Here are some things I think the average car owner can cheap out on:

  1. Fuzzy dice. The quality on these is pretty consistent across the board, so buying the expensive name-brand ones doesn’t really pay off in the end.
  2. Dashboard hula girls. Sure, the high-end ones will have more realistic hula action, and probably look more attractive. But that can be a distraction, and you don’t want to have distractions when you’re driving.
  3. Tire valve stem caps. If you want to add a touch of style to your wheels that’s incredibly easy to steal, sure, spend a few extra bucks on those sweet chrome-plated skull- or dice-shaped valve stem caps. Otherwise, the plain black plastic ones work just fine.
  4. Air. If the tire shop offers to fill your tires with nitrogen for a small extra fee, you can safely decline; normal air is already mostly nitrogen, and the benefits of using pure nitrogen are insignificant at best. If the tire shop offers to fill your tires with professional-grade racing air, you should probably find a different tire shop.
  5. Elbow grease. All the purported benefits of using high-grade elbow grease are really just marketing buzzwords. Do you really think they conducted scientific tests to confirm that it improves joint lubrication by “up to 50% or more”?
  6. Fake fender vents. The best option for fake fender vents is also the cheapest: don’t buy them.
  7. Under-seat french fries. Everyone has their own opinion on which fast-food chain has the best-tasting french fries. But when shopping for spud-slivers to leave under the seat of your car to be slowly desiccated and hardened by time and heat, things like flavor, crunchiness, and quality really don’t matter.