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Seven More Things I’ll Never Buy Again

By David Bakke

finding free thingsSeveral weeks back, I wrote an article about ten things that I would never buy again. It sparked quite a bit of interest, so since then, I have been motivated to find more things in my current lifestyle that I have stopped spending money on and plan to never buy again.

Feel free to comment on my selections, or add some more of your own. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than when I can learn new tips or ideas from our readers. And be sure to check out the original post as well!

So, here goes, seven more things that I’ll never buy again:

Anti-virus Software (And More)

First, there are quite a few free versions of anti-virus software that should suit your computer just fine. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a massive wall of expensive anti-virus protection for your computer. Personally, I use AVG, which is free. There are others as well. Read reviews on some of them and you should find that spending money on this item is simply unnecessary.

And for that matter, so is spending money on a great deal of other types of software. Stroll through your nearest Office Depot and each week, you’ll see all the different types of software that you can get for free after submitting a rebate. If you don’t like the completely free versions of anti-virus software that some companies offer, then your Office Depot might be the answer. I’ve seen various versions of Norton and many other brand name internet protection products here.

You can also find photo software, registry cleaners, hard drive scrubbers, CD and DVD creation-type software, and other great computer software as well. If there is a particular type of software you are thinking about buying, do a quick internet search of it. If it has been offered anywhere for free lately, it will be sure to show up in your search. Then you can either wait since free after-rebate items run in cycles, or pick it up at an online auction website for pennies on the dollar.

School Supplies

This is a new one to me. However, if you pay attention to the flyers or online circulars, you will see that Staples, Office Depot and your other retailers of this industry have almost all your school supplies for free after rebate. They usually offer them right before school starts. I have recently stocked my office with everything from pens to sharpies to post-its to anything else you can think of. All free of charge. You may not be able to get the “brand names,” but are those names really worth paying top dollar for?

Batteries

I may be beginning to sound like a broken record, but once about every three months, Staples will have a promotion for free batteries. Buy some AAs and AAAs, fill out a form, and in several weeks, you should be getting a checking in the mail for what you spent or at the very least, a gift card for Staples. You’ll never have to spend money on batteries again. For those of us with children, you know what a savings this can be.

Printer Paper

OK, OK, what can I say? This is the same concept, offered at almost all of the office supply warehouses.  Although you cannot get it for free by turning in your empty ink cartridges any more, you can still pick up packs now and then for nothing. Same rebate process as above.

Firewood

This may be a little off-season, but keep this little tidbit in mind. Last fall, I spent a good bit of money on a half cord of wood. Shortly after, I must have seen three to four signs in my part of town advertising “free firewood.” I was kicking myself for days, and vowed never to spend money on this again.

Deposit Slips

Is it going to kill you financially to spend $10 on deposit slips when you need them? Probably not. But then again, why spend it when you don’t have to? It’s just another ploy by the bank to nickel and dime you. Don’t let them. The last time I was asked about it, I politely said no and then asked for another stack of the free ones that they have there. I’ll fill in my account number each time and keep my ten dollars, thank you very much.

Printers

This one could be considered a stretch, but unless you need some sort of fancy, all-in-one ultra-fast laser pirnter, you should be able to pick one up for free. You can almost always get a free one as part of a combo the next time you buy a desktop or a laptop. I have purchased quite a few computers over the recent months for another venture of mine, and I must have three or four printers in my closet right now. If you can’t find an actual bundle offer to get yourself a free one, I bet you could negotiate yourself a free inexpenisve one the next time you do buy a computer. Also, don’t forget these other great tips on ways to save on printer ink cartridges and refills.

A Note on Rebates…

And by the way, for what it’s worth, I’ve probably submitted 75 rebates in the last year, and I have yet to have problem with one of them.  I‘ve had to pick up the phone every once in a while, but I’ve always gotten my money. Additionally, Staples by far has the easiest and most hassle-free rebate process of them all. Most can be filed online, making it unbelievably fast and stress-free. The key is being diligent enough to file the rebates in the set period of time and to follow up on them if necessary. Companies offer rebates because they are depending on you failing to properly submit your rebates. One more note: be 100% sure you want to keep your product before you file your rebate because often, by filing a rebate, you give up your option to return the item for a refund.

So there you are, my second set of things I don’t spend money on anymore. I hope to have the same turnout in reader comments as my first article on the subject. Feel free to add to the list below.

(photo credit: striatic)

David Bakke
David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.

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  • http://knsfinancial.com Khaleef @ KNS Financial

    75 rebates last year? Wow, that is amazing to think about. This is a good list, I guess I would add toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, or anything else I can pick up at CVS!

    • David/moneycrashers

      Khaleef

      It does take a little time to mantain the organization, but its well worth it.

      Thanks for swinging by

  • David Bibby

    While we’re not up to 75 rebates… my wife and I currently have about $100 worth of outstanding rebates waiting to come to us in the mail. Staples IS the easiest rebate system because you can do it online (but it still takes 12 weeks to get to you).

    We’re taking all the rebate money and saving up for passes to the theme parks.

    • David/moneycrashers

      David

      Hey, ya know what—a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks!

      That’s awesome

      If you spend enoguh money at Staples, you will get upgraded to premium rewards member (or something like that) and you get your rewards faster.

      Thanks for commenting and enjoy those theme parks!

  • Skirnir Hamilton

    For those of us who don’t have a staples nearby, where do you find copy paper free after rebate? Just did the Office Depot $1 something for paper after rebate. Never did one of their’s before, but where else can you get free paper?

    And all school supplies free after rebate? I have gotten some, but most is $.09, $.25, etc. What is on your schools supply list? I mean, now it is kleenex, copy paper, flash drive, calculator, hand sanitizer, hand soap. It isn’t like what it used to be where it was just stuff the student needed for school, now it is tons of stuff the classroom uses, etc.

    Oh, and firewood? When you get free firewood, isn’t it fresh cut down tree, sometimes cut into fireplace sizes and sometimes not? IE stuff that doesn’t burn as well. When you pay for wood, you are supposed to get stuff that is a bit more dried out and burns better.

    And Printers? Do your puters needs replacing every three years, or do your printers last longer than mine?

    This lists make me jealous more than anything else.

    • David/moneycrashers

      Skirnir

      Lets see, I’m not sure if I’ve ever gotten copy paper FAR anywhere else besides Staples.

      School supplies–again, it is mostly thru Staples. Pencils, erasers, file folders, things of that nature. Of course, it is not as though I get every single school supply needed for free, I was just trying to point out that you can save by getting a good deal of them for free.

      Firewood–the times I’ve gotten it for free, yes, it has needed to still be cut down into “fireplace ready” logs, but I just grabbed my axe and got to cutting

      Finally, printers—I have had the same printer for ten years if you can beleive that. I usually just post the ones I get for free on Ebay and make a few dollars off of them.

      Don’t be jealous, I’d imagine there’s an idea or two that you could teach me about saving money on stuff as well.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • http://www.sarahtrachtenberg.com Sarah Trachtenberg

    I liked your article, but I’ve had a lot of trouble getting rebates and would avoid rebate offers. Companies will try any trick to avoid paying you the difference they promised. Otherwise, they wouldn’t offer a rebate– they would simply deduct the cost when you buy the thing!

    • David Bakke

      Sarah

      You’re right on point–rebates do take time and sometimes you do have to follow up. Fortunately, I have yet to lose out on one.

      But if you’re not willing to stay all over it, and follow up quite a few times, sometimes, then yes, it may not be worth the effort.

      Thanks for commenting

      • http://www.sarahtrachtenberg.com Sarah Trachtenberg

        I’ve fought tooth-and-nail in the past to get my rebates (I’ve only bothered with significant ones). One time, I had the BBB help me, which thankfully, they were able to do.
        I’m just saying that it was *not* easy and I think manufacturers will use any dirty trick to prevent shelling out. Like I said, if they were sincere about the “discount,” why wouldn’t they just offer it at the point of sale? The reason why they offer rebates is because they know they can weasel out of them. No offense to the weasel.
        In fact, I would warn your readers not to get rebate offers for this very reason.

        • http://www.moneycrashers.com David/moneycrashers

          Sarah

          I just recently “lost” my first rebate battle. I t was only $20, but I can definitely see your point. There is a lot to keep up with and there certainly is risk involved

  • http://www.sarahtrachtenberg.com Sarah Trachtenberg

    Manufacturers have every incentive to “offer” rebates. They get to advertise a product for much less than you will actually pay. I kept careful track of my rebates, which is annoying, but I wanted the money and still got scrod. To me, $20 isn’t peanuts, either:)

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