19 Overpriced Items People Should Stop Buying

People have been hitting a lot of sticker shock in the last few years. It has us all rethinking what we spend our money on. These 19 overpriced items should be cut from our budgets.

Frozen pizza

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data stating that “food at home” costs are 8.4% higher than in 2022, while “food away from home” is 8.8% more expensive than last year. These price increases have even hit the frozen pizza aisle; now buying a name-brand frozen pizza will cost about the same as ordering pizza used to.

Fast food

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Fast food was designed to be cheap, easy, and convenient for busy people and students low on funds. Meals that used to cost around $10 are now $15 or more, making them less appealing compared to cooking at home.


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Soda seems like a cheap purchase until you start to think about it. Ever wonder why restaurants can offer free refills? It’s because the cost of the product is significantly lower than their markup. Paying $3–4 for a glass of sugar water no longer seems worth it to many.


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“‘Shrinkflation’ is a term used to describe implicitly increasing the price of an item by slightly decreasing the amount or quantity in a package,” Steve Reed, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told ABC News. Box sizes are getting smaller while the prices increase and the nutritional value really isn’t making cereal as appealing as it was when we were kids.

Greeting cards

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At $5 or more for cards that will most likely end up in a drawer or even the trash, many now find greeting cards an unnecessary splurge. For the price of a card, you could give a thoughtful gift, like a small book, or even meet with them for a cup of coffee.

Potato chips

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Yes, there is more air in the bags than there used to be. When the cost of products went up, manufacturers adjusted to keep their profits the same, knowing people wouldn’t think anything of an ounce difference. According to Forbes, “a serving size is one ounce or around 18 chips.” Probably a little more noticeable than they thought.

Chicken wings

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The cost of meat, especially former budget options like chicken wings, has soared, forcing many to cut back or eliminate it. Pitco reports, “Demand for wings is always high, with about one billion servings of wings being ordered throughout any given year.” People love wings while dining out and at home since they’re cheap and hard to mess up.


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Candy prices have gone up, along with everything else. This price increase has people rethinking impulse candy bar purchases at the cash register, which could be a pro, as it promotes less sugar consumption and may help with national weight loss.

New video games

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We used to buy a video game and that was the end of it. Gamers today spend $100 for a new game before downloadable content fees. Then, once you’re in the game, they catch you with features and codes you can buy within the game, which can be hard to resist when you’re trying to get to the next level.

Concert tickets

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Ticket prices range from $300–600 for two seats, plus exorbitant fees, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to get them from the original vendor. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones and have to buy your ticket through a third party, the price can reach the price of a month of rent per person.

Movie theater outings

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Going out to the movies used to be a relatively cheap date or family outing. With tickets around $22 each and concessions also pricey, a family trip to the cinema has become a “rare occurrence.” People are opting to stay home and wait until it’s streaming, even if there’s a $3.99 rental fee and they have to make their own popcorn.

Streaming services

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We walked away from cable because we were locked into one or two provider options depending on where we lived, and they could force us to pay whatever they wanted. To top that off, there was never anything on. So we switched to streaming with Netflix. Today, most networks have launched their own service; subscription costs are adding up and driving some back to piracy.

Delivery apps

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Delivery apps gave us convenience and hit their hay days during the pandemic when we wanted our favorite restaurants but couldn’t go to them. The average American still spends over $1,800 per year on food delivery, of which almost a third is on service fees, delivery fees, and tips. Not to mention the higher prices listed on the apps as compared to the in-restaurant prices.


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“Generally speaking, perfume is an investment. Even on the lower end of the cost spectrum, you’re still looking at around $25 to $75 for perfume,” according to Real Simple. Luxury fragrance prices are becoming “insanely expensive,” with some bottles going for hundreds or even up to $250,000 for ‘Bvlgari Opera Prima,’ the most expensive perfume in the world.

Lottery tickets

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Lottery tickets don’t feel like a high cost when you’re thinking about what the return on investment could be if you win. But the odds of being a jackpot winner are far lower than people expect, meaning that a $2 ticket is more like throwing money on the street.

Pre-ordering products

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Pre-orders used to be a great way to make sure you had a popular item without having to hunt for it and pray you got there before it sold out. Consumers are tired of paying upfront for delayed or disappointing products that don’t meet expectations. Money Smart Guides says, “With supply chain issues and scammy companies, pre-ordering is more of a risk than a reward.” People are choosing to wait until the product is in actual production and available in stores before buying.

Gym memberships

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There is a wide range of prices for gym memberships, from the low $10 a month to gyms over $200 a month. Either price is too much to pay if you aren’t using your membership to its fullest. With many lower-cost options available, like apps that walk you through in-home workouts, pricey gym memberships are a common item to cut.

Sporting event tickets

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Heading out to a game may seem like the perfect family day, but with costs of $500+ for a family of four to attend, many feel they need a six-figure salary to afford live sports. There are cheaper options at some sporting events for last-minute tickets, but who is ready to risk that with kids in tow?

Bottled water

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Bottled water is expensive compared to tap water, and the environmental impact is also significant. Save money and save the environment by getting an in-home water filter, buying a trendy Stanley Cup (or any other reusable water bottle), and refilling before you head out the door.

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