20 Items That Proved Kids Have No Idea How Much Anything Costs

As kids, we’re full of curiosity and questions. We rely on friends and family to answer them, but there are some childhood guesses we cling to no matter what anyone else says. We often perceive things as dirt cheap or incredibly expensive without understanding their true value. 

Wrong Guesses

kid holding hid hands in gesture of guessing.
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.com.

Someone asked on #AskReddit, “What was something you wrongly guess was very expensive/cheap when you were a child?”

In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane &  explore 20 things that you may have misjudged the cost of when you were a child.

Get ready for a nostalgic journey!

1. Grape Juice

Fresh red grape and juice on wooden background,healthy food
Image Credit: nungning20/DepositPhotos.com.

One of the Redditors commented, “Always had sparkling grape juice as kids but only for New Year’s. Seemed like such a lavish bottle. They’re cheap as {anything}… but only having it that often made it feel so special.”

Someone else replied to him, “I only ever had grape juice when I was invited round my grandma’s for dinner. I also considered it quite special and mine wasn’t even sparkling!”

Another added, “Oh God I used to LOVE IT! We only had it once or twice a year too, and man did I look forward to that stuff.  I wanna go get some right now just to re-live being a kid and feeling so posh with my glass of bubbly!”

This made me crave some grape juice too. Do you enjoy it often or still consider it as a luxury you can get once or twice a year? 

2. Spaghetti- The Cheapest Food

Woman eating pasta
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A Redditor said, “It never occurred to me that some food was more expensive than other food. I 100% thought my mom made spaghetti all the time because it was her favorite. I was much older when I realized it was because it would feed a lot of people very cheaply.”

One more added a comment, “My mom was dead broke and couldn’t afford to buy anything with the money she was making so she sold her blood and plasma (she’s O- so hers was pretty valuable) to buy spaghetti and cheap sauce. That was my breakfast and dinner, for so many months. I have so much respect for spaghetti but I can never eat it again.”

Another Redditor supported the above statements, “You wouldn’t be aware as a kid, but pasta dishes are indeed really expensive in a restaurant. But at home, it is one of the cheaper dishes to make.”

Indeed pasta or spaghetti makes a good, fulfilling meal. What are your thoughts regarding its price point? 

3. Rugs

Image Credit:

Rugs are usually taken as a symbol of royalty and were historically used in palaces. Today they are a decor element, and everyone wants to have them. Let’s see what Redditors have to say about rugs! 

One Redditor asked, “Rugs!! Why are rugs so {incredibly} expensive?”

Someone else replied, “Yes, But if you’re not so picky you can have okay ones from Ikea for not much.”

One more user agreed to say, “Same. When I was a kid I figured super fancy rugs might be expensive, but my mind was blown when I realized even a completely boring beige rug might be something to budget for.”

How much are you willing to pay for a normal-quality rug? 

4. Availability of Food

Woman Looking For Food In Refrigerator
Image Credit: AndreyPopov via DepositPhotos.com.

Parents are such a blessing who keep us fed no matter the circumstances—having said that, some comments from Redditors have been included in support of this statement.

Someone commented, “Food in the cupboard/fridge. When you’re young, a lot of the time it’s just there. When you get older, especially when you move out, you realize how much money your parents spent to keep you fed.”

Another user agreed with it and said, “Not just fed but often your favorite snacks and stuff too. My mom always made sure to have specifically the scooby doo fruit snacks even though they were more expensive.”

One more stated, “I can’t believe the amount of money my parents spent on packaged foods like granola bars, etc. I have only bought that stuff for myself a handful of times as an adult.”

Parents and food both are a blessing in disguise. We should be thankful for both of them, shouldn’t we? 

5. Gourmet Ice Cream

Neopolitan Ice Cream.
Image Credit: bradcalkins/DepositPhotos.com.

Redditors seem to have taken on the topic of posh ice creams, aka high-end ice creams. Let’s look into what they have to say about it. 

One of the Reddit users stated, “I always thought Viennetta ice cream was so posh and expensive.”

Another user replied, “Similarly, I always thought Neopolitan ice cream must’ve been the apex of ice cream decadence and expense because you got not 1, not 2, but THREE flavors in one tub!”

Someone else said, “I feel this!! My great-grandmother would always have it, and I thought it was some sort of posh ice cream.”

6. Fondant Icing

Four highly decorated cupcakes on a plate, ideal for a childrens' party.
Image Credit: Paul_Cowan/DepositPhotos.com.

A Redditor commented, “Food coloring and fondant icing for baking. Thought it was so expensive and that’s why only fancy cakes used them. Turns out they cost like £1 each.”

One more said, “Agree. When I was a kid I used to always ask my mom to make my eggs colored green, blue, or red and we never had food coloring for her to do it. And when we did have it, she’d only use a couple of drops. So I always thought it was rare or just quite expensive.”

Another Redditor supported the comment, “Turns out they cost like £1 each

What? Where?

I bought fondant for a wedding cake I made (first and last) it was $120 for the 2 large tubs. I buy the Wilson food coloring – they are $5 for each little container.”

Did you have the same thought while growing up attending birthday parties with eyes glued on the cake?

7. Dental Therapy

Portrait of stylish pretty girl on colored background.
Image Credit: oneinchpunch via DepositPhotos.com.

As we all know, dentistry has always been considered the most expensive treatment as compared to others. Let’s head on the comments our Redditors have passed on dentists and dental work.

One of the users said, “The dentist. Didn’t think I’d be in debt from getting my teeth fixed.”

Someone else stated, “This. This right here hits home. My husband and I are having to take turns with the dentist this year. He needs more work so I’m going to let him go first once things open up because we can’t afford for us both to go.

Luckily I just need a few fillings, he needs a root canal and a crown.

He had a bunch of work done last year too. I don’t even know why we have dental insurance if it covers so little.”

A user added an interesting comment to it, “Teeth are considered luxury bones.”

Comments are funny, but the concern is real. I could never figure out why dental procedures cost our kidneys. 

8. Video Games

Young man playing video games
Image Credit:
belchonock via DepositPhotos.com.

I bet there isn’t one here who didn’t play video games crazily in their childhood!

With that, let me share some interesting comments here to make you crave video games again. 

A random user stated, “Video Games were crazy expensive, but that’s the only thing I cared about. So when I looked at X item I would compare it to video game prices (40-60 USD). In other words, I would look at something and think “That costs like half a video game” “With that amount, I could get 3 video games” and “That’s like a quarter of a video game”.

One more replied, “I did similar until I started working, then things were measured in how long I had to work for.”

Now that’s a crazy obsession, but do video game lovers pay a heed to it? 

9. Construction Cost of Secret Tunnels to Friend’s House

Panoramic shot of cheerful repairman holding ladder and smiling
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Remember, we once wondered about building hidden passageways to link up with a friend’s house.

A random Redditor said, “The cost of building a fort that connected my backyard to my friend’s backyard. Still hasn’t happened.”

Another user stated, “I grew up in a new neighborhood that often had houses going up. I would play in the construction and always hoped that they were building secret tunnels. But wherever it looked like they were starting a tunnel it turned out to be like a septic tank.”

Someone else commented, “Same here, and watching Ed, Edd, n Eddy didn’t help. How the f*** did those kids get all of those materials to build these intricate scams every day?”

With this high inflation and pricy construction materials, this dream will stay a dream forever! 

10. Disneyland

Little girl with big lollipop is playing and having fun in the park
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I wonder, who hasn’t dreamt about Disneyland??

One person posted, “ Travelling in general. My single mother took us to Disneyland and some other places as a kid and I realize now that it must have cost an absolute fortune.”

Another Reddit user stated, “They charge for entry tickets only. It’s $105-$159 per person per day depending on which park and what time of year you go. Cheaper per day if you buy a multiday pass for the week. That cost includes rides, parades, and shows. Food and Mickey shirts ($32) are extra.”

One more added, “My parents have always apologized for not taking my siblings and me to Disney. Seeing the price of it makes me glad they didn’t. We would go to local theme parks for probably a small fraction of the price. Plus I had way more fun on death coasters than I would be standing next to a sweaty Mickey.”

I totally agree with the third comment. I could never understand the hype about Disneyland. I will definitely go and check it if I win the lottery ticket!

11. Houses

couple standing in front of new house
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One user responded, “Houses, used to think they were like £500.”

Another Redditor wrote, “I had no idea renting was a thing. Growing up, my parents and I lived in a house given to my mum by her parents so I thought everyone just owned the houses they lived in. When my friend was moving down the street because their lease was up, I was so confused.”

Someone else also commented, “We had a single-family home, stayed in a beach house in the summer that was also a single-family home (like a week a year, we were poor, not like “summering”). I thought apartments and beach condos were for rich people.”

12. Dogs

Woman playing with her dog and toy in autumn park
Image Credit: Kzenon via DepositPhotos.com.

Another childhood craze! Having a pup was such a privileged feeling. How much you would pay as a kid to get a pup for yourself? 

One of the users shared a funny incident, “I have kind of a funny story that is related. I got an allowance even when I was young, but it was only a few dollars a week. When I was probably 6 or 7 we were at the mall and I saw a sign for golden retriever puppies for 299. Naturally, I assumed this was 2.99. I went into the store and proudly put $3 on the counter only to be told I would need a lot more than that.

As an adult, I also look back and I can’t imagine what my parents would have done if I had somehow had enough to purchase a dog even though we already had 2 at the time.”

Another Redditor added, “That happened to my friend! His daughter had $5 to spend and she could buy whatever she wanted that day. They happened to walk by a dog adoption event and all dogs were $5. She showed her dad the dog she wanted with her $5. He did not see that coming! They adopted the dog because the daughter & dog had a killer “sad puppy eyes” and they already owned a dog so it wasn’t a big deal to add to the family. They had her about 10 yrs now.”

13. Diamond Chandelier

diamond chandelier.
Image Credit: Yurkina/DepositPhotos.com.

Being a kid is so funny at times; imagine thinking of the chandelier or a light bulb hanging in the corridor and assuming it to be made up of diamonds! Just because it’s shining brightly like a diamond in the sky!

Sounds hilarious, right?

A Redditor posted, “Thought my grandparent’s chandelier was made out of diamonds. Later when I grew up I told my grandfather that and he took apart the chandelier and mailed it to me 3000 miles away. 45 years later it hangs over my bed. I’m rich!”

One more user stated, “My brother and I used to play “Grandma’s a smuggler,” the main evidence being that, in her decadence, she used cartoonishly large diamonds as door knobs. Just the old-fashioned glass kind, in reality!”

14. Fast Food

woman fast food restaurant worker holding a burger
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Dining out has always been heavy on pockets, especially if it’s fast food.

A Redditor mentioned the same thing in his comment, “Yeah, fast food is expensive too when you have a family.”

Another user replied, “I’m working at a subway right now, and I’m shocked at the number of people that can walk in and drop $40+ dollars on a few s**** sandwiches, 4 small bags of chips, and 4 sh**** drinks.”

A lady shared her point of view, “Fast food is expensive in general right now tbh. I figured out that I can get a meal at our local high-end burger place (take out) for $1 more than the McDonalds “equivalent.” Five guys end up being $1 more. Only this burger has quality meat and I get to choose everything that goes on it… Like if I’m spending $12 on food, I want it to be good. $12 for a (small) double quarter pounder meal is absurd.”

15. Disney Movies

Little girl watching mickey mouse educational program video on youtube using digital tablet. Mickey Mouse is a famous cartoon character from Disney.
Image Credit: Hafiez Razali/Shutterstock.

Who isn’t a die-hard fan of Disney movies?

Someone at#Reddit posted, “Disney movies. I grew up poor and my dad would always get the forgettable off-brand versions of popular cartoon movies. Instead of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for example, I’d get to see The Secret of the Hunchback. Lots and lots of that.

When I saw a kid who owned a REAL Disney movie on VHS I assumed they were very rich. I didn’t realize you could buy several in one month and not have to declare bankruptcy even without being rich.”

One of the users stated, “I think there’s some accuracy to this. Studio movie VHS cost $90+ in the 80s because they were sold to video rental stores. If it was a knockoff, it was way cheaper. And then that changed sometime in the early 90s, I think.

I remember being at someone’s house and thinking they were super rich because they had like 5 VHS movies.”

16. Lego

Building kids blocks on blue background
NataliaD via Depositphotos.com

Ohh! Man, these lego are such lifesavers.

One Redditor said, “Legos, those things are expensive.”

Another user stated, “My kids like to read the LEGO catalog, pick out sets they want, and then go count the money in their piggy bank to see if they have enough. They are disappointed almost every time.”

Someone else commented, “I looked through a catalog not that long ago and there was a Guardians of the Galaxy set that had a big figure and a small spaceship that was like 55 bucks and I was like???”

Legos are interesting and learning games, but their price point needs to be lowered. A price check and regulation must be accessible to every kid!

17. Gift Bows

wrapping paper, gift, wrapping bows.
Image Credit: IgorVetushko/DepositPhotos.com.

A Reddit user said, “Those self-stick bows you put on gifts. I used to think they were super expensive because everyone in my family used them over and over. We had a few that we used so much, they were recognizable. We had a few “fancy” ones. Wrapping paper too! Based on how careful my family was about not tearing it and how my grandmother would fold it, I figured it must be really expensive…yeah, both are super cheap.”

One more user stated, “I just thought they were expensive because my mom never bought the bows or the to/from gift sticker things. Same with birthday wrapping paper or any that wasn’t Christmas theme. Just thought it cost a lot more.”

Who else loves to reuse wrapping papers again & again?

18. Curtains

woman framed by blue and yellow cloth.
Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

A Redditor posted, “Curtains. Never thought of them being valuable. Guess what, if you have someone make them fit your place they cost a fortune.”

Someone else also commented, “Curtains are one of the very very rare things worth sewing. For most garments, you can’t even come close to breaking even compared to buying. Curtains are 100% worth sewing, especially if you have a hard-to-fit window. I go old school and make a bunch of flannel-lined ones that I hang in the winter, keeping the house a good 5-10 degrees warmer.”

One more user stated, “Blinds too! I got a quote for blinds at my house – it was over $18K…. cut down some off the shelf one’s from Home Depot and for less than 0, did the whole house.”

19. College

Young university graduate woman isolated on pink background smiling
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As a kid, some people thought colleges to be the cheapest place.

One Redditor said, “College. My oldest brother and all his friends went to college, never mentioning the expense.

As a kid, I thought it must be cheap because “all the guys are doing it.”

Another user replied, “College used to be cheap… my mom went for $1000 per semester. That’s a cruel, sick joke now. What colleges have done to pricing should definitely be criminal.”

Other users also shared their views, “I got ~€3000 a year as living assistance in college. I was paying ~€500 a year to attend. The fees were based on my parent’s income, how far away the college was, and how many dependent children were in my household.

When I was a child I thought I would never be able to go because we didn’t have a car, and since we didn’t have a car of course I wouldn’t go to college.”

Colleges must have nominal fees that everyone can afford. What’s your point of view on it? 

20. Meat & Vegetables

Woman buys vegetable and food in the supermarket
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FreeProd via DepositPhotos.com.

One of the Reddit users said, “Meat for expensive and veggies for cheap. As a kid it’s all “food” and you think they’re in the same magnitude, but I was surprised to see how big the price difference is.”

Another guy added his comment, “My parents always ranted and raved about how expensive food was when I was growing up. I imagine it was with four children, but every meal was meat. Rarely did we eat vegetables or fruits, so I thought they were expensive, and meat and bread were cheap.”

One more stated, “I didn’t even realize this as an adult buying groceries until I became vegetarian and noticed how cheap my shopping trips became.”

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