//The Price is Not Always Right (and what to do about it)
What’s the best way to save on your expenses? Know how much everything REALLY costs. Once you see how much retailers mark up their products, you may think twice before handing over your cash. Here are just a few of the biggest culprits:
The average tap water costs about $0.002 a gallon. Once a company bottles it and gives it a fancy name, it can cost up to two dollars for a measly 16 ounces. Most of that cost is not for the water, but for the bottle.
Rip-off rejection: Buy a water bottle and fill it up for free at home.
Most store-bought greeting cards are marked up as much as 200 percent. With an average of two to four dollars per card, it’s easy to spend a lot of money. So why do people continue to spend that kind of money? Convenience.
Rip-off rejection: Get personal, plan ahead and make your own cards.
It costs a restaurant about five cents for a 12-ounce glass of soda. Compare that to the one to two dollars they charge, and even unlimited refills isn’t a bargain. Keep in mind, most soft drinks are just water, sugar and flavoring.
Rip-off rejection: Skip the soft drink and order a free glass of water.
The data usage for a typical text message is about 600 times less than a one-minute phone call. Without a texting plan, companies can mark up texts as high as 6,000 percent.
Rip-off rejection: Sign up for an unlimited texting plan.
Sources: Chicago Times, MSNBC/WalletPop, Consumers Union
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