Stupid Expensive

I was walking to a coffee shop in my neighborhood last night when I passed a picture framing shop. I stopped for a moment to admire a particularly pretty frame in the window and thought briefly about a piece of art work that I’ve been meaning to get framed for roughly three years now.

I love the picture and I’d love to better display it in our house but every time I think about framing it, I remember again how crazy stupid expensive framing is. The painting I’d like to frame is on the larger side and the estimates are well into the hundreds of dollars, even with the ubiquitous Michael’s coupons that are always floating around.

The thing that always gets me about the cost of framing is that I just don’t understand why it is so expensive. It seems like such a basic thing: please put four pieces of wood around this thing, thank you. How is that $475?

There are other things like this, of course, things that the cost of is always an unpleasant surprise, even though it shouldn’t be. I’m always taken aback by dental bills (why, oh  why, does all dental insurance suck?). I feel deeply annoyed by the cost of practical household goods like batteries and cleaning supplies. I’m not a wine drinker so when I go to purchase wine to take to a party I’m always briefly shocked at how expensive wine is, even the cheapest stuff. Don’t people know that you can buy Diet Coke for far less money?

Perhaps these things seem outrageously expensive to me because I just don’t value them enough. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between a $4 or $40 bottle of wine. I can’t tell a custom frame from a Target clearance rack frame. This makes me curious: what kinds of things are on your “this is stupidly and surprisingly expensive” list?

5 thoughts on “Stupid Expensive

  1. Melissa says:

    Framing is definitely stupidly expensive. And dentistry, even with insurance (we go out of network, so i get that, but still). And veterinary stuff. Two small dogs (Shih tzus) with no problems, in for yearly exam/shots – out for $350+. Terrible. I also cannot tell the difference between cheap/expensive wine – personally I like $11 wine from a local iowa winery (tastes like koolaid). School fees I find to be a bit insane as well, it’s not terrible yet, but I don’t know where those go, since I still have to pay for other things throughout the year…

  2. Stefanie says:

    I had to pay $400 to have a two-foot long strip of shingle replaced on my roof, and while I understand travel costs, overhead, insurance/licensing fees, etc., that still seemed stupid expensive to me. Especially since that $400 was after talking him down from $500. It was like an hour of work! Tops! Sheesh.

  3. Laura W. says:

    Contact Solution! I know I need it and I know I need to buy the best there is for the health of my eyes but I hate paying for it. I found it’s easier to buy a year’s supply at once rather than pick it up every other month.

    As for framing, it’s wildly expensive. I have everything in my house framed in Ikea’s Ribba frames. I can usually find a size that works for my art, poster, or photograph. If the mat is wrong, I either lay the item over the mat, cut the mat opening larger, or get a new mat. I have a mat cutter so that helps but even if I didn’t buying a mat and having it cut professionally is so much cheaper than getting something professionally framed.

  4. Virginia G says:

    Here in Korea, framing is actually really reasonable! For a simple frame and mat for a custom size (similar to 8×10, but not, of course), it’s about $25. For larger works of art, I’ve never had it go above $100.

    Fruit, on the other hand, is RIDICULOUS. They have these beautifully wrapped cantelope in the grocery stores…for $30 EACH. So definitely give-and-take. Also, gasoline here is about 3 times more expensive than the US. It was only twice as expensive two years ago, but now that US prices have dropped, it doesn’t seem like Korean prices have changed nearly as much.

    • Wendy says:

      Virginia, I know what you mean! I used to live in Seoul and once accidentally spent A LOT of money on cherries. They were packaged so nicely that I didn’t realize I was dropping over $15 US on them.

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