As someone who strives to save money in all manners possible, I have to admit that sometimes spending money to save time is well worth it. After all, the saying that time is money came about because there’s truth to it. Think about it, wouldn’t you love to have an extra hour of free time a day? An hour to do whatever you want without it affecting the rest of your schedule.
That’s what I ask myself when I’m faced with the dilemma of saving time versus spending money. How much is my time worth? I choose to cook my own meals and eat at home because it saves money and is healthier for me. It does take time on the weekend (that could be spent doing something else) but the savings are significant enough that it makes sense for me to do my own cooking. I choose to drive a car to and from work instead of taking the bus. It costs more but I spend 30 minutes driving instead of 90 minutes on a bus.
I don’t have an exact number for how much my time is worth. But, I have a general idea of instances when saving time is more important to me than saving money. If I have to spend an extraordinary amount of time, it’s not worth it to me if I only save a couple of dollars. My time is valuable to me, so there are times when spending money to save time makes the most sense.
Grocery Shop at One Store
Every Tuesday, our mailbox is stuffed with ads from the grocery stores. They’re fun to peruse and it’s always interesting to see that the stores offer sales on varying products. Stores are competing for your business so the ads are trying to draw you to their stores. I usually just recycle the ads after reading them and shop at the store I’ve always shopped at.
Why? I find that my preferred store generally has the best selection of meats and produce and their prices are usually the lowest. Are there times when another store might have lower prices on bell peppers? Sure, but it’s not worth my time to drive across town to save $0.25. I generally don’t waste the time and gas to drive to multiple grocery stores unless I can save at least $5-10 on my total bill. Otherwise, the savings aren’t worth the wasted gas, dealing with traffic and store crowds, and wasting my time.
Not Drive Around Looking for Cheap Gas
Do you like to drive around your neighborhood, trying to find the gas station with the lowest price on gas? I used to do that because it made me feel good to know that I was saving money. It took me some time to realize that yes, I was saving money but the savings weren’t gonna make me a millionaire any time soon.
I drive a small car, and I usually get about 10 gallons of gas per fill up. The amount of driving I do is pretty average so I only need to get gas twice a month. Even if I found a station offering gas that’s $.10 cheaper than everyone else, I’m saving a dollar at most per fill up. That adds up to $24 a year. I can buy a nice meal with that, but I’m not willing to drive all over town looking for the cheapest gas in order to save $24. I streamline my life by just going to the station closet to my house.
I like to cook my own meals to save money and that involves quite a bit of prep work. When I don’t have a lot of time, I buy pre-cut veggies to save time. Pre-cut veggies are more expensive because I’m paying for the convenience. When my time is limited, that convenience is worth it to me. When I plan things like salads or stir-fry for dinner, the pre-cut veggies save me so much time that I’m willing to pay for the convenience.
It is so important to compare costs when grocery shopping. Don’t automatically assume that pre-cut or pre-shredded items are always more expensive. There have been multiple instances when I’ve found shredded cheese that cost the same per ounce as the blocks of cheese. In those instances, I definitely grabbed the shredded cheese because the work is already done for me!
I’ve been wearing contacts for a long time. I used to wear contacts that are meant to be disposed of after 2 weeks of daily wear. That meant I had to clean and disinfect the lenses every night and then store them in solution. It was a pain. Also, it’s not good for your eyes to wear them to bed. So, there were many nights when all I wanted to do was just go to bed but I had to force myself to stay awake to clean my contacts.
I finally decided that I’ve had enough of this and decided to switch to daily disposable contacts. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love them. It’s so nice to come home from a long day of work and just throw away the contacts I wore for the day. No cleaning, no nothing. Here’s the catch. Contacts that are disposed of after one wear are more expensive then the bi-weekly contacts I used to wear. It’s roughly double the cost. I’m happy to pay the extra cost because it makes my life easier. As a person with near-sightedness, I need my contact lenses and not having to worry about cleaning them every single day is such a life saver.
Are there things in life that you spend money on in order to save time?