Posted by: thesavinghabit | September 13, 2010

Save Money: Cost Vs. Convenience

 With the busy lifestyles that most people lead today, we often have to ask ourselves “Is the convenience worth the cost?”  I have gone through various stages of my life when saving money was far more important than saving time.  For example, when my oldest daughter was a baby/toddler, it was easy for me to hang my laundry to dry rather than using the clothes dryer.   As she got older and another child came along, the convenience of using the dryer far outweighed the financial benefit of hanging my laundry to dry.  In other cases, the convenience of ready-made foods is more valuable to us than making our own from scratch.

 However, do you always weigh the option of cost vs. convenience?  I recently had the opportunity to try a product that I found to be very convenient.  It was the Purex 3 in 1 Laundry sheets. If you haven’t seen these, they are pretty cool. It’s a sheet that looks similar to a fabric softener sheet, but it has the detergent in it as well.  You simply toss it in the washer and then leave it with the clothes when they get transferred to the dryer where it acts as your fabric softener as well. No messy spills, no measuring detergent, etc. However, when I looked at prices in the store, I found that this is not a product for us – at least not under normal circumstances. The lowest price I found, on sale, was $7.99 for 24 loads.  I usually choose a concentrated liquid detergent, as I see no sense in paying more for the manufacturer to add more water. Recently, I found Wisk on sale at Publix for $4.49 for a bottle that washes 32 loads. Then, to make the deal even sweeter, I had $3 off coupons. So, instead of paying $0.33 per load ($7.99 divided by 24 loads) with the Purex, I paid less than $0.05 cents per load ($1.49 divided by 32 loads) by purchasing Wisk. Even if I don’t measure accurately with the Wisk, I’m not likely to exceed $0.33 per load.  Considering that I usually use less than the recommended amount, it’s more likely that I will pay only $0.02-$0.03 per load by choosing Wisk.  And, to me, it’s not really inconvenient to use the liquid.   The other issue I had with the Purex sheets is that after tossing the sheet into the washer, you need to wait for it to fill up with water before adding in your clothes. Otherwise, the clothes lying on the Purex sheet while the machine fills up get a very strong fragrance on them.  For me, it is highly inconvenient to have to stand around waiting for my washing machine to fill up first.  I can, however, see where these might be worth the money if you were traveling and didn’t want to pack a bottle of liquid with you.

 It is always important to recognize that your time has value.  It is important to consider whether the cost of convenience outweighs the value of your time in each situation.

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E-Book now available!

I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book!  For more information, please click here. 
Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website at

 I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading but copy this article, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please.

 “Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals)  if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.”


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