally squander their hard-earned money on products and services that should never cost them a dime. We'll shed light on ten such items. 

From the unnecessary expense of credit reports and moving supplies to the overrated benefits of certain supplements, each section of this article will tackle a product or service that no one should ever pay for.

Credit score report
Driver checking air pressure and filling air in the tires close up, safety before trave.
Koonsiri Boonnak/istockphoto

2. Air in Your Tires

Tires feeling a little soft? Well, customers who fill up are entitled to free air at gas stations in Connecticut and California. What’s more, Costco tire centers have free nitrogen fill stations that you can use whether or not you’re a member.

Amazon Delivery Covid 19

3. Shipping

In the age of Amazon, there’s no reason you should pay for shipping. Either wait for free shipping deals, order what you need on Prime, or go to the store yourself. Otherwise, you’re throwing your money away on an unnecessary fee.

Boxes on ground near moving van
Robert Daly/istockphoto

4. Moving Supplies

Most people try to get rid of their boxes and moving supplies once they’re finished settling in. So rather than spend money on boxes — which you’re bound to get rid of — look for free moving supplies on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. U-Haul also has a free box exchange, where movers share their used moving supplies.

batch of scratched lottery tickets

5. Lottery Tickets

There are myriad reasons why you shouldn’t play the lottery. To begin with, the odds of winning the Powerball grand prize are 1 in 292.2 million. For context, it’s more likely that you’ll die in a shark attack or in an asteroid strike. And then there’s the fact that winning essentially upends your life, painting a target on your back.

Large Number of Packed Bottled Drinking Water with Blue Caps
Ake Dynamic/istockphoto

6. Bottled Water

While it might seem like a stretch to call the entire bottled water industry a scam … it kinda is. Most bottled water companies simply take municipal water and filter it for bottling, removing healthful minerals like magnesium and calcium. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Marion Nestle, a professor emeritus of nutrition, food studies, and public health, said that bottled and tap water are more or less the same. 

“Companies buy water from municipal supplies at very low cost and sell it back to the public at a huge markup,” Nestle told the LA Times. “I am not aware of any evidence that bottled water is safer than city water in places where cities take care of their water.” So that Smartwater you’ve been sipping on? Ditch it for a Nalgene.

Take Herbal Supplements

7. Unnecessary Supplements

Americans spend billions of dollars a year on supplements that don’t work. “The medical consensus is that there are no miracles in those bottles,” writes Matthew Solan of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. “Multiple studies have found that taking extra vitamins and minerals doesn’t protect against disease or improve overall health in otherwise healthy people.” The only supplements that might make sense for you — depending on your diet and lifestyle — are vitamins D, B12, and B6.

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credit cards stack including visa, master and maestro
Using smartphone

9. A New Cell Phone

Cellular providers give out free phones like candy to win over new customers. Instead of shelling out, say, $1,000 for the new iPhone, take advantage of these deals, even if that means switching carriers.

Bank teller working in bank
Image Source/istockphoto

10. Bank Fees

It seems like some banks charge extra fees for everything. You don’t have to stand for that. For consumers who’re tired of fees, we recommend banking at credit unions, where fees are lower and rates are better.