17 Everyday Products That Don’t Justify Their Price

There are certain things we just buy because we need them, even though the price may not make sense. These 17 products are part of our everyday lives, even though their prices are no longer justified.

Fast food

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Fast food used to be a cheap and efficient option for people on the go. The prices of fast food have been increasing while the quality, quite frankly, has not. Meal prepping and eating at home are better for your wallet and your health. Chip Carter, creator of the series Where the Food Comes From, told U.S. News, “‘A bean burrito at Taco Bell costs $1.19.’ At the grocery store, Carter says, ‘I can get a pack of 10 tortillas for $2 and some vac-packed refried beans and a little shredded cheese and make 10 bean burritos at home in a few seconds in the microwave for about $6.’”

Streaming services

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People turned to streaming services like Netflix to combat the hold cable companies had on us and their increasing prices. There are now multiple streaming services in order to watch different shows, which start to add up to as much as cable does, if not even more. Even with multiple subscriptions, we’re still flipping through with nothing to watch.

Junk food/chips/soda

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Junk food has somehow tricked us into believing it’s a cheap option for snacking. Not only have the prices crept up recently, but salty and overly sweet processed foods are designed to leave you wanting more, which is how that bag of chips designed for a family can disappear during one show binge.

Peer-to-peer rentals

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TechCrunch points out, “Airbnb homes are getting more expensive to rent, with average prices up 36% since 2019—and with the current state of the economy, travelers are looking for more affordable alternatives again.” Hotels offer more amenities than the average peer-to-peer rental, with fewer fees attached to the base price, like the dreaded cleaning fees.


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According to the Los Angeles Times, “five major players” create the fluctuation in ticket costs, which are the artists, promoters, the venues that host concerts, the ticketing companies selling tickets, and ticket resellers. These factors post-pandemic have people giving up rent money to go see their favorite artists live. Today, we reminisce about the days of $30 concert tickets with a roof still over our heads.

Soda at Restaurants

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According to Yahoo Finance, a can of soda costs only 16 cents, and the typical restaurant markup for a glass is 1,150%. So why are we so willing to pay for a soda at a restaurant knowing it is nothing more than tap water mixed with some syrup coming out of a scarcely cleaned soda gun? Probably because of the appearance of affordability as compared to cocktails, wine, and beer.


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Brisket was once one of the cheapest cuts of beef since it was considered useless. Ranch owners would give the brisket cuts to their ranch hands while holding on to what they perceived at the time as the prime parts. Briskets have gained popularity over the years, thanks to slow-cooking advocates, and now have skyrocketed in price.

Repairing items

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There once was a time when repairing items was cheaper than going out to get a completely new one. Those days are gone. With appliances and cars all needing computer knowledge to repair, labor prices have soared. Finding people who still work on other items like shoes, clothes, and furniture has become increasingly difficult, with scarcity giving them the ability to increase their prices as well.

Regular haircuts

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“Education, tools, rent, and other expenses can all play a role in how your haircut is priced at a salon,” according to Byrdie. This all makes sense when you start to think about the price of keeping your hair on trend. However, when a simple trim can run close to $100, it starts to make you question if you should just learn to do it at home.

Coffee shop drinks

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We get that something just feels better about having your iced latte made for you, but with prices creeping up well over the $5 they used to be, we realize they aren’t worth it anymore. Buying one nice espresso maker or even a Nespresso (which has pod options for espresso) and a coffee steamer will pay for itself easily within a month of not going out to a café.


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BuzzFeed quoted one person as saying, “My chronic illness requires an infusion at a $10,000 copay every seven weeks. My yearly income is $60,000. In America, it’s much cheaper to die. I can get a lovely funeral for a one-time fee of $10,000.” As morbid as this may sound, it is the reality a lot of people live in: how much debt is too much debt to pay for the “privilege” of living? Life-sustaining medications should not be priced out of the average person’s budget, especially with insurance.

Drinking out

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One night out drinking can easily run a person a couple of hundred dollars, between the cost of drinks and tipping. When you consider that you can buy a 6-pack of beers for around $10 and that same beer may be $7 per bottle plus tip while out, your wallet may be asking you to just invite some friends over.

Ordering Delivery

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We used to have limited options for food delivery, mainly Chinese or pizza. But with those limited options came delivery from the restaurant, which was included in the price, and then just a tip for the driver. Now we can have any food delivered from any restaurant or store with the click of an app, but the prices of food are about 30% higher than restaurant prices, plus fees and tips turn your $8 sandwich into a $40 expense.

Boxed cereal

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We used to look at cereal as the “poor man’s meal,” but box prices, especially on name-brand cereal, keep going up. “We’re innovating in new product forms that command premium price points, including our new Morning Summit cereal, which has almonds as a first ingredient and sells for $13 a box,” said General Mills’s CEO Jeff Harmening, according to USA Today. Millennials may be more focused on nutrition, but those prices won’t have them dancing down the cereal aisle.

Bottled water

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Bottled water is convenient, but at what cost? Grabbing a bottle to go can cost several dollars, and the plastic can live in landfills for centuries. It’s more cost-effective to buy a filter and a nice water bottle than to continually purchase new bottles of water.

Dryer sheets

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Does anyone even know the real purpose of dryer sheets, or do we just blindly throw them in our laundry? Reusable wool dryer balls are a more economical option than buying prefabricated dryer sheets full of chemicals, and if you want a scent, just add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil.

Menstrual products

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The cost of essential products like tampons and pads has risen significantly, leading to increased period poverty. Sadly, for women of a certain age, buying menstrual products isn’t something we can just choose not to use.

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