Eight things we all pay too much for
Rachel Wait reveals eight items that are outrageously overpriced...
Let’s face it, no one likes to waste money if they can help it. Unfortunately, however, there have been numerous moments during my life when I’ve felt like I am doing just that. Just why are so many things so expensive?
Here, I’m going to reveal eight items I think are ridiculously overpriced.
1) Football tickets
If you’re a football fan, I can guarantee you’re a little tired of paying through the nose to watch your favourite team play. If you’re an avid fan, a season ticket might be high on your priority list. But if you’re a supporter of a Premier League club, this means you could end up forking out nearly £2,000 in some cases! Outrageous!
And even if you only want to go to the odd match here and there, you’ll still be looking at paying out somewhere between £25 and £70 per adult. Kids’ tickets, meanwhile, will set you back around £15 to £25. And that means a family day out (and technically it’s not even a day) can soon get very expensive.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to get around this other than to go for the cheapest tickets possible and limit your visits to a few times a year. Either that, or ditch your team for a cheaper one! But I can’t see many of you agreeing to that...
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2) Cinema tickets
Similarly, paying to go to the cinema is unnecessarily expensive. Adult tickets can easily cost around £10 and in London’s West End, this price can soon catapult to £17!
If the kids are coming with you too, you’re likely to be handing over another £6 or £7 per child (or £12 in the West End). So again, you’ve got another expensive family trip on your hands – and again, this is only for a couple of hours’ entertainment at most.
A much better way to catch up on your film watching is to sign up to a DVD rental website such as lovefilm.com where packages start from just £3.99. However, if you really must go to the cinema, you can slash the cost by using websites such as See Film First and Momentum Pictures which offer regular preview screenings for free.
Alternatively, you can currently get 40% off Odeon tickets with this voucher. This is valid until 14 October.
And if you’re an Orange customer, don’t forget you can get your hands on two for one cinema tickets every Wednesday. All you need to do is text 'FILM' to 241 on your mobile, or simply call 241.
3) Cinema popcorn
While we’re on the subject of cinemas, why is cinema popcorn so ridiculously expensive? I don’t want to pay £5 for a couple of handfuls of popcorn to munch my way through while I’m watching my ridiculously overpriced film – thank you very much!
My advice: bring your own. Just make sure you do this discretely – if you come armed with a suitcase full of goodies, it’s likely you’ll get turned away or have your treats confiscated!
4) Train tickets
I’ve already banged on about this one a lot lately. But one of my biggest bugbears is the fact that train tickets are so pricey. Must I really pay £62 just for a return trip to Liverpool?
I know I should be cutting my carbon footprint, but it’s far easier and cheaper for two of us to jump in the car and only pay for petrol than it is to pay for two overpriced train tickets. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is!
There are of course ways to help cut the price you pay for train travel, so if you do need to travel by train, make sure you follow these tips. And don’t forget, if you’re booking online, choose the website you order through carefully to avoid being caught out by booking fees and credit card fees.
5) Greeting cards
Whether it’s weddings, birthdays, or good luck wishes, there’s always some occasion for which we need to buy a card. Unfortunately, the price of greeting cards can be extortionate! On average, we can end up forking out anywhere between £2 and £5 – just for one little bit of card.
Personally, I prefer to stick to places such as M&S and Next where you can pick up a card for £1. You can call me cheap if you like, but I prefer to call it sensible. Alternatively, why not simply make the cards yourself? Take a look at Cardmaking Companion for some inspiration! Or send a free e-card and save the planet as well as the money in your pocket.
6) Bottled water
Oh don’t get me started on this one. Paying £1.50 for a bottle of water makes no sense to me whatsoever. I mean, really, does water cost that much – just because it’s from sparkling springs or the highland valleys?
If you need to carry a bottle around with you, invest in a reusable one and fill it up with tap water. It won’t kill you.
Rachel Robson shows you how to fight back against unfair parking tickets.
Popping into your local shopping centre for a couple of hours? Checked the price of parking?
Parking fees can easily work out to be around £2-£3 an hour and that can soon stack up. If you ask me, it’s a complete con.
However, you can avoid this by using your legs a little more and only taking the car out when necessary. If you do need to park somewhere, have a hunt around for the cheapest places to park and if you’re visiting a town or city, see if there’s a park-and-ride service to take advantage of.
Alternatively, if you’re off on holiday and need to park near the airport, make sure you check out websites such as Purple Parking, parking4less and aph.com which help you to search for the best priced parking spaces near the airport.
8) Special occasions
Whether you’re hoping to take your mum out for Mother’s Day, or spend time with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, watch out for rocketing restaurant prices! Restaurants aren’t stupid and will quickly take advantage of any peak in demand. This means you could end up paying out ridiculously high prices for less than adequate food.
Instead, a much better idea is to take your mum or partner out a day or two before/after the big day and pay a little less for better quality food. Alternatively, you could rustle up a surprise meal in your own kitchen! Check out the BBC Recipes page and our own Frugal Recipes series for some inspiration.