By Teresa K. Flatley
While sitting in a medical office the other day and waiting for things to move along, I pulled out a five year old magazine my friend had given me as part of a stack she was getting rid of. Granted, I have no will power when it comes to magazines, but her smart decluttering helped create a small stack of magazines in my storage room that I couldn't begin to part with until I had leafed through them, page by page.
To make myself feel better, I was able to tear out a couple of pages of helpful tips and recipes from the magazine to file away when I got home. (My husband Larry told me that I was getting wonky looks from others sitting in the waiting room since they probably thought I was ripping up public magazines.) But I soldiered on.
One of the important articles I brought home with me after ditching the magazine in a recycling bin, was one about Time vs. Money. Is it better to part with cash money or our precious time? This is an ongoing debate and I think it depends on what your station in life is. When we were younger and had jobs and children to raise and cart around, it was a little easier to choose to pay a bit more for things because of the convenience they provided. Who had time to go from store to another, coupons in hand , looking for the best bargains every week?
But now that we are retired, and time is a little looser around here, it's easier to feel guilty about the high prices we could be paying for convenience. For example, grapes, of which I am addicted, cost about $2.99 or $3.99 a pound at the large chain of grocery stores in my town. For the entire bag, that comes to a cost of about $9+. Blueberries can be as high as $4.99 a box. Highway robbery you say? I agree. But those same containers of fruit at a discount store are $2.99 a bag and $1 a box for the blues. For the same brands!
That large a difference can drive you crazy if you think about it even a little bit. So an added trip to the discount store has to work its way into the week's activities to stock up on fruit and other items which can be astoundingly cheaper. Now in response, the grocery chain has begun to offer more sales. And when items there are on sale, their prices are pretty comparable to those at the discount store. So you can stock up without so much guilt.
Added to the mix here this week was the opening of a Trader Joe's store. I have shopped in this chain store once or twice, but the only one in my vicinity was too far away to make it economical to shop there very often. Not anymore. Ten minutes on back roads and I am at the front door ready to partake of all the marvelous discounts it offers. So counting them up, I am going to three different stores (plus still another one to get discounted paper and cleaning goods during a week.) Somehow I think I have replaced one job for another. Worth it? Probably, I will let you know after I rest up a bit.