We Overpay On Things You Can’t Imagine


By: Abhi Palikala, Journalist

Most prices that seem outrageous can be identified quickly. If there’s a price rise on a product you frequently buy, you’ll also notice. Companies like Apple, Exxon, and others are notorious for having prices higher than most on the market, yet we still consume their products. These are a few of the most unnoticed but still yet rip-off prices.

Bottled Water:

Bottled water seems so cheap at its price, about $1.99-2.99, that it is hard to imagine it’s overpriced. The truth is, companies that produce bottled water spend about $0.05/bottle, while we spend 40-60x that. Instead, installing a refrigerator water dispenser can save thousands of dollars over the course of its use.

Premium Gas:

As mentioned earlier, name brands associated with performance charge more. However, premium gasoline does not just apply to Exxon and Sunoco. Almost every gas station has “premium” gas, which is supposedly smoother and improves car efficiency. Truth be told, for the most part, premium gas has no visible benefits to the majority of the population. It’s the equivalent of drink “premium” water every day.

Cell Phone Plans:

I know, I know, you love your unlimited data. You love watching YouTube in 1080p when you’re miles from home. However, unlimited data is not actually “unlimited.”  To watch in 4k, you will have to upgrade your plan further. And these plans are expensive. For example, a 2-gigabyte data plan, which is enough for someone who doesn’t binge-watch in the car, costs about $120/month for three phones. The same “unlimited” plan costs $200/month (for three phones). Over the course of a year, that adds up to almost $1000 more.

A New Car

What? A car?! But we need to commute to school and work, right? Surely you don’t expect me to call an Uber for my kids? Well, this only applies to new cars. By one estimate, a car loses 20-30% of its value when you pull out of the dealership. By the same logic, buying a mildly used car can save thousands (and even tens of thousands) of dollars.


While we cannot stop overpaying for bottled water when we need it, we can switch our other choices. Maybe in the future, you’ll realize that buying unlimited data while only using Wi-Fi isn’t worth it.

Further Reading:



Reader’s Digest

Buying premium gasoline isn’t the best idea; it’s the equivalent of drinking “premium” water.