Friday, July 08, 2005

The Cost of Convenience

If you're spending more than $0.46 for your daily cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, convenience store or cafe each morning on the way to work, you're spending too much.

The cost to brew your own coffee daily, including the cost of the coffee pot, daily filters, coffee, half-and-half, sugar-free syrup and two travel mugs (one to use while the other is getting washed) is just $0.46 per day for 12-ounces of brewed coffee, 2-ounces of half-and-half, with 1-ounce of sugar-free syrup of your choice.

If you stop locally to get your morning joe, you'll spend $0.99 to $4.99 for that same cup each morning on the way to work. Five mornings each week and at the end of the year you could have saved $138.33 to $1182.33 just on your morning coffee!


Think that prepared roast chicken at the supermarket is a great deal for just $4.99? Think again. Not only might it have questionable ingredients, you paid more than twice what it would cost you to make it yourself and know what ingredients you used.

Most prepared chickens are 2-3 pounds, so that $4.99 chicken is costing you $1.66 to $2.49 a pound. On sale, whole chicken is often as cheap as $0.49 per pound with a three-pound chicken costing you about $1.50. Add in the spices and cost to heat your oven and that home-prepared bird costs about $2.00 for you to make yourself. If you are currently eating a prepared chicken twice a month from the grocery store, at the end of the year you've spent over $70 for convenience.


Those bags of lettuce in the supermarket are convenient, but how much are you really paying for that lettuce?

A 5-ounce bag of pre-washed spring mix averages $3.49 - that's $11.16 per pound.

If each week you're using two 5-ounce bags of lettuce you're spending $6.98 each week, or $362.96 per year just for lettuce.

Try this - for $1.69 each, buy a head of leafy green romaine and a head of red leaf, wash it yourself, chop it and save yourself $187.20 a year.


Pre-cut carrots are convenient, but an 8-ounce bag of pre-cut carrot sticks is $1.99, whereas plain old regular carrots are $0.99 per pound. If you're eating, on average, just 1/2 pound a week, you'll save yourself $77.74 over the year if you peel and cut the carrots yourself.


While cleaning, peeling, chopping, cooking, etc. do take some time, at the end of the year you can save yourself thousands of dollars for a small committment of time. The few examples above alone could save you over $1500 a year!

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