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10
Beverages

The average markup on wine in a restaurant is 300 percent.

AndrewJohnson/­­iStockphoto

Some of our favorite refreshing beverages carry the heftiest retail markups. Bottled water is wildly popular -- Americans spent $16 billion on the ubiquitous drink in 2007 -- and it's wildly overpriced, considering that 40 percent of bottled water is nothing but filtered tap water [source: Fishman and Dolan].

In fact, for the price of a single bottle of Evian bottled water, you could pay for 1,000 gallons (3,785.4 liters) of municipal tap water [source: Fishman]. With bottled water, you're not paying for the H2O, but rather the packaging and the convenience.

Coffee is another culprit, especially if you buy it in a coffee shop. If you make coffee at home, it costs between 25 and 50 cents a cup, depending on the quality of your beans. That same cup may cost you more than $3 at Starbucks -- the same price that store might pay for an entire pound of beans wholesale [source: Markman and Batsell]. Interestingly, only about 25 cents of a $3.75 latte is profit for Starbucks. The rest pays for importing and roasting the beans, milk, the cup, labor and overhead costs [source: Batsell].

But the biggest beverage markup of them all belongs to wine in restaurants. The average retail markup on a bottle of wine in a restaurant is 300 percent [source: Bailey]. The best advice: Bring ­your own bottle and pay the $10 corking fee [source: Dolan].

Next up for markups? Weddings.

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