18 Everyday Items That Have Now Become Too Expensive for the Average American

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By Darryl Henderson

With the cost of living on the rise, it’s no surprise that even basic everyday items are becoming too expensive for many Americans. Things that were once a necessity have now become a luxury. Here are 18 everyday items that are out of the price bracket for most Americans.

Coffee on the Go

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According to The Washington Post, “people now spend about $6 on average for a beverage at cafes”. As a one-time purchase, this is expensive, but if you’re grabbing a coffee-to-go a few times a week? A coffee made at home in a reusable takeout cup is now the preferred option.


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We know that simply owning a car can be one of the most expensive things you can do, yet rising gas prices give Americans another thing to worry about. The average household struggles to pay the cost of filling up the tank, which means many avoid driving if they can help it.


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Students are already faced with extensive debt if they choose higher education, yet many are struggling even just to buy the textbooks they need. The price of college textbooks has risen substantially, and this has meant 65% of students avoid buying required textbooks because they can’t afford them, according to CBS News.

Peer-to-Peer Rentals

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It used to be that peer-to-peer rental options would offer more for your money compared to mainstream hotels, and many people could bag a great deal on a room. Nowadays, with rising costs of private rentals, as well as all the additional fees, this type of rental is out of most people’s price range.

Bottled Water

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Bottled water should be considered a basic necessity for people on the go, yet it’s now become a luxury. The Independent even labels bottled water as “one of the biggest scams of the century”, with people spending an estimated $100 billion a year. More people are turning to tap water as a result.

Convenience Store Snacks

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We all know the regret of not picking up some snacks when you last visited the store. Yet these days, it’s more due to not being able to afford it than exceptional self-control. The higher price of convenience store snacks compared to bigger grocery stores means that they’re now more of a rare treat.


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Many Americans are faced with a lack of affordability for even simple medicine items like painkillers if they don’t have insurance. With the high price of basic medication, many Americans are avoiding taking the medication they need in order to avoid the high cost.


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Cereal used to be considered a cheap, everyday item and a basic breakfast. These days, it’s now an expensive breakfast option that many Americans avoid, thanks to the rising price. Items that you may consider more expensive for breakfast, like yogurts and fruit, actually end up being cheaper than most boxes of cereal.

Dog Food

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Many people are having to reconsider getting a new pet thanks to the rising costs associated with them, including the most basic food items. Wanting to provide the best food for your pooch means spending a significant amount of money, leaving a lot of Americans having no choice but to buy lower-quality dog food.

Takeout and Fast Food

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Many Americans used to prefer a cheap takeout rather than preparing full family meals at home, and it was an affordable option. These days, takeouts have become significantly more expensive, even basic burgers, leaving many families returning to home-cooking to save money.

Impulse Buys

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Being able to buy something on a whim with your well-earned cash shouldn’t be something to budget or worry about. But impulse purchases have fast become the cause of many an American’s financial woes. With the rising cost of pretty much everything, impulse buying can often be a mistake.

Fast Fashion

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Once upon a time, fast fashion was supposed to be quick and affordable, which is why many Americans turned to it instead of expensive brands. Yet fast fashion has swiftly become expensive, mainly due to the lack of quality, resulting in clothing not lasting very long.

Subscription TV

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Steaming channel prices used to be relatively cheap when they were first rolled out. Yet the success of streaming has meant that most companies aren’t ashamed of hiking up their prices. Los Angeles Times explains that those people who ended their cable packages to switch to streaming are now faced with increasing monthly subscriptions.

Breakfast On-The-Go

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Many Americans save time every morning by grabbing breakfast on the go. Especially for those heading out to the office, getting food on the way makes more sense. Yet buying a morning breakfast every day from even a basic café can now be considered a luxury.


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Even the most basic school stationery supplies, such as notebooks, pens, and cases, have become expensive. Many American parents are struggling with the rising costs of school items, and many children are having to recycle older items to keep for years to come.

Public Transportation

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With rising gas prices, a lot of Americans might consider making the switch to public transport for their commute – yet that comes with a high price tag, too. Especially with the rise of private rideshare services, even basic taxi costs are on the increase.

Lunch Sandwiches

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Sandwiches are a lunch staple, and it used to be that they were a cheap option to grab on your lunch break. Nowadays, even sandwich prices are on the rise thanks to the price of general bakery goods going up. This means making your own lunch at home is the cost-effective option.


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Especially with the recent pandemic, disposable items such as gloves, cleaning wipes, and masks have quickly become the norm. But they’ve also become quickly expensive. Having to constantly replace basic items for personal hygiene and home cleaning quickly racks up a hefty bill.