Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Does "Convenient" Cost More?

I was reading an article today that I found quite interesting. It was one of those articles that reminded you of what you already knew, but didn't practice, but complained about because things are the way they are because you don't do what you already know you should do! Following me so far???

This article was talking about convenience foods and the fact that they are not frugal or thrifty at all. They gave the example of the fact that this family was coming up on a very busy two weeks and so they went to the store and bought bottled water and string cheese to be used only when they were in travel mode and had to have something in a hurry. Turned out that in that first week, everyone was in a hurry and so just grab a bottle of water and some cheese and head out the door. And guess what?? There wasn't anything left for the next week!!

I had to smile. I couldn't believe someone had taken the time and effort to follow my family around and then write an article on us!

No...really. This happens on a very regular basis in our house. I'll buy bottled water, or cans of pop. I'll buy snack cakes or some type of on the go bar and make the grand announcement, "These are for on the go only!! When you're here at home, eat or drink something else." Then at different times during the week, I'm quite certain I must be losing my mind because I see people eating and drinking the very things I'm pretty sure I told them not to. I'm sure I'm losing it because I will ask these people, "Don't you remember me telling you these were for on the go only?", and they'll look at me completely serious and say, "No. You didn't say that." (Pulling my hair here....)

We have 4,681,292 sports bottles in our house. Well...maybe not that many...it's more like 8 or 9 but when they are whacking me in the head as I open the cabinet door, it sure feels like more....

Why in the name of all that is cheap, can't we....can't I....grab that sports bottle, head over to the fridge fill it with ice and water, screw on the lid and head out the door? Does it really take that long to do that?? See, I'm as guilty of ignoring me as my family is.

How hard is it to get a plastic bowl with a lid and put some pretzels in it? Or even....some cookies!!! Got my water, got my cookies and I'm out the door. Didn't cost those jokingly "convenient" prices and if I get hungry or thirsty, I'm armed and dangerous for a fraction of the cost.

I don't know about you, but again, for me, it boils down to laziness. I mean after all, it takes about 2 minutes longer to fill up that sports bottle and bowl than it does to grab a "convenient" water bottle and on the go bar. Hey! If I'm that pressed for time, then there is a lot more action I need to take in different areas of my life before I ever get to the frugal part.

We'll take tomorrow for instance. DD has a doctor appointment at 1. I know this. I also know that in the neighborhood of 11:30 I'll be grading those last few papers and getting ready to go. I'll be too busy to worry about that sports bottle. So, why not, before things get crazy, get my bottle, fill it with ice and water and set it in the fridge?? That ice isn't going to melt quickly sitting in the fridge and even if it does...uhhh..it's water...

So now, when we're running out the door I can just open that fridge, grab my water and never miss a beat.

How our grandmothers and great grandmothers managed without all of this convenience is beyond me.

We've got to quit kidding ourself if we're going to get serious about living a more frugal life and getting rid of the debt that is keeping us in bondage.

So let's pass on the bottled water and pre-packaged snacks. Anyone need a sports bottle??


1 comment:

Beth in NC said...

Good points! I am guilty for using the bottled water because I don't like our well water. But since I started eating healthier, I don't do the junk food and fast foods (except for some salads). It does save on money to prepare at home.