I asked people for the most ridiculous price they’ve paid for something. It turns out we’re all f**ked.


So I'm not sure if you're aware but the economy is broken and everything is chaos.

When a man in a suit first said the words "skyrocketing inflation," I did not listen. When our Prime Minister mumbled something about "supply-side issues," I assumed he was speaking to someone... else. And when every news program started reporting on the "cost-of-living crisis," I thought they were all being rather ridiculous. 

For a while, I did what I always do when it comes to money: I ignored it (in a toxic way). 


Of course, there were moments that shocked me into paying attention. When I went to book an Uber to the city (a ~20 minute trip) and was quoted $84. When I went to get a glass of house wine and was charged what I assumed was the price of a bottle. When I paid $17 for scrambled eggs on toast at my local cafe.

But then there was the block of chocolate.

And look. It's since been pointed out to me that this is a terrible example, because I ordered it from Uber Eats and also paid servo prices - both of which are completely my fault and not directly related to an increased cost of living. But, yeah, I paid $10 FOR A BLOCK OF CADBURY CHOCOLATE AND DIDN'T BLINK UNTIL I REALISED IT WAS THE WRONG ONE. 

It was the Snack kind that has different flavoured centres and if I wanted a flavoured centre I would have just chosen Peppermint like a normal person. 

The moment I paid $10 for a block of chocolate and didn't question it was the moment I realised money no longer makes sense. Because our coffees are $32 and our grapes are $97 and honestly do you just want $50 because at this point I'm handing out cash for no reason. 

To make myself feel better, and generally help with my profound sense of shame, I asked people on Instagram to share the most ridiculous price they've paid for something recently, and holy NO. These are the ones that made me laugh but then wince but then also realise that nothing is okay and everything is broken. 


"$15 for snow peas. Enough for two people!" - Oh no. And I bet you didn't even want them, really. 

"$5 for a piccolo. It's so small." - It's hot water and ground coffee beans!!! 

"Laundry detergent. $46." - We need a royal commission into detergent prices.

"$13 for a sausage roll." - A sausage roll should always be $2. It's the law. 

"$32 for a bag of green grapes." - Apparently grapes aren't in season but SHOULDN'T THERE BE A SIGN OR SOMETHING. TELLING US NOT TO BUY GRAPES.

"$4.50 for a packet of plain pasta." - Pretty sure pasta should be free.

"Paid $7 for a cup of tea. Water and no milk." - I'm sorry but this makes me hysterical. $7 for boiled water and a single teabag.

"$17 for a bacon and egg roll in the inner west of Sydney. It wasn't even good." - It's never good xxx.

"$9 for a single brownie." - Okay so the brownie people are making bank.

"$11.50 for an almond mocha."



"$8 for one zucchini." - And I bet it just rotted in the crisper. 

"I spent $50 on dog food. For one week." - To make matters worse our dogs aren't even grateful??? 

"I was at the races and paid $50 for a tiny lobster roll and glass of champagne." - Life lesson: Never buy anything at the races or at the airport. 

"$27 for two coffees and a croissant." - A crime against humanity.

"$8 for 1 biscoff cookie the size of my palm." - Again with the biscuit people.

"I pay $6 for my 3/4 latte - every day!" - Appalling.

"$26 for a vodka lemonade." - Remember when an expensive drink was a $10 vodka redbull?!

"$18 for the Australian version of the Hailey Bieber smoothie and it was gross." - I really respect the risk-taking involved in making this decision.


"$8 for a Powerade at the servo." - Okay but what... is Powerade. When you really think about it.

"A single White Claw for $17." - Fun is now banned.

"$6 for ONE MUSHROOM." 


"$29.99 for a kilo of beans!!" - Beans. Are. Meant. To. Be. CHEAP.

"$18 for a quarter of Brie cheese." - I can't even. 

"$32 for a cocktail." - Cocktails are taking the piss at this point. 


"I wanted extra chorizo in my sandwich only to find it was $8 for some literal meat chunks." - It would've been such a spur of the moment decision?? And now you're $8 poorer? With a weird sandwich? I'm so sorry. 

"$8 for a can of Coke Zero in a hotel room last week." - A matter for Anthony Albanese. 


"$9.20 for a Happy Meal in my regional town." - This is like the beginning of a very, very sad play.

"$4.50 for chips on special when they used to just be cheaper than that six months ago." - Why have the chips been brought into this? They're a staple of modern life?

"Loaf of bread and a coffee is $19 in Byron Bay." - Air is $1,000 in Byron Bay.

"$19 for a fruit salad (no yoghurt or muesli)." - I just know you didn't even want it. 

"$35 for two beers! Singapore airport!" - Who decides a beer is $17.50. WHO.

"I just paid $16.70 for a block of Lindt to be delivered." 


"$20 for a singular Sharpie." - It's okay we'll just stop writing things down. As a culture. 

"$9 for mayonnaise." - But what is life without mayonnaise?

"$12 for three lemons." - HOW.

"$20 on a loaf of sourdough." - We all knew it was going to come to this. 

"Cafe charged $4 for a puppuccino. Literally a small cup with about 100ml of milk froth in it." - It's so sad because it's worth every cent. 

"Spent $50 on groceries to make tacos." - Money stopped making sense a long time ago. 

"$15 for peanut butter toast takeaway." - Highway robbery.

"My husband and I spend $500 a week on petrol." - Literal highway robbery.


"$32 for a watermelon." - It would be funny if it weren't so terribly unfunny. 

"I paid $11 for a birthday card."

"$19 for one piece of smashed avo toast." - Hahaha avocado toast really will destroy our financial futures after all. 

"$11 for celery." - The inside of celery has the texture of hair and 11 is too many dollars for... that.  

"$25 for a pre-made bakery smoked salmon bagel. Take away. In Double Bay." - How did someone decide on this price? And stand by it? 


"$7 for a glass of soda water." - IT'S FIZZY WATER. 

"$9 for a bag of spinach." - Again it's only going to rot in the crisper. 

"$7 for butter!!!!" - Horrifying. 

"$3 for extra chicken salt on our hot chips. We had already paid before we realised." - This has blown my mind and I don't know how I will ever recover. There is no coming back. 

"$45 for a small bouquet of waratahs." - Okay flowers are wildly expensive. 

"$6 for a can of Coke at a restaurant." - The price of a Coke should be the benchmark of where our economy is at. And once we're over $2.50, we're screwed.

"$100AUD for two burgers at LAX." - As bad as Australia is, America's worse xxx.

"$8.90 for a piece of banana bread." - NO. 

"$6 for a side of avo at brunch." - Can no longer afford the meal... I guess I'll just have the avo??? 

"$11.50 for a smoothie for my daughter." - And I bet she took a sip and hated it. 

So, yes. The economy really is broken. And at this point, all we can do is laugh until we quite literally run out of money.

At which point it's highly, highly unclear what the plan is. 

For more from Clare Stephens, you can follow her on Instagram or TikTok