MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


The most overpriced things we waste our money on

Movie theater popcorn, anyone?
Posted at 12:32 PM, Jan 23, 2020

Thanks to big box stores, dollar stores and Amazon, prices of many items haven't gone up much in recent years.

But some items continue to rise in price. And we are now paying ridiculous markups on them, according to a report on

One obvious example: college textbooks. You can buy a book on Amazon for just a few bucks. But then why do college textbooks cost hundreds of dollars each?

One college student we spoke with said, "it's crazy, $400, $500 for a book!"

So CheatSheet says the following items are terribly overpriced:

  • College textbooks: With a 40% markup over their "real" cost, they are one of "the most ridiculously overpriced items we keep paying way too much for," according to the report.
  • Name brand cosmetics: A 78% markup over the generic version, the report says.
  • Airport food: Ever buy a bottle of water while waiting for your flight? Expect to pay a 200% markup over what you'd pay in the supermarket.
  • Name brand printer ink: A 300% markup over no-name ink, which unfortunately no longer works in most printers.
  • Designer jeans: A 500% markup, compared with basic jeans that you can buy at Target or Walmart.

But wait, there's more....

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, perhaps the most ridiculously overpriced items of all: movie theater popcorn, with a 1000% markup, the report says. You are paying more than $5 for 49 cents worth of popcorn, which may have you saying, "doesn't that stink?"

In some of these cases, you can save a lot if you skip the name brand (cosmetics, jeans, headphones) and look for an off brand that is almost as good.

Of course, you can't do that in the movie theater. And we're not going to suggest you bring your own snacks, though some people do.

Or you can purchase movie theater candy, which — while pricey — is still less of a markup than popcorn.


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