I mean, sure, sometimes a little retail therapy is in order, but I think we’d all agree that we’d prefer to save money whenever and however we can.
After all, life is expensive! And some things seem to only be costing more and more money as time goes on. Maybe it’s your rent going up. Maybe it’s the cost of gasoline. Maybe it’s groceries. Whatever it is, you’ve probably felt the squeeze when money gets tight.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share some things that are actually pretty cheap considering what goes into them.
Maybe it’ll make you feel better about how much money you don’t have!
For a mere $1.50, you can get a hot dog and a drink from any Costco in the country.
Their pizza is super cheap (and delicious) too! Of course, the plan here is to get you to come inside and spend more money, but you don’t have to fall for that. You can just get yourself a good meal for super cheap.
For less than two quarters, you can mail a letter to any city in the United States. I can’t even do a single load of laundry for 49 cents. When you think about the magic that gets a letter or package from one place to another place — even if it’s halfway around the world — it’s downright startling that postage doesn’t cost more.
Think of all the processes that go into making plastic cutlery. You literally have to get prehistoric goop from the Earth, send it to a refinery to create plastic pellets, then melt those plastic pellets into knives, forks, and spoons.
The plastic fork you used to eat your coworker’s birthday cake has been in the making for millions of years. And you just used it because you didn’t feel like doing dishes.
This one may be a slightly touchy subject because I know milk might seem expensive to a lot of people.
But when you take into account how much dairy farmers have to pay in order to take care of the cows that produce the milk — and that a lot of those farmers are being driven out of business by low-priced product — milk is actually surprisingly affordable.
It takes decades for trees to grow large enough to be milled into lumber, but you can get a 2×4 for a couple of bucks. I honestly don’t understand how the math works out on that all, but I don’t make the rules.
You know how much a hamster costs? Like $6. Yes, that doesn’t include the cost of their little hamster habitats or wood shavings or food or potential vet bills, but still.
The fact that you can purchase a living thing that might snuggle with you for years for just a few dollars is pretty incredible.
Stardew Valley is a video game that costs $15.
And I have personally put literally hundreds of hours into it. Seriously, if you enjoy gaming at all (or have even a passing interest in playing video games), I can’t recommend this game enough. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
Helium is used for all kinds of industrial and scientific processes.
And it’s a limited resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.
And what do we do with it? Fill up balloons and give them to young children.
10 years ago, if your headlight went out or you had to change your car’s oil, you were probably pretty likely to drive to a mechanic (or maybe your parents’ house) and have them take care of it for you.
Now, though, you can type in virtually any make and model and find a plethora of tutorials on how to take care of your car.
Not to mention all the cat videos.
Actually, while we’re singing the praises of YouTube, let’s not forget how incredible it is that the Internet exists at all.
Virtually all of human knowledge can be found on the Internet, and it doesn’t cost very much to access it at all when you stop to think about it.