The Lansing State Journal has put together a list of 5 marked-up retail categories to be aware of when you’re making purchasing decisions, most of which you hopefully already know. If you can’t find wholesale sources or DIY replacements, then at least make sure you do a lot of comparison shopping to get the best deal.
Beverages – Skip bottled water, make your coffee at home, and pay the $10 corking fee at your favorite restaurant so you can bring your own wine.
Weddings – Diamonds, dresses, and cake are marked up by outrageous amounts. Mall jewelers tend to be the worst (they have higher overheads to pay for). A professionally decorated wedding cake works out to about $15 per slice.
Grocery store produce – As you probably know instinctively, you’re paying more for pre-cut and pre-packaged produce, and the widely-abused “organic” label seems to mainly be a euphemism for “we’re gonna charge you more.”
Clothing – Jeans are a big offender in this category, as are eyeglass frames. To save money on glasses, try an online retailer like Zenni Optical—but of course you’ll miss out on the in-store browsing experience.
Popcorn – Actually, the Lansing State Journal calls this category “concessions,” but the real culprit is popcorn—whether purchased at the movie theater or in a microwaveable bag.