Looking for Ease & Speed? Here are the 7 BIG Hidden Costs of Convenience

Written by on January 27, 2016 in Economy with 0 Comments

drive thru sign

By Joshua Becker | Becoming Minimalist

The story is often told that Tom Monaghan, the Founder of Domino’s Pizza, once quipped, “We don’t sell pizza. We sell delivery. We offer time to families who are looking for it.”

To be fair, I can find only anecdotal evidence supporting that assertion. However, given the fact that Domino’s Pizza famously worked to shave seconds off its delivery times, the spirit of the quote probably rings true.

Domino’s Pizza, founded in 1960, became perfectly poised to sell a product to the American consumer they were willing to buy: convenience. With the sudden increase of dual-income families, people became more and more willing to pay for the easy dinner solution of a 30-minute pizza delivery. Indeed, within the first 15 years of franchising, the Domino’s Pizza chain had opened over 200 stores nationwide.

Of course, as the speed of our lives has continued to increase, so has the appeal of convenience.

Today, we can purchase household goods from any room in our home with the press of a button, receive shopping deliveries within 30 minutes, and pay for goods with just a tap on our watch.

Related Article: 100 Great Ways to Start Saving Money (Even If You’re Currently Struggling Financially)

From food and coffee to auto-care and healthcare, convenience is becoming increasingly, well, convenient. Convenience is no longer merely appreciated among the average consumer, it is demanded in almost every corner of our economy.

But at what expense have we pursued convenience? Consider some of these hidden costs:

1) Money. At the grocery store, the drive-thru, or the coffee counter, we pay a premium for convenience. In some cases, it costs just a little, but in other cases, convenience can be quite expensive. But convenience costs us in more places than the pocketbook.

Related Article: 3 Key Steps You Need to Take to Get Rid of Your Family’s Financial Fears

2) Health. Not always, but often times, the purchase of convenience negatively impacts our health. Prepackaged foods are among the fastest-growing segments in grocery sales, with sales growing more than 60 percent in the past year. Unfortunately, many of these meals contain preservatives and contain as much as 57 percent of the recommended daily allowance for salt.

3) Quality. There are times, of course, when purchases made out of convenience result in a higher quality good or service. But this is not always the case. Starbuck’s coffee may be as good an example as any. Even among those who frequent Starbuck’s regularly, very few would argue they could not make better coffee at home. But what Starbuck’s does offer is convenience (and social status, but that’s for another conversation).

Related Article: New Dawn or Wild West? ‘Sharing Economy’ Goes Global

4) The Environment. From home electronics and kitchen appliances to pre-packaged foods and single-serve coffee pods, our quest for convenience has resulted in increased energy use in packaging and transportation and preparation. It has also resulted in increased waste at an almost alarming rate.


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