10 Things To Stop Buying in 2023

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Tracking American consumer spending in 2023 will be a big priority for economists as we enter the new year. 

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It’s a precarious time in which pandemic-era saving practices are down — as GOBankingRates has reported, the majority of people’s savings from the past few years are dwindling. At the same time, spending is on the rise as inflation continues to climb down from its peak in June of this year. 

The Washington Post even has a name for the new buying trend, calling it the “Great Rotation,” which it defines as a “shift away from pandemic purchasing trends to consumption associated with reopening.” The analysis concludes that the U.S. has come through the worst of the financial crisis of the past few years as inflation appears to have peaked and excess inventory has shrunk.

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However, it’s no time to let down our guard or the smart habits that came into play as many people became mindful about buying during the pandemic — especially as inflation has outpaced salary increases, as noted by CBS News.

Heading into 2023, here’s a look at things you might consider not buying in the new year, whether it’s an excess item or just plain unuseful.

1. Everyday Plastics

Not only are plastics eating away at planet, but they’re unnecessary and a waste of money. Rather than single-use plastic water bottles, sandwich baggies and straws, find non-disposable products you can wash and reuse.

2. Paper and Printer Ink

We are living in a digital revolution, meaning there’s less and less reliance on paper copies. Many files can be emailed, downloaded and saved to your computer or devices; even contracts can be signed digitally using programs like DocuSign. By purchasing less paper and ink, you can save the environment and your wallet, too.

3. Birthday and Greeting Cards

It really is the thought that counts when it comes to sending someone a nice birthday greeting, sympathy message or congratulations on a big life event, but no one said you had to do so in a formal card and envelope. Sites like Hallmark and American Greetings have a plethora of e-cards to choose from, with more designs than you are likely to find on display at a retail store. And with stamps now going up in price from 60 cents to 63 cents in 2023, save yourself some money and go electronic with greetings. 

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4. App Subscriptions

From dating apps to streaming services to meal kits and subscription boxes, it’s a real jungle out there. In fact, Americans spend an average of $133 per month more than they even realize on unused memberships, according to CNBC, citing survey data from C+R Research. Use a tool like Rocket Money or Mint to see what you currently subscribe to and where you can make cuts. However, be aware that that apps charge fees for premium services like subscription cancellation. GOBankingRates recently reported on tips for canceling subscriptions you no longer need.

5. Daily Coffee Drinks

Skipping your daily Starbucks or Dunkin’ can save you six figures over the long haul. “By pocketing the $3.50 for coffee each day and investing it instead in a low-cost, diversified Roth IRA, you’d have an estimated $106,000 after 30 years,” according to Business Insider, quoting a Vanguard Blog for Advisors post by Frank Kinniry. Instead of going out for coffee, make your own at home — invest in an espresso machine if you like frothy drinks or a French press for a stronger brew. Bottled syrups are also an option for creating your very own barista setup at home.

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6. Cleaning Supplies

Store-bought surface, bathroom and glass cleaners are loaded with harmful chemicals that may be toxic to breathe in over a long period of time. There’s another option to get the same fresh feeling around your house without putting yourself in harm’s way — and you can save money in the process. Go DIY with your own concoction, such as a mix of vinegar or baking soda with water and some essential oils for a bright finishing scent.

7. Brand-New Clothing

The resale market is having a huge moment right now. According to a report by secondhand clothing platform ThredUp, sales were expected to jump to $119 billion in 2022, up from $96 billion in 2021, and could grow $99 billion more by 2026. Given the popularity, sites like ThredUp, Poshmark, eBay and even Facebook Marketplace are great spots to get deals on gently used clothing — some still with tags — rather than pay the markup for brand-new apparel.

8. Multivitamins

While you want to be sure to get all your essential vitamins and minerals every day, multivitamins may be a waste of money. According to Northwestern University, Americans spend more than $50 billion on supplements, but there’s insufficient evidence that supplements can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer in otherwise healthy, non-pregnant adults. In some cases, such as with beta carotene, supplements might actually increase health risks. Experts say the way to improve your health is through nutrient-rich foods and exercise.

9. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance was a big focus during the pandemic when restrictions prevented people from traveling if they contracted COVID-19. But now that vaccines are available and those restrictions are easing, insurance companies aren’t offering the same protections they initially did and have much stricter guidelines and a lot more fine print for what’s allowed in order to get reimbursed. Rather than get harangued by legalese, skip these ancillary policies in 2023. “You generally don’t need travel insurance if you’re not putting down large non-refundable trip deposits, or if your health plan will cover you at your destination,” Forbes advised. Many credit cards you pay for travel with may have their own protection policies, too.

10. Cable TV

With the advent of so many premium streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Paramount+, Disney+ and Apple TV, there’s not really a strong case for needing cable TV anymore. In fact, most cable networks now have their own streaming options, like Discovery+ and HBO Max. Rather than waste money on cable and pay for these streaming services, it might help to make the switch to separate streaming networks if you tend to watch those more often. Just make sure you have a good Wi-Fi plan.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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