Pop Culture

People reveal 12 everyday things that have gotten so expensive they can't afford them anymore

And a few hints on great bargains in today's economy, too.

two people standing in front of a food truck and a dog lying on a sofa
Photo (left) by Joana Godinho on Unsplash, Photo (right) by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

From food truck food to pet care, people are feeling priced out of things that used to be affordable.

Despite record unemployment, a booming stock market and easing inflation, Americans are still feeling squeezed at the cash register. We knew the pandemic was going to cause economic woes, and to be fair, things could be a lot worse, but that doesn't ease the shock of seeing the total on a receipt that's far more than we used to pay.

A user on Reddit asked, "What’s gotten so expensive that you no longer purchase it?" and it opened floodgate of financial experiences and feelings. Life in general seems like it's becoming unaffordable for many of us.

"I feel like I can’t walk out of my front door without automatically spending $20," shared one person.

"For me, that was over ten years ago. These days leaving the house is a minimum $50," quipped another.

Certain purchases and activities are putting a much bigger dent in our pocketbook than they used to, so if you've been feeling it, take solace in the fact that you're not alone. Here are the things people said they simply can't afford anymore because the prices have gotten too high, along with some savings tips for making some of your favorite things more affordable:


"Me and the wife would have Friday as a more relaxing evening. We have 3 kids. We would always vary and order take away. Take away has gone from $30ish to $50, $60, $70 for the same stuff plus increased delivery charges. Not worth it anymore." – Ok-Stuff-8803

Family of 4, I feel your pain. We didn't go out (or order in) weekly, but it was a fairly common occurrence. Now it's a rarity, and its usually tied to a special occasion. It's frustrating because I feel like my family's standard of living is declining, even though I am progressing in my career and making more money. – Robbie-R

"GF and I used to eat out at a sit down restaurant once a week, now it’s more like once a month if that. It’s gotten crazy expensive." – largecontainer

Yep, fast food, too

"I was at a party the other night and a friend of mine randomly came in with a bucket of chicken from KFC. I was SHOCKED at how expensive it was. Pretty sure it was damn near 40 bucks." – Touch_My_Nips

"McDonalds. Not that I can't afford it, but I am not paying the current prices for cheap, processed food for on the go. They are trying to be fancier, they should accept who they are and stick to be being cheap and convenient, it has always worked for them." – TrixieLurker

"Two and a half years ago they still had the 2 for $2 menu and any size soft drink was a dollar. Now it’s the 2 for $3.99 and a medium soda is $1.19." – king-of-the-sea

fish and chips food truck

Food trucks used to be a cheap alternative to sit-down restaurants.

Photo by Joana Godinho on Unsplash

Even the food trucks

"Food from food trucks. I'm not spending $15 for a grilled cheese that I have to wait in the rain for." – just_hating

"Food truck the other day was charging $20 for a basic chicken sandwich. No sides just meat and bread. I’m officially baffled by the world." – No-Statement9809

"I remember when food trucks used to represent simple finger food that was a cheaper alternative to restaurants (especially taco trucks; used to be like 3 for $8! Now, these f**king places are charging $15-$25 for a smaller sized plate than a sit-down restaurant. I have written them off entirely." – Fated47

Mobile apps

"Mobile apps. I’m absolutely infuriatingly tired of subscription services. The worst is that they let you download the app so they can claim it as a download, only to get stonewalled by a subscription page. Let’s go back to a one time fee please." – SmallRocks

"Most of them don’t even have a free trial. They’re free-to-download for marketing purposes, then immediately make you pay to use. Sh*t should be illegal." – ItsMeCyrie

"Add in app updates that removed features and put them behind a paywall 😢" – Mamasgoldenmilk

crowd at a concert

Concert ticket prices have gone berserk.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Concert tickets

"I bought two sets of tickets this year for bands I've wanted to see for over 20 years. One concert cost me $600 for two tickets and the other was $300 for two. The ridiculous part of it all is that the fees alone cost more than one ticket. I can stomach $100-$150 for good seats to a band I like, I can't stomach another $150 in fees." – Syikho

"As someone who spends a lot of money on music $300 for a ticket to see a single band, maybe 2 or 3 with openers, for one night is ridiculous. Last few years I’ve been doing a music festival cruise and feel like I get the most bang for my buck. 6 days of music with 30+ bands mixed in with a tropical vacation for under 2k." – Newone1255

"Yeah, I grew up relatively poor and still got to see countless shows. Luckily a lot of my favorite bands were small-time and I could see them in tiny, cheap venues, but still several times a year I was seeing world-famous bands.

"It is literally prohibitively expensive to the average person to see concerts regularly anymore. And I don’t even f**k with arena shows." – robotatomica

Chips, cereal and soda

"Dude, $7 for Doritos is NUTS. Even store brand chips are getting pricey." – trafficrush

"Ditto with cereal! The boxes have gotten so small and they’re like $7!" – thenisaidbitch

"Soda. Used to enjoy a sprite occasionally. I'm just not paying 3 or 4 dollars at this point for sugar water that kills my insides." – SmokeLawn

"No snack food. Pretty much just buying staples/meat/dairy/fruit/veg and making everything from scratch. Ultra processed food is terrible for you anyway." – _manicpixie


"Aldi is the only place I will buy cereal anymore. $2.15 a box vs $6." – Moronmagnet72

"My uber picky kid LOVES Aldi brand cereal. Thank god." – peachy_sam

remote pointed at a tv with the netflix logo on it

Streaming services keep raising their prices while canceling our favorite shows.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Streaming services

"Netflix is about to be that way. They're gonna do another price hike later this year and that's just laughable to me. Blows my mind that they can cancel damn near every show that they produce in three seasons or less and then have the audacity to keep wanting people to pay more. Like, I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I've probably watched more than fifty Netflix original series over the past several years and that less than a dozen of them made it past three seasons or gotten proper endings." – IDoBelieveInGarys

"I cancelled Netflix back when they stopped allowing password sharing (I share it with family) and just cancelled Disney+ and Hulu for the same reason. HBO Max and Paramount get my money until they do something stupid too." – TrilobiteBoi

"I canceled all of my subscriptions except one and will be canceling the last one in the next month or so. They’re too expensive- Hulu, prime, Netflix- it’s just cable all over again." – Dementedstapler

SAVINGS TIP: Streaming service cycling

"Years ago I decided that the best thing to do is just cycle through streaming subscriptions one at a time. Right now I've got Disney+/Hulu. If I find that I've watched everything on there and I'm bored of it and there's nothing else coming soon that I want I'll cancel it and move on to HBO or Netflix or whatever and catch up on all the stuff that's come out since the last time I had that service. I don't really care that I'm not able to watch every show that's great right when it comes out." – tenehemia

"We need to normalize regularly cancelling memberships. No one's giving you a discount the longer you stay and resubscribing doesn't cost anything extra. I'll gladly wait until Netflix / Hulu / Whoever releases a few shows I want to watch, pay for a month to watch them, then cancel again." – Fine_on_the_outside·

Manicures and pedicures

"I don't visit nail salons at all anymore." – mondaysareturds

"i was coming to say this. i used to do mani/pedi twice a month before covid. but now it’s $50 before tip for REGULAR not gel not acrylic and that’s just insane to me. i’m from nyc when i was a kid (im 25) mani/pedi was $15." – Neat-Lawfulness9586

"Same here, I used to go once a month to treat myself now I can't even afford just to go once a year." – UnicornTurtle_

SAVINGS TIP: Beauty school salons

"If you can find a beauty school, go there. Great prices, the students are watched by teachers and they do a great job. And the beauty school where I go has coupons, and discount days for different things. It's really worth looking into.

That's where I get my hair colored/cut too. I've got long hair (middle of the back) and I can get something that would cost $300+ at a salon, for like $100 +tip. And if you don't like what you got, they will go out of their way to fix it." – Ihavefluffycats

dog lying on the sofa

Feeding our furry friends is pricey enough, but vet bills are something else.

Photo by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

Pet care

"Having a pet :( I’ve had pets my whole life, but lost my last cat a few years ago. I miss having a companion but I know I cannot afford beyond basic care right now or an emergency if it were to arise." – No-Ambassador-6984

"Our 12 year -old cat had bladder stones and needed surgery a couple of years ago. The bill came to like $7500 🫠" – Noisycarlos

"I feel your pain. I worked as a veterinary technician. My last job gave us 40% off. I couldn’t afford bloodwork for my diabetic cat. When I quit that job for something that paid better and wasn’t going to break my body, I realized I had 4 pets and no discounts! I almost kept my license so I could moonlight for some savings. I’m on pins and needles if anyone sneezes in the house." – wisemonkey101

"This is true. Vet bills are insane. Boarding is so expensive I look for pet friendly AirBNBs when going on vacation because the pet fee is tiny by comparison." – Got_Cabin_Fever

SAVINGS TIP: Foster animals instead of adopting

"Have you considered fostering? You give them all the love and they (shelter/rescue organization) pay the bills!" – conflictmuffin

"My nearby shelter just put a plea out for fosters because they are way over capacity. I’ve fostered a lot, and sometimes it can be hard to say good bye but it a truly good kind of pain." – imadoggomom

"Lots of my military friends do this and they are genuinely so happy with the arrangement! Good luck." – savannigray

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