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September 08, 2011

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I'm with you on zinc, echinacea and vitamin C, although there are cheaper alternatives to the brand name Airborne. I also take Vitamin D to prevent catching colds in the winter.

Frequently no, occasionally bottled water if I am traveling.

I definitely bought a lot of brand new college textbooks back in my day. However, that is before the recent trend of renting textbooks has become so popular. Used books always seemed to fly off the shelves, and you had no choice but to buy new.

I buy bottled water sometimes. I like to freeze them and use them to chill things in the cooler. Then as they defrost, we drink them.

I mostly buy used books for my kids for school. However, once I bought something used off Amazon and it reeked of smoke. So, I am more careful of who I buy from now. I also sell all our text books on Amazon when my third child is done with them.

I buy lottery tickets occasionally when we travel for the kids just for fun. Won 75 dollars in Georgia once.

I buy premium gas for my car that actually needs it (per the owner's manual), bottled water and snack packs for the convenience (really, who wants to spend the time putting together dozens of individual bags from a bulk package?), an extended auto warranty *from the manufacturer*, and the occasional lottery ticket just for the fun of it. I've never bought any of the other items.

I typically buy a bottle of water or two at least once a week. But that's when I'm out on a 2+ hour bike ride since I can't carry enough liquid to stay hydrated. I also put premium gas in my car, but only b/c that is what the owners manual says to do. My wife's car gets basic.

I'm not sure what "Super-High SPF" exactly means. Dermatologists will tell you that SPF 15 is the minimum you should use. SPF 30 is probably the most you'll ever need, so maybe anything over that is a waste of money. I've seen some information from HSA companies that says the SPF 30 or greater sunscreen is a qualified medical expense, but it's not listed in IRS pub 503, so that might be just their interpretation. If you can buy with pre-tax HSA dollars, it might be cheaper to buy SPF 30.

I never used to use sunscreen, but then I had a mole removed that turned out to be melanoma. So I highly recommend the use of sunscreen. Some people might think that ALL sunscreen is a waste of money, but when you consider what it is used to protect you from (cancer), it's actually a pretty good investment. Just don't spend extra for SPF 50 or more.

I buy Airborne when it is a good price, as well as generic Cold-eeze on sale. Those two items combined with ibuprofen at the first sign of a cold have kept me from being seriously sick for several years now. I buy cheapo bottle water, multi-packs on sale, to have as part of our emergency stash. I pay about $.10/bottle. I have not purchased the rest of the items mentioned.

I put premium gasoline in our motorcycles, performance really drops off with the lower octane fuels. Not sure what an Auto Service Warranty is, but I did buy, with our most recent car purchase, a "free service for life" program. It wasn't all that expensive, and we keep our vehicles for 10 years, unlike most folks who replace them frequently. I'm really enjoying not having to crawl under the car to change the oil and filter, for a change, and the break-even point on cost should be around mid 2012.

I only buy bottled water when I'm camping (and by "bottled water", I'm including gallon/5 gallon jugs). The rest of the list is a 'no'.. and I didn't even know that Auto Service Warranties existed.

We buy bottled water now and then. Either we didn't think to bring water or we entered a venue that does not allow carry ins. I think it is better for us then other beverages.

The other things listed? No, don't buy them, at least not at this stage of our lives.

Just because it is for sale, doesn't mean you have to buy it.

We have extended warranties on a couple of items. Right now we have a claim in for an item, that's not going so well. Look for details on this soon, but it is causing me to re-think this moving forward, though I'm sure the minute I would choose to self-warranty, the proverbial brown stuff would hit the fan (and everything would start breaking). You can't win for losing, sometime :)

As a college student, avoiding purchasing new books is difficult. Publishers have caught on to the used book market and are constantly finding ways to push new copies out. By updating editions, including electronic media, and changing ISBN numbers, it is easy for publishers to stay one step ahead.

The only thing on that list that I ever buy is the bottled water, and I only buy that for use with a charitable organization I belong to. We provide water and other refreshments for attendees at our events. Bottled water is the most convenient way of providing drinkable water at our venue. In the long-term, we'll probably buy a water dispenser that uses 5-gallon jugs, but that expense isn't in our budget right now.

Both of our Mercedes require Premium gasoline, as recommended by the manufacturer. As an engineer there is no way I will ever go against any of their recommendations. When they recommend "Premium" it is for a sound engineering reason and nothing more.

"Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, patented in January 1886 and Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine later that year. The Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft."

I buy 3 things on the list:

3. Dirt-Cheap Paper Towels - I don't buy cheap paper towels, I get them in bulk from Sams. But I think they're wasteful. I'm considering ditching them and just using dish towels or designated cloths instead.

4. Bottled Water - We buy them 3-4 times a month. Usually when we've gone shopping or jogging.

10. Unlimited Cell Phone Minutes - I think I actually need unlimited minutes. I don't have a home phone. And I do a tremendous amount of business related calls as well as social calls. I have unlimited talk, text, and data from Tmobile, My bill after taxes & fees is just under $107 for 2 lines.

I started buying lottery tickets in a pool with work colleagues this year. Yes, I know the odds are greatly against winning. But I do it for social reasons and to bond with the group. It is generally $2 per week for my share when somebody wants to buy them. That is my price to have a fantasy dream of perhaps retiring early.

I don't use any of the other things on the list, except about $4 a month for the Water Club at work where we get 5-gallon jugs of water delivered for our dispenser. We don't trust the water quality in our 1930s era government building in downtown DC. We once had an issue with lead contamination from water from the water fountains.

I agree with most of the list.

8. 100-Calorie Packs of Snack Foods

I understand their point but it doesn't always apply.
I buy the single pack of potato chips in a variety pack. I do this for 2 reasons. The first, most important reason is that if I buy a normal bag of potatoe chips then I will sit down and eat half the bag or more in one sitting. I just lack self control when it comes to a bag of potatoe chips. I guess I could list that as one of my weaknesses next time I do an interview. :-) The second reason is that when I buy the variety pack I get a variety of chips without having to buy 8 different bags.

9. Lottery Tickets

I have also bought lottery tickets on occasion. $1 is ok to spend for entertainment. Of course you shouldn't be spending half your paycheck or buy them with the delusion that you'll actually win. I just do it once in a while for fun.

10. Unlimited Cell Phone Minutes

I don't have such a plan but I think there are legitimate reasons some people do need them. Many people don't need it but some do.

I actually agree with all of those, with these two exceptions / caveats:

* Premium gasoline - performance and luxury car engines' pistons are engineered to fire at a certain octane. If you use lower octane gas, your engine will misfire, which not only causes a drop in performance, it can also damage the engine in the long-term. But for 90% or more of the cars out there, I agree, premium gas is a waste, and in fact, premium gas in an engine that is engineered for lower octane can damage that engine as well.

* High SPF sun screen - okay, maybe it costs a bit more. The article claims that the benefits are marginal, but that's not my experience. I find I am at a lot less risk of burn with SPF 45 than 30 or especially 15. And I really don't want skin cancer. Skimping here seems short-sighted to me.

I bought a lottery ticket once. I didn't win. I figured if I wasn't going to win that time, why would my luck get better in the future?

I bought bottled water two months ago to go hiking, and I've reused the bottle at least half a dozen times since :-)

I don't buy anything else on that list, except new textbooks when I can't find used.

FMF, thanks for sharing this info. That original Moneyland post was a pain in the bum to read through because they make the reader click 12 times to read all 12 things on their list.

The only thing I buy is bottled water when I travel...and I'm on the road about 100 nights a year. I do try to refill those disposable bottles when I can. And when I fly, I always drink a bottle of water on the way to the airport, so it is empty by the time I go through security, then I refill it at a fountain.

Airborne...do you people seriously still buy that snake oil?!?!? It's been proven worthless so many times, it's kinda funny to hear it even mentioned any more. You're better off with a simple multivitamin and a good night's sleep.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/04/news/companies/airborne_settlement/?postversion=2008030413

I buy none of it, but, I retired @ 47 a multi-millionaire. RE: Premium fuel, I had a car or two that said to use premium but, buried in the owners manual, it CLEARLY states that the modern engine computer (ECM) can adjust for lower octane just fine. Virtually all cars CAN use regular w/ little decrease in performance and still not knock. It's 2011 not 1971 car people. Loot up, all but virtual supercars built today (OBDII computer since 1996) or the most exotic can use 87 octane. Guess I have spent $10 on lottery tix when friends have asked to join a pool, wonder if I won. LoL. Cheap paper towels can have a use. Not for absorbing liquid etc., but, they have aplace and I buy em for such use.

@CJ,

I posted 4 links stating the same thing but I think the spam engine decided to kick out the post.

I disagree with #12. I bought a $180 electric lawn mower last night on sale for $90 at Menards. The extended warranty was another $10 (because the warranties are priced based the final selling price of the item, even if it is a closeout).

If anything at all could go possibly wrong with this lawn mower in the next 3 years, whatever that thing is, it will cost me more than $10 to fix it. Not only that, if something does go wrong, it is likely to happen during the peak lawn mowing season when lawn mowers are selling for full price. It seemed like a no-brainer.

I buy two things on that list.

1. Bottled water. If I am out and I would be buying a soft drink then bottled water is the cheaper and healthier alternative. I try to take my own water with me when I can though.

2. Super-High SPF Sunscreen. I assume this means SPF 30? I am pale white. I burn in 10 mins if I go outside in the Australian summer sun without Sunscreen.

Yeah I think skimping on Sun Screen is a silly thing to do, granted people really don't need SPF 100 or anything like that but I think 45 is a good one, 15 is just not enough.
And as far as Extended Warranties go, they're a life saver, we got one for my computer, it was somewhere like $200 for 5 years and sure enough something bad happened and it would've costed at least $400 to fix. So easily saved the money, it's also helped with a million other things that would've costed more money. So I think it depends what you've got the warranty on and how much that costs and the costs to fix it and the chances of it breaking.
As far as the new college textbooks go a lot of times the Professor demands the latest edition (even though they usually just change the chapter order or the spelling of one minor word in the middle of no where) and a lot of them now come with special CDs and some has a one time use only code for some online program necessary for the class. And sometimes you can only get a set together and you can only get them new. It's happened to me, to people I know. It sucks, but you really can't do anything about it.

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