I m writing a research paper about the over consumption.

I am struggling to find a word or words that describes the things we normally use in our daily lives like toothbrush, dish washer liquid, diapers(some), water and ac filters etc etc

So things that we use not to make money but to kind of maintain life. I m looking for a word describing those, so that I can refer to them as a one word(s) in my paper after I give definition.

So far I came up with consumable or spendible products. I m not really sold on those 100% still looking for better word or words. Any suggestions?

6 Answers 6


Necessities, Vocabulary.com

When used in the plural, necessities are items required for a situation but nothing extra. You probably only bring the bare necessities to a sleepover — pajamas and a toothbrush

The things the OP lists as examples are considered necessities in modern life, although they would have been luxuries 100 years ago.


One term for these is consumer staples

What are 'Consumer Staples'
Essential products such as food, beverages, tobacco and household items. Consumer staples are goods that people are unable or unwilling to cut out of their budgets regardless of their financial situation. Consumer staples stocks are considered non-cyclical, meaning that they are always in demand, no matter how well the economy is performing. Also, people tend to demand consumer staples at a relatively constant level, regardless of their price.

Read more: Consumer Staples Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/consumerstaples.asp#ixzz49Lxz8NL7 Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook


The items you listed are on the list of fast-moving consumer goods.  The description also applies for household goods.


Consumables or consumable goods (as opposed to "durable goods"); note, however, "consumables" has a particular meaning, often used to describe items used by other products, such as toner ink (as a consumable) in printers.


Another word is groceries. Traditionally it was limited to food items only but increasingly its usage has extended to include all items bought for daily usage like toothpaste, detergent etc.

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Your question is really two questions --

For the aspect of things used everyday, and especially based on the examples you gave (after all, we use some very durable things everyday too -- things very different from your examples):

disposable: An item that can be disposed of after it has been used. -- WordWeb Online

adjective: disposable

1. (of an article) intended to be used once, or until no longer useful, and then thrown away.

"disposable diapers"

synonyms: throwaway, expendable, single-use

"disposable plates"

(of a person or idea) able to be dispensed with; easily dismissed.

"the poor performer is motivated by the fear that he or she is highly disposable"

2. (chiefly of financial assets) readily available for the owner's use as required.

"he made a mental inventory of his disposable assets"

synonyms: available, usable, spendable

"disposable income"

noun: disposable; plural noun: disposables

1. an article designed to be thrown away after use.

"don't buy disposables, such as razors, cups, and plates"

-- (First/main Google hit for "disposable definition")

On the other hand, for the aspect "things that we use not to make money but to kind of maintain life": These are subsistence goods or consumer goods, as opposed to capital or means of production .

This second aspect has really nothing to do with the first one you asked about. (The question is really unclear, by amalgamating the two.)

  • Do you dispose of your toothbrush after using it once? I would have said "disposables" refers to items used only once, or at most merely a few times.
    – TrevorD
    May 22, 2016 at 0:10
  • @TrevorD: Then you would have been both right and wrong. Yes, you (presumably) throw away "toothbrush, dish washer liquid [the empty container], diapers(some), water and ac filters" after they have been essentially used up or worn out. The meaning of a "single use", aka when an item is typically disposed of, depends on the item - and the user. Disposable goods are contrasted with consumer durables by their relatively shorter lifespans.
    – Drew
    May 22, 2016 at 3:03

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