While knowing the unit price is key to creating a successful budget, that knowledge can leave me pondering how much of time is wasted shopping from store to store looking for the best price. After all when you start multiplying the money saved or wasted my the number of weeks and months it can add up to a significant amount of money. Since the stores I shop at are so close together, the amount of money spent on gas is negligible when factoring into the equation. I often think about the question; "how much is my time worth" when I know I am spending a little bit more on an item at one store than the other.
Earlier, I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up a few more school supplies and cards for upcoming birthdays and an anniversary. I use witch hazel as my toner and recently ran out. I was using a diluted apple cider vinegar, but that can be a bit harsh for sensitive skin. Target has the best price that I've seen ($2.49/16 oz.) I am not planning on going to Target until the end of the week. I put witch hazel on the list for the Dollar Tree, hoping they would have it and they did. BUT, the bottle was $1.00 for 6 ounces. I purchased that bottle knowing that the one from Target was larger without doing the math in the store. When I got home, I calculated the difference was 7 cents more for the bottle of witch hazel from the Dollar Tree. Since it is not a weekly purchase the extra pennies I spent now is not a problem. However, that extra $0.07 weekly adds up to $3.64 a year. That may not seem like a lot but consider how many items you purchase each week.