Special Report

The Most Unreasonably Priced Things Americans Buy

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Insulin
> Pricing: $100-$300 per vial

Insulin is a necessary and life-saving treatment for diabetics. In the United States, insulin can cost anywhere between $100 and $300 per vial, with more than half of that money going to pharmacies, drugstores, wholesalers, and insurers. Though these costs can be defrayed by insurance, Americans still pay between three and nine times more for insulin than diabetics in countries like Canada, Australia, and Europe.

Movie theater snacks
> Pricing: $7-$9

Though popcorn is relatively inexpensive to make, movie theaters can charge well over $7, $8, or even $9 for a bag. Since they are the only food provider, theaters can charge whatever they want for the buttery snack, and moviegoers either have to pay those elevated prices or forgo the fun. The same goes for other snacks like candy, hot dogs, or fountain drinks sold in theaters. Buying snacks outside of the theater would cost two to five times less.

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Soda
> Pricing: $2-$3

Though a fountain drink at a restaurant or a bottle of soda at a convenience store is just a few dollars, this still represents an enormous markup from what it costs to make. Soft drinks are almost all water with a bit of syrup, coloring, and carbonation. This combination costs just over a penny per ounce to produce, plus packaging. Americans can save money by making their own soda, or simply cutting out the sugary drinks altogether.

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Credit monitoring
> Pricing: up to $30 per month

Americans with poor credit may have to pay much higher interest rates for their homes or cars, so people may be inclined to use a credit monitoring service so they know what to expect.

But these services, which can cost as much as $30 per month, do not actually benefit your credit.

Credit checking services like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all must provide you with a free annual credit report, so it is best to just make sound financial decisions and use your free check when you really need it.

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Coffee shop drinks
> Pricing: $2.70

Many Americans start their day with a cup of coffee or tea from their local coffee shop. Though the average cost of a cup of joe is $2.70, this adds up over time. If a morning cup of coffee is a daily occurrence, it is much more cost efficient to brew your own.

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