Do You Buy These Overpriced Items?

by Khaleef Crumbley on September 10, 2010

in Deals,Personal Finance,Saving Money,shopping

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I came across an article on Yahoo! Finance the other day regarding expensive items. What makes this list a little different than most is that these are items that have drastic markups, but consumers still purchase them. If you are focused on saving money, these items are a great place to start!

Here is the list with my comments added:

Movie Theater Popcorn

The article estimates the markup to be about 1,275%! This is an expense that I always steer clear of – actually you will rarely (less than once per year) catch me at a movie theater in the first place! However, on those rare occasions that my wife drags me into one, we never purchase candy, soda, or popcorn!

Greeting Cards

Honestly, there are a lot of organizations out there that will give you a pack or two of greeting cards as part of their guilt trip plea for donations. That is what we use for the most part!

With the popularity of email, texts, and e-cards, we should see the demise of these expensive cards. Although, a physical card is a wonderful memento of a lovely sentiment or experience, so this demise may not come for a while.

But then again, if you have an intimate relationship with the recipient, just make the card yourself (I’ve been told that this is actually more special)!

College Textbooks

These will sell for upwards of $250 for some subjects and then sell for less than $20 only 3 months later! When I was a college student, I rarely ever purchased new textbooks.

Be sure to read 7 Ways to Save Money on College Textbooks to find out how to avoid these costs!

Bottled Water

This is something that costs pennies per gallon at home, but can go for more than $10 per gallon in a bottle!

We purchased a $30 filter (with a coupon, I’m sure) and attached it to our faucet!

Much of our bottled water comes from municipal water supplies (faucet water), and may or may not undergo additional testing and filtering before being shipped to stores!

I love the author’s comment on this one – “…’Evian’ is simply ‘naïve’ spelled backwards”.

Printer Ink

The costs of printers have dropped dramatically over the last 10 years; unfortunately, the cost of ink has not.

Ink and toner is where the manufacturers make most of their profit. You can usually find local vendors (even Drugstores in some places) who will refill your ink cartridges for you at a fraction of the cost of a replacement.

Also, be sure to read, “how to cut your printing costs” to learn another very easy tip!

Brand-Name Fashions

I have never understood the allure of so-called “designer” clothes (aren’t all clothes “designed”?), and I probably never will. Many of the times it will be the same fabric and cuts as the cheaper brands, but at an inflated price.

Here is an interesting quote from the article, “… brand-name clothes are often marked up by 500 to 1000%”. Please think twice before you jump on the next fashion bandwagon and pay on outrageous price for clothing and accessories! Sometimes these items are made of better material then their cheaper counterparts. In that case, it would be better to find a Tilly’s promo code, and save big on a quality item.

What other items with inflated prices can you think of?

Do you ever spend money on these items? If so, how do you justify the costs?

photo credit: yjh

© 2010 – 2013, Khaleef Crumbley. All rights reserved.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Briana @ GBR

Movie theater popcorn: Gotta have it. I hate how expensive it is, but I love how delicious it is at the same time.

Greeting Cards: All of my cards are purchased from the Dollar Tree or 99 cents store (heartwarming cards for less)

College textbooks: Renting is now the only way for me to go. I’ll never buy another textbook

Bottled water: We bought a water filter in July and I’ll never buy bottled water again

Printer ink: Guilty. I don’t really know any way around it (reading “how to cut your printing costs”, thanks)

Brand-name fashions: After a few family tragedies, my priorities changed and brand names were the least of my worries. Now it’s just whatever fits


2 Car Negotiation Coach

I must say I’m occassionaly guilty of sneaking a soda or bottle of water into the movies to avoid paying. But every once in a while I get a craving for the butter machine and break down and buy some pop-corn.

$10 for popcorn and a drink? C’mon!


3 Khaleef Crumbley

I know many people who don’t mind bringing their own snacks to the movies. I wouldn’t do it, but those prices are outrageous and I see the motivation for doing so!

Having a meal directly before the movie starts is a good way to avoid those cravings!


4 Little House

I definitely wouldn’t purchase bottled water for over a buck. I try to bring my own water in my own water bottle when I am out and about and on those days I forget, the least expensive bottled water is just fine with me (or a drinking fountain if I can find one!)

As for text books, another great way to reduce the price is to rent them. I was able to rent two of my books this semester for less than half the price of the purchase. My other 3 books I bought used and will resell for very little.

And as for movies, I love Netflix and Redbox! My husband hates going to the theater (sticky floors, noisy kids, no beer…), so we rarely go. I personally enjoy watching them at home anyway.


5 Khaleef Crumbley

I agree about the water. I have several reusable water bottles that I use when I’m out.

I personally never rented a textbook, but it is becoming very popular and I definitely can see some of the benefits.

Those are the main reasons why I don’t like movies (minus the beer ;-))!


6 youngandthrifty

Good idea to not spend money on mineral water. I cringe whenever I have to drink out of a plastic water bottle.

It’s also good for the environment that way too! So many plastic water bottles end up in the land fill. Such a waste!

other than saving a flat or two for emergency preparedness, I see no reason why people would drink from plastic water bottles regularly.

I use a Brita water filter too, and it suits me just fine. =)


7 Khaleef Crumbley

I think it has become such an accepted practice in a very short period of time! Also, bottled water is advertised as being cleaner and safer, so many people feel they are being healthy by drinking it.

I really hope that this trend would reverse, because so much money is wasted!

Thanks for the comment, hope to see you around often!


8 Barb Friedberg

Most of the time, NO. But popcorn, sometimes. Do the ink refills last as long? I have tried off brand ink and it runs out quickly.


9 Khaleef Crumbley

In my opinion they do not last as long. I have not done a test, but I’m sure that they are still worth it. You probably get 75% of the prints for a 75% discount – or something like that.


10 Roshawn @ Watson Inc

Hello Khaleef, I have refilled ink cartridges in the past but do not purchase bottled water. I think that I should or at least by a filter though :)

Kind Regards,


11 Khaleef Crumbley

Yeah, I’ve done the cartridges as well – now I have a printer that uses toner.

Try to get the filter soon – I’m sure you’ll find a great deal at Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20% coupon!


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