Maximizing every penny's worth is more important than ever as the economy continues to struggle. But Americans still waste funds on a variety items. Here's a list of the top ways to waste money according to Daily Finance. Users suggested ways to cope without the following items.

Designer pet clothing

A sweater for the dog can cost $25. A friend or relative could knit a pet-sweater for much less.

Brand new technology

Technology is more expensive when it first comes out. Waiting until the product's price drops will save money and it gives the manufacturer more time to work out any kinks, according to Billshrink.com.

Pedigree pets

Pedigree pets can cost hundreds of dollars, but good pets can be found at the pound and in classified ads for much less.

Over-packaged items

Many items at the store are over-packaged. Pre-sliced cheese is and it can be more expensive than a block of cheese.

Disposable diapers

Instead of buying disposable diapers, people can purchase cloth diapers and just reuse them.

Dialing 411

Each time you dial 411 you will be charged a fee. Looking up the number in the phone book or online is free.

Energy drinks
Mike Terry, Deseret News

Instead of purchasing energy drinks, just go to bed earlier.

Organic produce
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Organic produce can be more expensive and it doesn't always last as long as other produce.

Premium gasoline

Putting premium gasoline in your car can cost around 20 cents per gallon more than regular unleaded.

Restaurant drinks
Jason Olson, Deseret News

Getting soda at a restaurant can cost around $3. Getting water is free.

Plastic cups

Instead of buying plastic cups to use at home, people can just use the glasses they already have.

Junk food
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Junk food affects more than your waistline, it can weigh on a budget.

Disposable cleaning supplies

Disposable cleaning supplies have to be purchased frequently. Reusable cleaning supplies last much longer.

Lottery tickets
Steve Nurenberg, AP

Lottery tickets aren't needed and the odds of winning aren't exactly high.

Designer skincare

Getting enough sleep, vitamins and water are good for skin and they're much cheaper than buying skincare products.

Convenience store drinks

Buying soda at the convenient store adds to the budget, especially if it's done frequently.

Four-year Universities

Going to a junior college can save thousands of dollars and many colleges have programs with Universities to ensure credits transfer over.

Extended warranties

Small items don't usually need extended warranties as they come with a warranty from the manufacturer.

Brand names

Brand name items are more expensive than generic items and the quality is often the same, or close.

Luxury hotels
Bob Child, AP

Luxury hotels can cost a lot more than mid-range ones. Why spend the extra money?

Tanning salons

Instead of using a tanning bed, just lay in the sun for a few minutes.

Cars with bad gas mileage
Tom Smart, Deseret News

Bigger vehicles tend to get bad gas mileage. Unless you need the space, try a smaller car that gets good gas mileage.

Convenience stores
Darron Cummings, AP

Convenience stores have products that can usually be purchased elsewhere for less. Constantly shopping at a convenience store can slowly drain a budget.

A brand new vehicle
Paul Sancya, AP

As soon as the car leaves the lot, it loses a lot of value. Buying a car that is almost new is much cheaper and often has the same warranty.

The wedding industry
Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times, MCT

Weddings only last a few hours but the bill can be quite costly. Try to minimize costs on things like veils and flowers.

Children's birthday parties
COURTNEY PERRY, Dallas Morning News, MCT

Instead of throwing a big birthday party, just have people over for cake and ice cream.

Nail salons
Jeff Chiu, AP

Manicures and pedicures cost about $60.

Movie rentals
Damian Dovarganes, AP

Libraries usually have thousands of movies people can rent for free.

Disposable razors

Disposable razors can cost $10 but the replacement blades are about $10 as well. A pack of razors can be purchased for $1.

Paper towels
Paul Sakuma, AP

A mess can be wiped up with a hand towel just as easily as it can with a paper towel and hand towels last much longer.

Going out to lunch
Seth Wenig, AP

Making lunch at home and bringing it to work can save a person about $7 a day.

Being unorganized

Being disorganized can lead to purchasing the same item multiple times.

Leaving the lights on

The longer the lights are on, the more the electric bill will be.

Big houses
Josh Anderson, AP

Why would you need a huge home? Having one that is big enough for the family is all that's needed.

Clothes dryers
Intellectual Reserve Inc.

Dryers use a lot of electricity and the consumer pays for it. Hanging wet clothes out to dry is much more cost effective and one can even be set up in the home.

Designer handbags
Neiman Marcus, AP

Designer handbags can be pretty pricey. Buying a handbag at a thrift store is much cheaper and it has the same functions.

Cafe drinks
Paul Sakuma, AP

Cafe drinks can cost around $5 a pop at high-end chains.

Oil changes
Steven Senne, AP

Many people change their oil every 3,000 miles but it really only needs to be done every 7,000 to 8,000 miles. Just make sure the engine always has enough oil.

Greeting cards
Orlin Wagner, AP

Making the card yourself is much cheaper than buying one at the store.

Dinnerware for the White House

On Jan. 11, 2009, the White House spent $493,000 on a 320 piece china set. Does anyone really need to eat off of something that expensive?

Fresh flowers
Carolyn Kaster, AP

While they may be pretty, they only last a short while.

Bottled water
Bill Hughes, Bloomberg Press Enterprise, AP

The cost of buying bottled water adds up. Drinking from a fountain or refilling a water bottle is much cheaper.

Expensive clothes
Damian Dovarganes, AP

Consumers don't need to spend $50 on a dress shirt or other attire every year. They can save money by taking good care of the clothes they already have.

Baby carrots
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, AP

It's cheaper to buy regular carrots and cut them yourself.

Cable TV

Just use the internet to watch TV.

Postage stamps

If you have the Internet you can send emails and e-cards instead of letters and cards.


Libraries are free and usually have a big selection to choose from.

Health bars

There are a lot of products for people trying to be more healthy. Some of these products are listed as "high protein" or "all natural," but they can be very high in unhealthy ingredients like sugar.

They're usually more expensive than candy bars as well, according to Billshrink.com.

Parking tickets

Pay attention to where you park and for how long. Parking tickets can end up costing quite a bit.


Banks can make a lot of money from the interest you pay.

New release movies

Just wait until the movie is released and rent it.

Employee holiday parties
Frank Franklin II, AP

Holiday work parties can be expensive. Catering and entertainment don't come cheap.

Overdraft fees
Images_of_Money via Flickr

Overdraft fees can cost hundreds of dollars each month.

Throwing away leftovers

Leftover food can be used for another meal or snack. Throwing it away means you'll have to buy more food.


Rent money is money you'll never see again.

School fundraisers

Spending money on sweets at school fundraisers isn't a good deal. Just make a donation and buy sweets somewhere else.

Non-bank ATM fees
Alan Diaz, AP

ATM convenience fees are frequently around $2 and that can add up. But there are also non-bank ATM fees and those can cost an additional $2.50. So it can cost $4.50 to take out $20.00, according to Billshrink.com.

Flex plan faux pas
bfishadow via Flickr

People can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of the pre-taxed money the government lets people use for medical purposes.

Auto repair at the dealership
Reed Saxon, AP

If the warranty is up, then getting a vehicle repaired at the dealership is usually more expensive than an autoshop, according to Billshrink.com.

Top of the line audio equipment

Premium audio equipment is more expensive than its mid-level counterpart and the sound quality is often indiscernible to the average person, according to Billshrink.com.