10 Moms Share the 'Must-Have' Purchases for Kids That Are Actually a Waste of Money

10 Moms Share the 'Must-Have' Purchases for Kids That Are Actually a Waste of Money

They seemed like a necessary expense at the time, but in retrospect – not so much!


By Amanda Genge

Kids can be expensive. Well, their stuff can, anyway. And sometimes we spend lots of money on certain things because we feel like we should – because they’ll be better quality, we tell ourselves, or more fun, or just because the kids ask soooo nicely.

But are those purchases always the best ones? Nope, say these moms! Here’s what they wish they hadn’t shelled out big bucks for:

“Matchy-matchy snow gear. Really, is it THAT important that the snow pants and jacket coordinate? No. You need to stay warm and dry. It's winter in Maine – not a fashion show!” – Rae-Anne, mom of two, Maine

“Stuffed animals!!! SHE thinks they're a must-have, yet she never plays with them and won't get rid of 'em either. They're taking over our house. Also, multiple pairs of shoes, coordinated to match her outfits. She'll wear the same dang pink and purple pair, no matter what color clothes she’s wearing that day.” – Carrie, mom of one, Arizona

“I don't think they need the super duper swing set extravaganza. We have a very simple, bare-bones swing set and it has been great! If she wants something fancier, I take her to the park.” – Jen, mom of one, New Jersey

“New backpacks just because it’s a new school year? No. We use them until they fall apart. Also, fancy jeans – they get holes in the knees every bit as fast as [the cheaper ones].” – Laura, mom of two, New Jersey

“Expensive bikes. No need for a really great one until they’re old enough to care for it.” – Katrina, mom of six, Alaska

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“They always make us ‘oversupply’ at the beginning of the school year, requesting that we buy entire boxes of pencils and multiple pens. They never end up using all of the school supplies on our school's list.” – Pauline, mom of two, New York City

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“[Fancy dolls.] Yes, we have one (a gift) and it's great quality, but she plays with her $35 [doll] just as much and it's not showing any wear.” – Kimberly, mom of two, Texas

“Kids’ meals. Especially ones that come with [junky] toys. And speaking of junky toys, please stop buying [them] and sending bagfuls home with my kid from your birthday party.” – Laura, mom of one, Chicago

“An expensive, super-high-end tablet. Just get the cheap one for $50.” – Sheila, mom of two, Boston

“Anything that is the newest and greatest toy of the year that you have to throw elbows to purchase the last one on Black Friday, or spend three times as much [to buy online]! You know what is priceless and never loses its appeal? Your time! My kids love anything we've ever bought when I'm playing [with] it with them.” – Melissa, mom of two, Missouri

What do you regret spending money on for your kids?


Amanda Genge is a New Jersey-based editor and mom (aka referee) of two boys. She’d rather not think about how much she spends on their hockey league and gear.

Image ©iStock.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd


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