18 Food Items That Cost Far More Than They’re Worth

Whether you’re shopping at the grocery store or sitting down at a restaurant, there are just some foods that are not worth the cost. Here are 18 food items we’ve found that cost way more than they’re worth.


food Guacamole
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Avocados aren’t the cheapest produce item to begin with, and there is the added frustration of getting that perfect moment of ripeness, but don’t bend to the pressure of buying pre-made guacamole. Take the extra time to mash your avocado with some lime, onion, and jalapeño to taste instead of paying for packaging.

Pre-Cut Fruit

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The pre-cut fruit section is tempting, with the ease of being able to go home and just enjoy your purchase, but Delish warns, “This convenience comes at a high price. Pre-cut fruit can be well past its prime and still cost an arm and a leg.” With pre-cut fruit, not only are you paying more, but you are also losing control over how long it has been open to the air and what kind of cross-contamination it has encountered.

Rice Mixes

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Looking at a dollar or so bag or box of rice mix doesn’t seem like a huge rip-off until you look at the price per pound compared to plain rice and some seasoning. Sometimes those seasoning kits make the rice up to six times more expensive than doing it yourself.


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Even with the inflated price of everything, rolled oats are still an inexpensive item and the main ingredient in granola. Making granola at home allows you to customize it to your taste and save some money at the same time.


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Berry cravings can hit at any time, whether they are in season where you live or not. However, we recommend you resist the urge to pay out the nose for the out-of-season delectables. Due to the small size and delicateness of berries and the fact that they must be shipped relatively quickly, shipping prices cause berry prices to soar. If you can’t wait for your local farmer, check out the frozen aisle; your wallet will thank you.

Trail Mix

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Nuts are already not on the cheap list for groceries, but for some reason, once you add them to a bag with some dried fruit and M&Ms, the price goes crazy. Save yourself money and the dread of sorting through the parts you don’t like by shopping in your grocery bulk section to make a trail mix perfect for you.

Bone Broth

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When picking up broth or stock at the grocery store, you think paying almost triple for bone broth over stock is worth it for the extra health benefits. Sadly, most store-bought bone broths do not have significant amounts of collagen or other health benefits to make them worth the price.


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Once a cheap breakfast option, many brands have become significantly more expensive. Once you look at the almost $6 a-box price tag on many cereals these days, picking up some eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, or even fresh fruit becomes a more appealing and cost-effective breakfast option.


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Potato chips keep getting more expensive, yet the air in the bag still takes up most of the space, and the chips still manage to get crushed. Take a look at the price tag the next time you get a craving for the salty snack, and you’ll put the bag back down.

Fast Food

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Once a budget-friendly option, many fast food meals now cost as much as dining at sit-down restaurants. The New York Post reported, “A ‘value meal’ at McDonald’s now costs just as much as a meal at a lot of sit down restaurants like Applebee’s.” While fast food chains may still be a dollar or two cheaper than sitting down, the quality may be worth heading to a sit-down restaurant.


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An espresso machine may cost you a couple hundred dollars, but with the average medium latte running over $6, you will quickly see the savings. People are turning back to making coffee at home because it’s just not worth the price hike.

Edible Gold Leaf

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You’ve probably seen it on a foodie show, Instagram, or somewhere else. They are trying to convince you that the ice cream sundae is worth the $10,000 bill, but gold leaf adds no nutritional or flavor value to your food, says Macleans. Plus, it costs up to $169 per gram, or over $15,000 per pound.


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Vanilla ice cream is the “plain” ice cream, yet the humble vanilla pod is surprisingly one of the most expensive foods. According to the Boston Globe, the cost of vanilla beans has increased by more than $300 per pound, and the price of the extract itself has doubled.

Blistered Shishito Peppers

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Blistered shishito peppers have popped up on appetizer menus in restaurants all over, and for good reason—they are delicious and a fun gamble to see who will get the spicy one. But with the low cost of buying them in the store and the extreme ease of cooking them at home, there is no reason to pay restaurant prices for them.

Sauces at Restaurants

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There once was a day when the sauce that complemented your meal came with your food at both fast food and sit-down restaurants. Today, many restaurants will charge per sauce you request. Though the 25–50 cent prices don’t seem like a lot, they can add up quickly to make what was a decent-priced meal a little more than you planned.

Shrimp Cocktail

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Shrimp cocktails are always a table-pleaser. But when you think about the cost of shrimp in the store and then realize cocktail sauce is really just fancy ketchup, the cute presentation doesn’t justify the tab at the end of the night, especially since it is hard to order just one.

Wedge Salad

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A wedge salad sounds fancy and is normally on every steakhouse menu, but once you break it down, it’s just better to make it at home. One head of lettuce will make four salads with two cuts of a knife, some blue cheese dressing, and a sprinkle of bacon—maybe tomato if you’re feeling frisky.

Baked Potato

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There is no justification for the price of baked potatoes in restaurants. This simple root vegetable is one of the cheapest things in the produce aisle, and it really takes no skill at all to make. Plus, when you make it at home, you don’t have to deal with the unreal upcharge to add more toppings than just butter.

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