Seven things you hate paying for
photo by bitterjug
Prices keep rising. On some items, it’s a few cents, and on others, it’s even higher. You’ve probably noticed at least one item you buy regularly costs more, or you’re getting less in the package. Sometimes we have easy-to-find alternatives, but there are some rising costs that are harder to avoid.
What do you hate spending money on?
Here are some of the top annoying things readers hate paying for.
INK CARTRIDGES: Ink is starting to cost as much as a printer, and it doesn’t last long. A.C. in Pennsylvania shares: “I buy generic cartridges from eBay. With some, you have to move the chip from an authentic cartridge over to the generic, and the printer can’t always read the ink levels. But they work, so it doesn’t matter to me. Recently, I bought five generic black cartridges for my printer for $12 total, shipping included (name-brand cartridges sell for $12 a piece).” Refilling cartridges works well enough for some people, but others aren’t happy with the results. So check for sales, print less, and keep color printing to a minimum. Check your printer’s settings, and print in draft quality and grayscale when possible.
SHIPPING AND HANDLING: While it’s amazing that an item can be shipped safely and quickly, some shipping and handling fees are out of control. Retailers with free shipping are going to do far better (especially during the holidays) than those that don’t. Visit sites such as www.freeshipping.org, which shares stores that offer free shipping and provides any necessary coupon codes. Visit www.filleritem.com to search for items on Amazon to help reach their $25 minimum purchase to get free shipping.
PARKING: One reader, Donna in Louisiana, shares: “I don’t think about it much, but when I do, it infuriates me — I am charged $17.50 a month to park at work. It’s bad enough having to work without having to pay for parking, too. But public transit is not available during the hours I work.”
SOFT DRINKS: It’s bad enough that a two-liter bottle of your favorite soft drink has increased in cost, but the price for fountain drinks at restaurants is out of control. Two words: no ice. You used to be able to order water, but lately some places are charging for that, too. Don’t get me started on the bottled-water industry or vending machines. Most people don’t mind paying a bit more, but it’s no longer a reasonable amount.
ATM FEES: Nothing like getting charged money to withdraw money. And if you’re out of network, look out. Often, credit unions will offer free ATM services.
TEXTBOOKS: Spending $150 for a “required” book that is barely used in a class. Especially annoying is when you can get a previous edition for far less but are told you need the most recent edition and then never use it in class. Try selling it back to the bookstore and you get raked over the coals again. You can try to sell it online at Web sites such as www.booksintocash.com, www.ecampus.com, www.cash4books.net or www.webuyyourbooks.com. Students can rent textbooks, too. Visit www.bookrenter.com and www.chegg.com. Compare textbook prices at websites like www.bigwords.com and www.campusbooks.com.
AIR: Paying to inflate your tires. Someone please offer free air again.