Wednesday, November 2, 2016
When not doing the cheapest thing ends up still being the frugal thing
Time and energy are valuable assets to frugal living, that's a given. However, they come in limited supply for all of us.
Some days, my schedule is simply jam-packed with must-do's. Pushing something to a later date isn't always possible. On those days, a little money spent for convenience, will spare enough time to get it all done. But I don't want to go overboard on the spending for convenience items.
It's a simple question, really. How can I make my day work better by spending just a little money?
On Monday, I had just those circumstances. Too much to be done. Not much that I could push off to another day. And yet, a frugal meal still needed to be on the table for dinner.
I had leftover taco filling that was to become burrito filling, if I made a batch of home-made flour tortillas. Making tortillas is one of my least favorite kitchen chores. It's a work-out on my arms, and it makes a huge mess. Just didn't want to make them. Fortunately, commercial tortillas are also a frugal convenience. Spending just a little money on tortillas could buy me enough time to get the rest of my list for the day accomplished.
I was out picking up office supplies, so I grabbed a package of tortillas, spending $1.19 for 10. The cost to make those same tortillas at home is around 30 cents. So my net expense in buying convenience was 89 cents. I saved 30 minutes or more, plus my energy, by not making tortillas that day. It was the least expensive compromise I could make in an otherwise scratch meal. Yet it yielded the same or similar results -- tasty (and frugal) homemade burritos for the family.
So, sure, it would have been cheaper to make the tortillas myself. But spending that 89 cents, net, meant that I could get to all of my other work for the day, which I see as a big gain.