Portlandia Trashes “Instant Garbage”

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Hilarious examples of “instant garbage” are offered up in this Portlandia clip by the show’s characters, Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversman (played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein).

The price point for an unwanted consumer product that becomes instant garbage is $4.99.  “We found the exact point between price and hassle that guarantees you won’t bother returning” the product, Eversman explains in the video below.

Is the following theory a stretch? There seems to be a direct line between Americans’ relentless buying of stuff we do not need and our inadequate attempts at saving money.

Try walking into a craft superstore or browsing Target’s $1 shelf and suddenly imagining the stuff all piled up at its ultimate destination, the local landfill.

Then walk back out and save the money for retirement.

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Tom Beem

Funny, because its true. There is way too much of that stuff in my house. And for whatever reason, I do feel bad throwing it away, but I try hard to chuck it.

Much of it comes in the house from a store close by, as I’ve rewarded/bribed my kids to do there homework and gotten them something from there. Ha. Cheers, Tom


Very interesting theory about consumer spending habits! Someone must have spent a lot of time researching this one. The fact that median wages has barely budged over the past 30 years is a minor factor. The “Portlandia” theory is a much more plausible theory for the lack of savings by Americans as opposed to the fact that median wages have been so poor. Give me a break. You are straining the credibility of your other good work by such garbage research.

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