The cost of convenience

We’ve been living at our current place for three months. And yet my recent visit to our local dairy, two minutes away at the corner shops, was my first.

Here’s what I picked up – a Primo, two Time Outs and two ice blocks. Total cost: $10.20. (Paid for by T. He wanted snacks, and didn’t want to wait till we did our grocery shop.)

There really is no quicker way to bust the budget than through frequent stops to pick up stuff at dairies and petrol stations. The markup on everything from milk to tampons is out of this world – the cost of convenience.

We pick up treats during the weekly supermarket shop, and those have to last us the week. As you can guess, they usually get devoured in the first couple of days. T also isn’t a fan of tap water, so the shop usually includes juice and fizzy – and he spends his own money on more snacks during the week.

In fact, the vast majority of his spending money goes on consumables. I used to pack his lunches, but while sometimes he devoured them, most of the time he didn’t eat them at all  (whether because he really didn’t feel like whatever food it was, or because he simply didn’t eat at all that day. He has a terrible lack of routine) so they went to waste. Now he’s responsible for buying his own lunches, and while the cost makes me grit my teeth a little, it’s also a relief – honestly, making my own lunches is enough of a chore.

I’m a total cheapskate, on the other hand. I drink water when we go out to eat, and do my level best to avoid being forced into food purchases on the run. For example, I ate an early dinner before the Incubus gig last month while everybody else headed to the nearby McDonalds straight after, and if I’m out at an event after work that doesn’t feed a full dinner, rather than stopping somewhere for a bite I’ll hold on till I can get home and whip up something quick that’s both cheaper and healthier.

That said, sometimes I’m willing to pay for convenience – packs of frozen hash browns, the occasional pack of pre-cut stir fry beef, the odd soup from the local takeaway when I’m sick and cannot face standing over the stove to make my own dinner (ahem, too many times this week).

When do you pay for convenience?

6 thoughts on “The cost of convenience

  • Reply Invest It Wisely February 21, 2012 at 17:29

    When it comes to the choice between a cold meal or a warm bought meal, and I don’t have a microwave handy, then I will definitely pay for the convenience of something warm and prepared. 😉

  • Reply Michelle February 21, 2012 at 17:30

    I’m guilty of going to Walgreens to pick up a quick bag of dog food when I’m too tired to go somewhere else. It stinks because it’s 2X to 3X more than at the pet store.

  • Reply Serendipity February 21, 2012 at 18:52

    I’m guilty of buying Starbucks and energy drinks so I can have energy perks through out the day. I’m also guilty of buying frozen meals that I can make super fast instead of taking the hour or so to make something from scratch.

  • Reply addvodka February 22, 2012 at 03:39

    I probably see it most in my lunches. Oh, and parking. Definitely parking – sometimes it just takes too long for me to wander around looking for free parking so I park in the school parking lot at $3.50 a pop. it adds up!

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