“Convenience” and “frugality” aren't words you'll often find in the same sentence. Unless that sentence is “convenience and frugality aren't words you'll often find in the same sentence.” Convenience is not cheap. And yet, even the most frugal savers recognize that some convenience services are well worth the higher price tags.
When it comes to high-value convenience services, some stand above the rest.
1. Paying Movers
You're either going to burn a valuable favor from a friend who has a truck (and an able body), blow out your back trying to lift your heaviest furniture, or—best-case scenario—spend an entire day lifting, turning, setting down, washing, rinsing, and repeating. Instead, consider sitting back, cracking a cold one, and letting the professionals do the literal heavy lifting.
2. Grocery Delivery and Pickup
For shoppers grasping at every extra minute they can find, grocery delivery and pickup options are well worth the cost. With many pickup services charging little to no additional fee, having someone shop for you has become a high-value modern convenience.
3. Getting Your Oil Changed
Instead of changing the oil yourself, the mechanic already has a grease-stained shirt, an expert's understanding of changing the oil, and a readymade disposal plan for the old sludge. You can pay $20-60 and spare yourself the hassle.
4. Hiring a Cleaning Service
Those who do their own cleaning know the tyranny of dust, crumbs, and general grime. Vacuuming, Lysol-ing, and other measures to keep a space clean can quickly drain your soul as more important, fulfilling activities fall by the wayside.
Even if you only rely on maids once in a while, an occasional deep clean can do wonders for your psyche, making it well worth the cost.
5. Dog Grooming
This one may inspire heated debate, and the value of dog-grooming services generally depends on personal circumstances.
If you have the tub infrastructure to bathe and dry your dog without much hassle, you might forego grooming services every time. Those who lack adequate facilities or have a particularly fussy pup might not think twice about letting the groomer do their thing.
6. Mending Clothes
Rather than trying to patch your own jeans or re-sole your shoes, it's best to have a professional do the job. For a modest price, you can extend the life of beloved, still-decent clothing without anyone being the wiser.
7. Car Wash
With a solid exterior car wash running, in many cases, no more than $20, the time and effort it saves can be well worth the convenience. This is especially true when inhumanly hot or cold temperatures strike.
Tree trimming. Lawn-mowing. Debris removal. These are, for most property owners, essential chores. However, the cost of landscaping equipment, the labor demand, and the relatively affordable price of budget-friendly landscaping services make occasional trimming and mowing a worthwhile convenience. Yes, even for you, cheapskate.
9. Laundry Service for Bulky Items
Even if your washer-dryer can handle the stress that comforters, sheets, winter coats, and other bulky items impose, it's best to use a convenient laundry service if you can.
The truly frugal-minded know that paying a few bucks now could pay dividends in the long term. Your washer-dryer may last longer because you've outsourced your problem laundry to someone else's machines.
10. Ridesharing for Nights on the Town
It's a trope that is well-worn but cannot be repeated enough. If you're planning a date night, boys' night out, club night with the girls, or any other event where you'll have more than a couple of beers or glasses of wine, the taxi, Uber, or town car is well worth the price. The rough estimate of fighting a DUI charge is $10,000, so even $100 for a two-way trip seems like a bargain by comparison.
This thread inspired this post.