Real Savings

This morning, I was reading this article titled “What are your REAL savings?” and it reminded me a lot of my weekend.
On Saturday, I spent most of the morning, into the afternoon looking for a bike. In the morning, I went up to the swap meet. They had some decent bikes there, but nothing I was quite in love with (except for maybe the one that guy had already bought). Next, I went over to City Bikes, where I really loved the Specialized Tricross Comp, at the bargain basement price of $2000. Sweet ride though, fast, and I couldn’t feel any of the gravel under the tires at all like I could with some of the other bikes. I also stopped by Big Wheel Bikes to test ride some others. In the end, I was really no closer to making a decision than I had before, so I kind of felt like I wasted a few gallons of gas and 4+ hours of my time looking for a bike.
On Sunday, we went out hunting for new Crocs for Ellie. She wore the treads off her old ones, and she wanted the Mary Jane style, in pink, size 10/11. A couple of places had the Skechers version of Crocs, which were not quite right. Other places had plenty of Crocs, but either not the right size or not the right style. We looked for probably a good hour and a half in the mall trying to figure out which store might have them until we stumbled across the fact that Hallmark carried every style, size and color you could ever want. As a bonus, they also had every Disney Princess Jibbit that Ellie wanted too. So we did finally get what we needed, but I couldn’t help feeling like it would have been easier and less hassle to just order them over the Internet and have them delivered.
Were those trips worth the time and effort? Judging from Ellie’s giddiness at her new Crocs, that may have been worth it, but it also would have been just as gratifying if we had never taken the trip and ordered them. Test riding the bikes did give me a little more insight as to where I am willing to make compromises when it comes to speed and comfort of a bike, but didn’t get me much closer to a decision. Before I go out on any more test rides, I really need to decide where my priorities lie (and what my budget is!) so that I can be better prepared in the store. At any rate, I’m certainly going to think more about what it’s costing me to make these trips in the future and whether they are truly worth it.