What's The One Thing You Hate To Spend Money On?

WiseBread asks an interesting question this week: what’s your frugal obsession? You know, that one thing you can’t stand spending money on: “Some people refuse to pay for bottled water; others refuse to shell out $4 to rent a movie when they can get them from the library for free.” Responses so far include software, soft drinks at restaurants, and gift wrap.

Our personal issues are with laundry and home cleaning servcies—it just seems wrong, somehow, to pay for those luxuries unless you work 120 hour weeks or live in a 25-room house. We know it’s irrational, but that’s the point.

“What’s your frugal obsession?” [Wise Bread]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. gorckat says:

    Myself. I tend to deprive myself thinking I should pay off debt.

  2. newlywed says:

    I HATE paying for shipping when I buy stuff from the internet. I don’t know why, but if there’s a free shipping coupon, I’ll buy tons more. Even if shipping is only like $5, it irks me – again, no reason.

  3. clickertrainer says:

    House cleaning and yard services. I live alone. If I can’t clean up my own mess, what good am I.

  4. vladthepaler says:

    I don’t understand why people spend money on garbage bags. Plastic grocery store bags, which come free with any purchase, work just fine.

  5. Alexander says:

    @newlywed: I’m totally with you there. I hate hate hate shipping & handling. I stopped buying from ebay because of ridiculous shipping charges. It’s all a scam to make more money. I sold some stuff on ebay and including the box and shipping charges I never spent more than $5 tops to send a small box anywhere in the country. I buy some trading cards from them and wham! $9.99 shipping & handling. total bs.

  6. leftistcoast says:

    ‘Convenience Fees’ for concert tickets I purchase online…

  7. mantari says:

    Sex. It has to be sex. I just won’t pay a dime for what I can get for free. (Assuming ‘free’ does not include the cost of drinks, dinner, gifts, movies, ring, etc etc.)

  8. Alexander says:

    @leftistcoast: Last time I wanted to buy tickets to Cirque Du Soleil, they had a service charge AND a convenience charge. Totally ridiculous.

  9. hinkmania says:

    Contact lenses. I sure do love to see with full range of vision, though.

  10. Sucko-T says:

    Books. I pay taxes, taxes pay for libraries and thus pay for the books I read. My library will actually send books to my house. Sure I have to return them but I don’t read most books more than once anways, I can always check it out again if I don’t finish it. Car insurance is a close second.

  11. ekoshyun says:

    Yeah.. I hate those Ticketmaster “convenience fees.”

  12. skittlbrau says:

    I hate, hate, hate paying for the miscellaneous office supplies you occasionally need around the house – paper clips, rubber bands, post its, etc.

  13. SabrinaFaire says:

    I refuse to buy expensive gift wrap. Sorry, fund raising kiddos! I see no point in purchasing expensive paper that will end up in the trash. It’s bad enough that I have to wrap it.

  14. rmz says:


    Excuse me for a moment, there’s a knock at the door…

  15. Parting says:

    TAXES !

  16. JanetCarol says:

    Don’t get me wrong I love love LOVE to eat. I think about how much I spend monthly on food which literally turns to the S word. Money Down the toilet, literally.
    Also Car and health insurance. They kill my budget everymonth.

  17. leftistcoast says:

    I think a better and more interesting questions would be “What’s one thing that your significant other hates to see you spend money on?”

  18. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    additional fees on cable/telephone bill

  19. jaredgood1 says:

    Cleaning/toiletry supplies. The only good thing about it is that my bathroom is spotless.

  20. alk509 says:

    Taxes. Our screwed up American tax collection system notwithstanding, I’d rather they burn the money than spend it on some of the shit they spend it on. It pisses me off to no end.

  21. Narockstar says:

    Salads. I won’t pay $10+ for lettuce at a restaurant when I could make it at home for $1.25. If I’m paying someone to cook for me, it needs to be more than some lettuce thrown in a bowl with some dressing.

  22. AuntieBubbles says:

    Pot. I hate to buy it from a drug dealer when I should just be able to cultivate it in my on garden, legally.
    Did I say that out loud?

  23. AuntieBubbles says:

    own* garden. Clearly, I need some more.

  24. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    Stamps. About once every 4 months I will need to mail something that I just can’t do any other way (parking ticket, rent when I’m out of town, etc.). You can’t just buy one, you have to buy like 20 of the things. Invariably I will lose the rest so when I need them again, I have to buy a new packet.

  25. redknight says:

    Parking. I had to learn how to parallel park for a reason. Plus, if I am going to be stranded in a midwestern city, I might as well reap the benefit of having convenient street parking in my “downtown” area.

    Books are a close second. Why buy new books when they’re free at the library. Plus, there is that romantic air of reading a well worn book that you can see so many others enjoyed before you.

  26. SaraAB87 says:

    I don’t mind soft drinks at restaurants because you expect to have to pay for them if you go out to eat, and 99% of the places I go to give free refills so you get your money’s worth. If your opposed to soft drinks at restaurants order water with your meal.

    Bottled water isn’t an issue because I buy generic and it usually works out to 10 to 20 cents a bottle. You can buy a case of water for 3-4$ and it will last a couple months.

    What I don’t like paying for is soft drinks out of vending machines, they are so EXPENSIVE, which is where my stash of bottled water comes in. Its much better to pay 10 to 20 cents for something to drink than 1.25 and up, not to mention water is much better for you than soda, even if you drink diet like me. All my life I see poor college students and working people who are struggling constantly with money, sticking money into the vending machine, and its the same people, if you bought 1 soda for 1.25 a day and then cut that out the savings can really add up and then you would have more money. If you must drink soda, buy packages of it at stores and bring it with you, its still cheaper. Another trend during college was that you would constantly find money lying around the cafeteria and in the vending machines, so people would stick 2$ in the machine to get a soda, and then leave the .75 in the coin return, you wonder why these people never had any money!

  27. syndprod says:

    + Preprinted greeting cards for specific events. I find it insane that Hallmark thinks people will drop $3 (or more!) on a card! I don’t even like receiving Hallmark cards because I feel guilty for throwing them out when I want to declutter (“Well… mom did spend $3.50 on this card, I better keep it a bit longer.”) I just buy blank notecards with cool graphics on them and write a personal note for the event. Have we become so uncreative and bland that we need someone else to write a sentiment for us?

    + Gift wrap. I try to use things such as magazine pages, or other alternative means of wrapping. If I have to, I’ll buy the most generic looking “gift wrap” at the dollar store and use that for everything.

    + SOME books. I am a heavy library user for most hardcover fiction and non-fiction, however, I want to own things like graphic novels and photography books. I do save money on these by never paying full prices, instead using those weekly Borders coupons, the discounts on amazon.com, or grubbing around on half.com.

    + Multi-issue comics, as in 6-part stories, etc. Although it’s a bitch to wait sometimes, I usually do and buy the collected graphic novel that comes out after all the issues have been published. There’s several advantages to this: no ads (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse do have ads in individual comic issues), and I can read the story all at once instead of waiting six weeks (or more) between issues. It’s usually cheaper as well. Right now I really want to start buying the 10-issue series of “Omega the Unknown” that Jonathan Lentham is writing…. but I’ll be a frugal geek and wait.

  28. alk509 says:

    @leftistcoast: HA! In my house that’s called “the list of everything Al’s bought this month”!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Diapers! Drives me crazy. Especially after the first year. You spend $.50 each for something that collects a little pee, then sits in a landfill for 500 years. UGH!

    It boils my blood to spend $1000 dollars per year on garbage! Then there is the cost of the diaper pail, liners, wipes…ugh!

    I switched to cloth diapers for my second and third kids. I figure I saved $2500 per kid.

  30. Haircuts. I mean, seriously, $35 to lop off some hair?

    I have very curly hair, so all they do is part it down the middle and chop it off all one length, so I wised up pretty quick and now I make my husband do it.

  31. Balisong says:

    Ugh, yes, convience fees for tickets! And whatever else sort of fee they add on every other time I go to a concert. It doesn’t cost them a thing – everything’s computerized!! Granted I don’t know anything about the ticket business but I wonder why there’s even any use for things like Ticketmaster. Why don’t concert spots just hire a website programmer person and sell the tickets themselves?

  32. captainvegetable says:

    @Jeff_McAwesome: That’s why I use those new postal kiosk things when I mail letters and small packages. You can, in fact, just buy one stamp. Usually they will sell singles in the post office via some less high-technical device as well.

    I hate spending money on my car. I won’t pay for a haircut. Bottled water and the like I don’t buy, but that’s more for convenience and environmental reasons than frugality.

  33. GothamGal says:

    In California, they tax newspapers and magazines and that pisses me off. You are taxing information? That explains why there are so many dumb people here for our jury pools.

  34. Geekybiker says:

    Oh yes. Those convenience fees drive me nuts. Especially when it is the theatre itself charging them. 3rd party place I can understand a little bit, but direct?

  35. All those stupid fees they put on phone bills.

    Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, Federal Regulatory Fee, etc. It should be included in the price of the plan. Don’t tell me Plan A costs $40 if it really costs $45. What happened to truth in advertising?

  36. boandmichele says:

    1. bottled water (depending on where i am, some tap water is better, some worse)

    2. cell phone/service

    3. riaa music

  37. Bellor says:

    I refuse to pay for any software. Torrenting is my friend. Programs, games, music, hell, my anti-virus software. Screw that. I’m not paying a dime for a CD or DVD. I don’t care if it has the secrets of life etched into it. I’ve got too much other crap I have to pay for. Like $3.00 for a ‘effing gallon of gas.

  38. Leah says:

    @Jeff_McAwesome: you can buy just one. you just have to do it at the post office. but if you have an autopost machine, you can buy one stamp on there, or you can buy one stamp at the counter.

    Bottled water is high on my list. I also hate purchasing things I already own, so my car trunk has so much stuff in it to avoid that snafu.

    When I live by myself, I deny myself all sorts of creature comforts b/c I don’t need it. No TV, no ‘net at home, no take out, no paper towels, etc. But that all gets thrown out the window when I live with others who aren’t quite as stringent as me :-(

  39. bilge says:

    Television. My television watching days ended when I moved to my current apartment with its crappy reception.

  40. kantwait says:

    I hate spending exorbitant amounts of money on birth control. You know that if men were the ones having babies that it would be free and readily available everywhere :-P

  41. Leah says:

    @SaraAB87: but buying a Nalgene/Sigg/etc and refilling it is so much cheaper. You buy one bottle that is between $5-20, depending on how fancy you want to get. Refill forever! Heck, I find water bottles all over the place and just give them a good cleaning. I own 5 Nalgenes, and I think I purchased three of them.

    I thought of something else I hate paying for: single use batteries. Give me lithium ion or other rechargeables any day! Your camera might be cheaper in the short term, but I have saved so much money by not buying AA for my camera. I bought the camera four years ago for $450, and I’ve spent maybe $30 on some spare Li+. Totally worth it.

  42. unholycinna says:

    I absolutely hate having to pay $12.95 in delivery charges after spending $50 on flowers. What the heck is that about?

  43. unholycinna says:

    And $35 for a haircut for curly hair? I wish. It costs me $200+ for cut and color and I only ever get a trim. Ripoff city.

  44. synergy says:

    Bottled water definitely has to be up there. I already pay taxes which go into water sanitation, I might as well drink what I already bought.

    Those convenience fees are utter b.s. especially with things like Fandango for movie tickets. Um, I’m the one using the ink and paper bub!

  45. synergy says:

    Dang, y’all need to find better places to get your hair cut. I just got mine cut on Sunday for $6. I’m a woman and it wasn’t just a straight line trim across the bottom either. It’s an actual style.

  46. topgun says:

    So many things to choose from. The first thing that comes to mind is Dairy Queen. I hate spending more for a chemically compounded serving of artificial ice cream that costs more than a half-gallon the good stuff in a grocery store.

  47. savvy9999 says:

    I don’t like spending money on car repairs and maintenance. Unless the job requires a tool that I absolutely cannot rent or buy, I do it myself. By keeping an eye out for sales and rebates on filters and oil, I have never paid more than $8 for an oil change. At this point I can change the oil in both cars in under 30 minutes total, tire rotation in 10, disc brakes in about 2 hours.

    It’s really less to do than about cost, more to do with eliminating one big huge pain point in life– dealing with mechanics. The less I see of them (and doctors, and lawyers), the less complicated things seem to be.

  48. B says:

    Website content. I just can’t bring myself to pay for website subscriptions, no matter how much I might like the content.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I agree about library books. I’m a fast reader and I almost never read a book more than once. I used to go to the library and bring home stacks of 3-5 books every two weeks. It’s especially handy when you have a library that does free hold requests. I’ll go to Barnes & Nobles, write down all the books that look interesting, then look them up on the library website to place a hold.

    On the other hand, I rarely use the library to borrow DVDs because it’s more of an impulse thing. Now that they have those $1 DVD rental machines at McDonalds and grocery stores it’s not that expensive to rent a DVD. Definitely much cheaper than going to the theater, which I never do unless it’s free (sometimes my mom gets free tickets from work).

    It’s a pet peeve of mine that my boyfriend always has to have soda with his meals, whether it’s at home or a restaurant. The funny thing is that for me it’s not so much about the extra expense but that I think it’s unhealthy. I’m perfectly content to stick with plain old water (filtered, not bottled). Even when I go to a restaurant where iced tea is included with the meal, I’ll stick with water. I know it’s probably inconsequential, but I prefer to do without the extra calories.

  50. Steel_Pelican says:

    1. Taxes
    a.) “defense”
    b.) government blundering
    c.) tax breaks for “religious institutions”
    2. Interest
    3. The same internet service that other countries get for pennies a day.

  51. kingoman says:

    @Bellor: Thanks so much for stealing money out of my pocket, then. I buy gas, too, bozo.

    I’d love to be able to give away what I do for a living for “the good of mankind.” Funny thing is, I also like to pay my own bills and eat. Go figure.

  52. liquisoft says:

    I hate spending money on electronics. Even when I need them for doing work, something just makes me loathe spending money on technology.

    I also hate spending money on taxes.

  53. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I never buy bottled water, and haircuts are too expensive. There used to be a beauty college nearby that did 5 dollar haircuts, but they moved. I “found” them again over the weekend; they aren’t that far away, so I plan to go back there. 5 dollars versus 17 is a huge difference.
    I also hate hate hate to pay delivery charges. If I order a sofa from your store, why can’t you deliver it without charging me a fifth of the total? I figure the potential delivery charges into purchases locally and online and shop accordingly.
    And in a more general sense, I won’t spend money at Best Buy or Sears. Period.

  54. Echodork says:

    Music. Download or bust. Bought a CD back in 2003, before that it was probably 1999.

  55. anatak says:

    >name brand prescription drugs
    >riaa music

  56. anonymouscoworker says:

    I hate paying for parking. $20 for a few hours when I could park nearby for free and just walk a little farther. Paying for parking is for wimps and quitters.

  57. ARP says:

    Cable/Internet- 100+? that’s insane
    ATM fees- It does not cost $2-3 to cover their costs.

  58. @Bellor: Using that logic why not steal the gas?

    @marsneedsrabbits: I also hate the delivery charge with a passion.

  59. tadowguy says:

    Haircuts, and not even fru-fru ones, the standard $12.95 men’s haircut.

    I also hate how much I pay for my cable modem service.

    Also the old standard, gas.

  60. drrictus says:

    Auto insurance. Can anyone name any other privately-supplied product that a government forces you to buy?

  61. csdiego says:

    I hate paying to eat in restaurants. Unless it’s a really high-end restaurant, the kind I don’t visit more than once a year, I always feel that I could make better food at home. What irks me even more is that the portions are usually twice what I would normally eat, and it makes me itch to waste food, but I also know I don’t need that food stapled to my backside. I do sometimes eat lunch out when I’m too busy or slack to pack something to take to work, but it kills me. At night, I hardly ever eat out.

    Oh, and when I do eat in restaurants, I hate paying for drinks. I don’t like soda anyway, and I can’t stand to pay $3.00 for a little bottle of imported water, and the tap water usually tastes dirty/overchlorinated. Sometimes I don’t drink anything at all with my food.

    Oh, and like everyone else I think ticket surcharges are a tool of Satan. I’ve actually almost stopped going to music shows, in large part because of the stupid Ticketmaster fees (although turning 30 probably also had something to do with it).

  62. cdan says:

    $1 ringtones on my $400 iPhone

  63. scoopy says:

    @Steel_Pelican: Why dont you just move your dumbass somewhere else if the taxes and paid internet access bother you so much?

  64. backbroken says:

    I hate hate hate paying for my past mistakes.

  65. RandomHookup says:


    I live near several good size universities and they have free films all the time that are open to the public (I’ve started putting together a weekly list to share). Art films, foreign films, blockbusters, classics, even movies that haven’t even been released yet. I also get DVDs from the library and take advantage of advance screenings passes. There are even codes to get free rentals from those $1 movie boxes.

    I also volunteer at local film festivals to see the movies for free. I probably average 200 films a year (no, I don’t have a life, thank you very much).

  66. ancientsociety says:

    CTA Transit Fares

    $2 one-way isn’t bad, but then you factor in the massive amounts of “slow zones”, construction, wait time (esp. in the dead of winter or having to wait 30 mins.+ only to see 2-3 trains/buses on top of each other), lack of any coherent schedule (the CTA took down the schedules on the Red Line simply b/c they could NOT follow them), and then having to hear them bitch and moan EVERY YEAR about how they are “underfunded” and threatening “Doomsday” cuts….and yet, their executives get paid six-figure salaries and they can spend millions building new prettier stations while running their trains and buses into the ground.

  67. newlywed says:

    @Leah: be careful of that overloaded car trunk – the extra weight could be costing you in gas

  68. @backbroken: I think you just won the thread.

  69. Kaisum says:

    Auto repair. Because they’re always trying to empty your wallet.

  70. warf0x0r says:

    Comcast Cable service. almost 200 bucks a month for TV and Internet. It’s not worth it.

  71. bravo369 says:

    i hate atm fees, insurance, and tip jars at places like dunkin donuts

  72. Balisong says:

    Oh the $5 parking fee on weekdays at the DC Metro. That’s more that my roundtrip fare to ride! Sure takes the fun out of going to a “free” museum.

  73. @csdiego: “What irks me even more is that the portions are usually twice what I would normally eat, and it makes me itch to waste food, but I also know I don’t need that food stapled to my backside.”

    Easy solution: Only order things you can cut in half (or thirds or quarters) and take the leftovers home for future meals.

    I easily get 3 meals out of a restaurant steak.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Things I won’t spend money on ever are bottled water and CD’s or MP3s made by RIAA companies. I won’t infringe, but rather do without. Be damned if I will support their destruction of reasonable copyright laws.

    I will almost never eat out. The markup is too high, it consumes way too much time, and my wife likes my cooking better.

  75. johnniewalker says:

    Auto Repairs. Car Maintenance. Insurance. Parking.

    With car payments, gas, insurance, maintenance, parking, and licensing, cars can be the biggest money sink in life. When you add in unexpected repairs, it drives me nuts. Cars should last a minimum of 10 years and 250k miles without needed any major (>$100) repair. Maintenance should be included for 10 years and 250k miles.

  76. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    The post asked what people hate to spend money on, and Steel_Pelican answered. No need to abuse another commenter just because you disagree with his/her point of view.

  77. Mary says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I’m with you on the haircuts! I don’t care about the horror stories, I go to Hair Cuttery and they do a good job every time.

    My husband and all the males in his family have never paid for a haircut. His dad grew up on a farm and they cut their own hair. So now we own clippers and I’m being taught how to do it for him to save us some money.

    And then other guys I know spend $30 a month on haircuts. How can they stand it?

    Actually, girly things are where I have problems spending money. If a pair of shoes is over $50 then I don’t need them. I only buy clothes on sale because they’re just too insanely expensive. And spend money on makeup? I’ll just keep ordering from Eyes Lip Face for $1 a product.

  78. Alexander says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Excellent point. My wife and I have gotten used to sharing meals at most restaurants. We both get full and save money when eating out.

  79. glitterati says:

    20% Tip Included

  80. JiminyChristmas says:

    Cards, especially birthday cards for children. Why pay $2-$4 for something that is going to pass in front of their eyes once, have the check/cash extracted, and then go in the garbage?

    When I do buy cards I always buy blank ones because the ‘greetings’ in all the other ones are universally stupid. Do all Americans have the emotional sophistication of a 14-year-old? You would think so by looking at the typical rack of cards.

  81. Spamwich says:

    Car washes. My car is always dirty (luckily it’s gray) because I can’t get around to washing it and I can’t/won’t admit that I’m too lazy and just spend the money.

  82. scarletvirtue says:

    To those complaining about having to pay for car insurance, I have an idea: stop driving and use mass transit!

    I use transit and have no problem with spending that $45 a month for my pass. I don’t have to worry about paying for gas, insurance, maintenance or car payments.

    It’s just a thought. :-D

  83. csdiego says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: You’re right, that’s the sensible way to deal with too-big portions, but then you’re carrying around a styrofoam box full of stale food. Steak makes good leftovers. Things like salad, falafel sandwiches, and omelets, that I tend to get for lunch, not so much.

  84. carblover says:

    feminine products- it’s gotta be done, but i probably blow about $60-$70 a year on it and it annoys me (in multiple ways) every time..

  85. infinitysnake says:

    @Narockstar: No shit- I was in one today that wanted four-fifty for an iceberg wedge, which are still four for sixty cents at the Safeway next door.

    Ditto on the “garlic bread” made with a stale hotdog bun. Cheap bastards.

  86. nardo218 says:

    Tampons and pads. They’re SO expensive and only because the companies know we need them.

    Medications because I’m bipolar and on a host of them just to function, they’re so overpriced, and I pay $115 a month for health insurance that doesn’t cover my mental health or my medications. Actually, I despise paying for health insurance when it doesn’t help me with anything I really use.

  87. @csdiego: I know. I really LIKE getting restaurant salads (my Cobb is never as good as their Cobb), but I rarely DO because they don’t keep well. I probably eat more burgers, etc., when eating out than I otherwise would so that I can take half home.

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: That’s what eslaydog does. :)

  88. missdona says:


    That reminds me, I went to an event where there was a minimal charge per person and they added 15% “service charge” and 20% gratuity.


  89. protest says:


    instead order through a privately owned shop near the recipient, they usually have very reasonable shipping rates less than $8. i’ll never go back to 1-800 flowers.

  90. nardo218 says:

    Oh, and condoms! $12-20 a dozen is ridiculous!

    ITA with the person who said that if men had babies, birth control pills would be free.

    The whole ordeal of getting into Philadelphia from where I live is a financial nightmare. The gas to drive on a stop-and-go road. The parking garages. The charge to get into the club, the first you drink you have to buy to look approachable, the drinks you have to buy for the girl you’re trying to woo.

    SEPTA, Philly’s public transportation, is atrocious. $7.50 in/out of the city and it doesn’t go everywhere you need. Also, the trains stop at 11:40 so you can’t use them for any nightlife excursion. And it never fails that when I’m leaving of the city, I always find myself waiting in scummy hot Market East for 45 minutes to an hour. And I paid for this?

  91. Sam says:

    Candy and drinks at the movie theater. Get yourself a pair of shorts with deep pockets and/or a jacket, and just smuggle them in after buying them at a gas station.

  92. morganlh85 says:

    I hate spending money on my car. $35 for registration. $70 for inspections. $20-30 for oil change. $25-30 a tank for gas. Been meaning to get the wheels aligned…for about two years. It really sucks…buy groceries this week, or get the car inspection? Ugh.

  93. magic8ball says:

    Prescription drugs! Birth control pills are ridiculously overpriced, even the generic ones. When I have to take a prescription for which there is not yet a generic, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m getting screwed. And my insurance will inevitably decide not to pay for it, because there’s an “equivalent” generic … which I’m allergic to.

  94. scarletvirtue says:

    @nardo218: It’s the worst thing about being female! I ended trying LunaPads – not because I’m a hippie-dippy tree hugger, either! (Anything is better than spending over $100+ every year)

    And I’ve got the same situation with prescription meds. I knew it was bad when my allergist recommended that I get my Zyrtec from a Canadian pharmacy.

  95. Jabes says:

    @scarletvirtue: Wow, where do you live that your monthly pass is only $45? I was nodding and agreeing with Ancient Society’s post about the horrors of the Chicago Transit system. I’m looking for a new apartment within walking distance of downtown just so I won’t be held hostage to their funding issues and service cuts. I’m aware that what I save in transit costs may be eaten up in higher rent, but I’m so sick of paying for televison that I’m getting rid of cable, so it should balance out!

  96. theblackdog says:

    @scarletvirtue: The problem I’m having right now with PT in DC is that I basically will pay $9.40 per day to take the bus and subway to work. Thankfully a subsidy takes care of a small piece of that, but they’re talking about raising the rates. If they don’t raise the subsidy as well, I may seriously consider quitting PT and just driving to work.

  97. BigNutty says:

    I hate it when my wife buys a name brand product at the grocery store when a generic product is placed right next to it for 50% less.

  98. Elvisisdead says:

    @somuch: That’s disgusting. I can see it once they get to be a year and have human-like poo, but before that! You have to scrape all of the poo out of the diaper before you can wash it. Then, you have a piece of cloth (or several) that is covered in fecal matter swishing around in the same washer that you use for everything else. Unless they make a washer with an autoclave featue, you’re then just putting contaminated items back on your kid and then have a poo’d up washer. Not to mention the extra use of water and electricty to do a load of diapers 4-5 times per week.

    I hate paying for kid-marketed foods. My daughter is eating solid foods, so she can eat what we eat. The only thing she really gets that we don’t eat is juice and whole milk.

    Also hate paying for land-line phone service if it’s not necessary.

  99. The HZA. says:

    I hate it when I am with people who are drinking in a restaurant and I order a club soda (since I am the driver) and I have to pay 3 bucks for it. For the same price of a regular soda. It’s just fizzy water really.

  100. Then, you have a piece of cloth (or several) that is covered in fecal matter swishing around in the same washer that you use for everything else.

    @Elvisisdead: You don’t have to wash everything together.

  101. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    i hate paying for cable tv and buying myself clothes.
    also, feminine products. but that’s unavoidable =/

  102. beccamanns_theotherwhitemeat says:

    a decent HJ

  103. jnrmrtn says:

    Thanks to consumerist I’m on a crusade to keep my loved ones from buying those stupid 100 calorie packs of anything.

  104. RAREBREED says:

    REFILLS AT RESTAURANTS! I can’t believe a $3.00 soda doesn’t have FREE REFILLS! It’s half Ice when they give it to you!

    Shipping is fine, but “Handling?!” What do they do, take better care of it because you paid $2.50?!

    “Convenience fees!!!” If it’s a convenience fee, where can I buy tickets where it’s inconvenient?! I get SF Giants tickets all the time from Giants Dugouts, Stub Hub, etc. They all charge a convenience fee – EVEN THE STADIUM!

  105. Anonymous says:

    Auto insurance = scam. I’ve been accident free for 12 years and have paid thousands for nothing.
    Mixed drinks…$5-$15, the bar isn’t that great a place.
    Music. I’ll pay for live performance but not recordings.
    Bottled water, unless it’s a gallon.

    As far as birth control, condoms are free and available if you know where to go and don’t live in some ultra conservative backwater.

    I don’t mind paying taxes (but I’d like to get something for it) or for delivery fees (get it your damn self if you don’t want to pay) or tip (ex service industry worker).

  106. workingonyourinvoice says:

    I hate it when I’m driving around, and I stop at the convenience store for a drink. Get to the counter (no cash, of course), and the minimum purchase amount is $5 for debit/credit. Now I have to find $3.50 worth of crap I don’t need.

    And to the guys bitching about birth control, I’ve been successfully subscribing to the PSP* method for 5 years.

    *pull/spray/pray, not playstation portable, although I’d guess the latter is probably even more effective.

  107. jimconsumer says:

    Greeting cards. Nobody even likes the stupid things. You pay $3.99 for a stupid greeting card, you sign your name on it and people take it off the gift, read it, laugh, and throw it away. What a complete and total waste of four bucks.

    So I don’t buy them anymore. I don’t even make them. I give gifts without greeting cards and I tell people they got a slightly better gift in lieu of a dumb card. Then I write “From Jim” with a magic marker on the side of the wrapping paper.

    Unfortunately, I do buy wrapping paper, but only the really cheap stuff. My friends & family are quite likely to receive birthday gifts with snowmen and Santas on red & green wrapping paper. Hey, you’re just going to throw that away, too. Be happy I bothered to wrap it at all. ;-)

    I’m thinking I might give that up, though, and just start “wrapping” gifts in the bag the store gave me at checkout. A bit of tape and we’re done! WooHoo!

  108. asphaltdase says:

    Prescription drugs. When other countries get the same for a fraction of the cost.
    The cost is unjustifiable, especially when insurance will rarely cover it. You pay twice.

  109. Maulleigh says:

    I consider new entertainment a waste of money. When I see a new book I want to read, I add it to my wishlist for $.75. Within a couple years, I buy it.

    I NEVER buy new books or CDs. I find a lot of music on hypem.com or at the library or through friends. I check books and audiobooks out from the library. I never go to the movies but add things to my netflix.

  110. chandler in hollywood says:

    Haircuts, check,I cut my own.
    Parking, in LA I’ll walk a mile before I valet.
    Bottled water, no not everyone here is silly.
    But my own personal, and heretofore unmentioned, wacky frugality is FAST FOOD CHEESE. They jack up the cheddar as if the entire corporate profit depended on it.
    So if I am heading to a FF burger joint, I BRING MY OWN CHEESE.
    (don’t go makin fun of me.)

  111. scarletvirtue says:

    @Jabes: and @theblackdog: I live in San Francisco. When I lived in St. Louis, the transit system was for the birds, and the monthly pass cost $60.
    (If I lived outside of SF, I’d be dependent upon BART, which can run about $8 – $9 per day. So I’m quite grateful to live where I do – even if the cost of living is insane)

    Since I have epilepsy, I kind of depend on transit, because I’d rather not risk killing people because I had a seizure while driving! (Damn conscience!)

  112. hoosier45678 says:

    Pasta in a restaurant. Even if it’s the cheapest thing on the menu, I can’t look at it and not think “10x markup.”

  113. unholycinna says:


    I did just use 1-800-Flowers and they screwed me royally. I guess I thought it would be easier to order online not thinking that maybe florists in town have their own websites! I am boycotting 1-800-Flowers from now on! Thanks for the tip!

  114. Groovymarlin says:

    God, we used to pay for a maid service and I thought I couldn’t live without it. Actually, I’d still like to have it but when I started cutting our budget to economize after my husband got laid off, it was the first thing to go.

    Anyway, what I hate paying for is haircuts. To get my hair done by the chick who I like and trust is like a $70 deal. Thing is, I know it’s worth it – there are few things more noticeable about a person than their hair, and when mine looks good I know that I’m more confident in general and feel like that confidence definitely helps me professionally. So while I wish I could scrooge out on the haircuts, I know I can’t. I compromised recently by growing my hair out longer. I used to wear it really short, which I loved, but it needed trimming every four weeks. Now I can go 2-3 months between trims without getting too hideous. I sacrificed the super-low-maintenance and super-cute short haircut, spend a little more time with the blow dryer now, but save money over the course of a year and still look good enough to feel good about leaving the house in the morning. ;-)

  115. Groovymarlin says:

    @jnrmrtn: OMG me too. I have looked at those damn 100-calorie packs in the grocery store SOOOO many times, and been tempted, but thanks to the Consumerist I never succumb. I use ziploc bags and make my own.

    Of course the grocery order at work always includes them by the case, and I just laugh. I eat them…sometimes…but I laugh.

  116. Anonymous says:

    1) Interest: This hatred is the only reason I pay off my balance every month. When I was in college I got a 0% credit card. When the first bill arrived, I discovered that was only on balance transfers. I haven’t carried a balance since. (Later on I discovered they also make money by taking a percentage of the transaction, but I really thought I was sticking it to ’em for years)

    2) Porn: It’s all over the internet. I don’t understand how pay sites stay in business.

  117. Teapotfox says:

    @scarletvirtue: Not every place has a mass transit system, and not every mass transit system goes everywhere people might work. Mass transit is great and all, but it’s a bit glib to say “let them ride the bus/metro/whatever” when we don’t all have that option.

    That said, I definitely hate paying for auto insurance. I don’t enjoy paying for health insurance, either, but at least I can, because I work for an employer who offers it. Back when I didn’t, I hated paying the obscene out-of-pocket costs of for-profit medicine here in the US much, much more. Universal health care cannot arrive rapidly enough.

  118. Teapotfox says:

    @RAREBREED: When I worked for a rare book dealer, we did some business via mail order and charged for the actual shipping cost and a small fee, usually no more than a couple of dollars, for handling. This money was for the time spent carefully wrapping and packaging each item for transit, as well as contributing toward the cost of the packing materials.

    If these costs weren’t accounted for via the relatively small ‘handling’ charge, how would they be? By raising the price of the books or inflating the shipping amount, naturally… making us appear overpriced and/or dishonest. I don’t get the objection to a (reasonable) handling fee.

  119. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    Expensive “designer” coffee shop coffee, like Starbucks. I can make coffee at home for fractions of their prices.

  120. moodle says:

    I’ll pay $100 for a haircut and color (it’s such a good accessory I can scrimp on clothing), but it hurts me to spend money on parking. Or spaghetti. Or expensive meals that I’ll poop out the next day. I loved living in San Francisco because one could get a gourmet meal for the cost of a drink at a foo-foo restaurant. Why am I back in Minnesoa? *sigh*

  121. shiwsup says:

    car tires.

  122. r12ski says:

    Already said:

    Cable + Internet

    Ticketmaster convenience fees

    My newest: Water at a restaurant. At many restaurants in NYC they will charge you for water unless you specifically ask for tap water. Sometimes $8-10 per bottle.

    Also, TV shows that I missed but already paid for. Even with the DVR there are still a few that I don’t catch and aren’t being rebroadcast but I already paid $100 for cable yet they want more money to see it again.

  123. SOhp101 says:

    Insurance. No question.

  124. hypnotik_jello says:


  125. Mr. Gunn says:

    Parking tickets
    Laundry(nobody’s mentioned that yet)
    “convenience” fees
    bottled water
    random charges that show up on my cell phone bill from a third-party site I’ve never heard of

  126. Mr. Gunn says:

    WorkingOnYourInvoice: Charging a minimum is a violation of their merchant services agreement.

  127. scarletvirtue says:

    @Teapotfox: Sorry, didn’t mean to come across as glib! I think I’d meant it to be an “in general” comment, and I understand the lack of transit. Been there, lived through that!

    And I agree with you about the health insurance. If I didn’t work for someone that provided it, I would be S.O.L. (especially since I saw that one of my seizure meds is well over $250 without insurance)

  128. Matt says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and be the first person to say it: bars/drinking out. What’s the markup on a miller lite in Manhattan? 500%? I’d rather chill at home with friends in an environment where I can actually hear them and speak back without yelling.

  129. I use ziploc bags and make my own.

    @Groovymarlin: But isn’t a 100 calorie pack of normal, non-diet cookies just 2 cookies or six normal, non-diet crackers? You must go through a ton of ziploc bags.

  130. madanthony says:

    car insurance. Unless I take out a bus full of nuns and get sued, I’m never going to get back what I pay into it, but I’m required to buy it by law (and by my bank, at least until my loan is paid off).

    It’s always seemed a little odd to me that it costs me $1400 a year to insure my $15,000 pickup truck but $600 a year to insure my $200,000 townhouse.

  131. adistius says:

    ATM “out of network” fees. Charge me $2 for using your lousy machine, will you? I’ll walk a couple of blocks to save the $2 and teach you a lesson, you!

    (Besides, with one side charging $2 and the other side charging $2, it adds up quick!)

  132. protest says:


    dude, totally. i live 45 minutes north of the city and the one time i actually made the effort to take the train into town, the f*cker never showed up. i always end up driving but park on the street. screw those jerks charging $20 to park in a lot next to a club where drunks can puke all over your car!

    so i guess that is what i can’t stand paying for – parking…and car insurance.

  133. LucyInTheSky says:

    bottled water for sure. where i live municipal water is cheap, clean, and tastes good. i cant imagine paying money for the same thing i get almost free from a tap.