19 August 2014

Things that are outrageously overpriced

I had  the pleasure this afternoon to chat for a few minutes with Darren James who was hosting Afternoons with Dennis Walter on radio 3AW here in Melbourne.

I was thrilled to be able to talk about everyday things that are overpriced and if you click here you'll be able to listen to the full segment.

Darren mentioned hairdressing and I agree, hairdressing can be very expensive. I get my hair cut and dried at a local salon for just $27 and in all the years I've been going there I've only been unhappy twice. Thankfully my hair grows very quickly so I wasn't sad for too long.

He also mentioned parking and I agree with him there too. Parking fees are outrageous. Whether it is in the city or at the airport or even our local hospital parking can eat up a huge chunk of your daily budget. I've had reason to visit Box Hill Hospital here in Melbourne weekly for the last couple of months and the parking was sending me broke - $7 minimum each visit. These days I get dropped off and just call when I'm ready to be picked up. My chauffeur brings a book and a drink and parks a few streets away, where it's not only free but far less congested.

I mentioned bottled water. Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about paying for water in a plastic bottle. We have a very cheap, clean and safe water supply here in Australia so buying bottled water is a complete waste of money. Tap water costs you just one tenth of one cent per litre. Bottled water can cost over $5 per litre!

Fill your water bottles from your kitchen tap and you'll save around $844 a year. For my family that's almost three months' grocery money. It's 15 months of mobile phone access for Wayne, Hannah and me. $844 is 21 weeks of petrol for my car (I budget and use around $40 a week at current prices of $1.44.9/l). And if those figures don't convince you think about this: we pay $1.45 or more per litre for petrol and whinge and whine about it, while we pay three, four or more times that price per litre for water and gloat because we're drinking plain water!

Bottled water is not just expensive, the cost truly is outrageous.

Coffee pods are another thing that are very expensive. Aldi pods are $5.99 for 128g or $4.67/100g. I can buy coffee beans from Coles and grind my own coffee for a fraction of the price. Coles Fair Trade coffee beans are the cheapest at just $1.30 per hundred grams. My favourite Lavazza beans cost $3.37 per hundred grams, almost half the pod price, off the shelf and less than half price when they are on sale.  And if you're not convinced or really love your pods, you can refill them with your own ground coffee. I'll post a How To later in the week showing you how, but it is really easy.

So many of the things we buy are overpriced and yet we still buy them. We may be aware they are overpriced and we may grumble and moan about the cost but we still buy them.

We don’t have to. We can stop using those products. We can find MOOs to replace them. We can look for cheaper, better value alternatives. We don't need to be swept up in the advertising hype that has us believing that only those over-priced products will make us happy.

What outrageously priced items do you buy? What outrageously overpriced items do you leave on the shelf because you've found a cheaper alternative?

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