How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Convenience?

Uber Eats app

what would you pay for convenienceWith all the ways you can get others to do simple and everyday tasks for you – from washing your car to fast-food delivery – I’ve wondered how far we’ll go to pay for convenience.

I thought it would be a fun question to pose at Reddit. Here are some of the responses.

“Pizza is the only food that we'll pay to have delivered. However, pizza has always been a “deliverable” food for as long as I can remember, so it's a “social norm”. Pizza also travels relatively well. The delivery is also almost always handled by the restaurant, itself.” 

“Newer developments, such as “GrubHub” or “UberEats” feel much more trendy or like a “fad”. Despite being objectively similar, I would feel guilty or “dirty” using these services. They feel “lazy”.”

There are some non-pizza businesses that do their own delivery. Jimmy Johns is one example. I would personally never use this for home delivery for the same reasons as GrubHub or UberEats… However, I think it's acceptable to have a sandwich delivered to an office setting — especially if multiple people are putting in a group order.”

As for groceries, I would not normally use any delivery service nor a service where they bring groceries to your car. For starters, I wouldn't trust the employee to pick the “fresh” ingredients with the same care that I would do for myself. Also, it feels unbelievably “lazy” to me, and I'd feel “scummy” doing it, normally. 

The one exception would be if I was really sick. For example, if I had the flu, then I could understand ordering some NyQuil and/or soup and not wanting to run into the store so you just have them bring it to your car. But otherwise, I really don't like the idea of grocery/food deliveries.” 

I am basically willing to pay for convenience – it doesn't matter what. I don't have the time to run a lot of errands and if there's some way I can make my life easier, I'm all for it.”

“At this point in my life is a more limited resource than money and I can afford to pay for certain conveniences, so I do. I do compare options against the alternative. “Convenience foods” from the grocery store cost more than cooking from scratch but are cheaper than takeout. Grocery delivery costs more than driving to the store but less than takeout. Having groceries and household goods delivered costs more than going to the store but sometimes it allows me to spend the day DIYing home maintenance that I'd otherwise have to hire out while I do errands. The alternative matters.”

“I pay a 15%ish premium to have my groceries delivered. I spend less that way because I only buy what I need.”

“For me, it depends on the value of the time I'm getting. If I can make an extra 50 bucks doing something else it makes more sense to have groceries shopped for $10 instead of giving up 50 to do it myself.”

These are all great responses to the question and makes you think.

To me, this is an issue of time over money. OR money over time. If you have money to spare, you are more apt to pay for convenience.

Also, if you value your time and put that as a priority – you’re also likely to spend more on the convenience of – say – having someone come to wash your car or bring you groceries.

Someone also said this:

“$100 a year on Amazon Prime is pretty convenient. I definitely don't have food delivered to me, because cooking is a fun experience that I have time for.”

It’s also about the experience. Perhaps you value the time you spend going to the grocery store with your spouse. My wife and I do this a lot. It gives us time together and we can connect. Or you just enjoy doing the task.

Growing up, I have fond memories with my dad (oddly enough) going through the car wash and then cleaning out the car. It was a really long car wash and it was like going through a long tunnel. After we would stop at the vacuum bay and I’d get to man the hose, helping him clean out the inside of the car. It only was a 15-20 minute episode – but it was time with dad and I got to be a little helper.

Sometimes, I think we lose these times by opting for convenience. We lose touch of humanity/connection with others. We’ll never bump into the neighbor at the grocery store if we get them delivered (though, perhaps you may not want to!) OR share memories with our kids going through the car wash.

How much are you willing to pay for convenience?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. What are you willing to pay for convenience and what services do you pay for?

Read our review of Instacart – a delivery service for groceries OR Dyper – a delivery service for diapers.

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  1. i’m on a temporary assignment in a big city where delivery services are available (i live in a small town that barely has public transportation).
    i am willing to pay to have my groceries shopped ($5/per shopping) as i work 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, and then go to the gym for approx. an hour.
    being able to drive up and have my groceries loaded is wonderful; and i have always gotten the ‘fresh’ foods, blemish-free.
    as for prepared food delivery, still not a fan – you never know who’s coming to your door, so i’d rather do pick-up… though i was intrigued by your Door Dash article.
    great website, thanks!

  2. I’ve been doing my own bookkeeping and taxes until now, but I’m considering hiring a professional to handle them from now on for convenience sake.

    My finances are getting to a point where it takes too much time, research, and effort to maximize the tax deductions. Since I work in the entertainment industry as a performing artist, it gets complicated when it comes to figuring out what could be considered a business expense/deduction.

    • Good points, Mino. Taxes can be so cumbersome w/ all the changes, rules to keep on top of – especially if you are a business owner / independent contractor. We use a tax pro – just because I’m concerned by doing it ourselves, we could be leaving money on the table.

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