Time and Money

Okay – I have a question for folks that peruse this page.

Setup: The Beloved and I set out Saturday morning on a number of errands – many Christmas-related.  Our path was: the bank, IKEA, The Container Store, Target – a stop at PF Changs for lunch, and lastly Whole Foods.  It was a busy morning for sure, but everything went pretty smoothly and we were home at a decent time.

Now the weird part occurred when we arrived at IKEA.  We got there around 9:25 and there were two lines:  one for the LENGTH OF THE STORE and one shorter one milling around the entrance.  We almost walked away right there, but we found out the “short” line was for the café that opened in 5 minutes –  the other longer line was for the store itself which opened at 10.  So we decided to get breakfast.

As it turns out breakfast (eggs, bacon, potatoes, coffee) was free.  (BONUS!)  At 10, we went down into the store and looked for the things that we were interested in.  

As we were heading to the checkout, there was a massive line that doubled back on itself.  Again, we were ready to bail (we only had maybe ~$25 of stuff) but it turned out the long line was for a discounted easel for kids.  That product was only discounted today.  We were able to go to a more-or-less empty checkout area and leave.

So it seemed that the big line was to get in so that you could then go and wait in another big line to pick up an easel and then go wait to checkout.  At lunch (which was yummy – thanks PF Changs), we were wondering just how much they were saving to endure such lines.

So when I came home, I looked the deal up online.  Turns out the easel was discounted $15.

So my question is: would you stand in line for an hour to save $15?

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24 thoughts on “Time and Money

  1. It would depend on how I was feeling about money at that particular point in my life. Now? No way. When Todd was in his 4th or 5th year of grad school? Okay…still probably not :)
    Todd wouldn't stand in line for more than ten minutes no matter how much it would save him. (He has gone from being the most patient person I knew to having zero patience for waiting. I think I have ruined him ;)
    It all depends on how much you think your time is worth I suppose. If you could go and put in an hour at the office and potentially earn $100s from that hour then it's a different story from the person who earns $8.50 per hour before taxes.

  2. Not for a stupid easel! You can get those for ten bucks at Kmart..and kid play with them for about fifteen min before they're put aside for a better toy that needs batteries.

  3. I probably wouldn't. Most likely I'd be shopping with my daughter, which means long lines = meltdown (for one or both of us). Now, if I'm leisurely shopping with a girlfriend and chatting away? Possibly. Funny enough we have that actual easel, bought full price. We love it, but no, I would not stand in a long line just to get it marked down.

  4. I will confess that I am not nearly frugal enough, but I think you have to be pretty darn cheap to wait that long. I put a dollar value on my time and will pay certain amounts of money to save certain amounts of time. For instance, I'm one of those few people who will use a coin star machine, because I hate rolling coins and would pay somebody a dime a dollar to roll them for me.

  5. The easel I had when I was a child meant the world to me and I still paint watercolors!! Having a single mom who made a living as a high school teacher, I can certainly see how $15 seems laughable to some people but it represents hours of work for others.
    However, I'm not sure that an easel means as much to kids today as it did back when I was growing up in the back woods of NH without a computer or cable. It's sad because art was a huge part of my life and we entertained ourselves by playing outdoors in the snow or painting. (Okay okay, Saturday morning cartoons too…..but you know what I mean)
    Now I have a gorgeous easel that I paid good money for but if I had a kid and I wasn't sure they were going to use it I would want to save as much as possible. But like Jamie said, you can probably get a better deal somewhere else. Sadly I think that people see the word "Sale" and foolishly run towards the cliff.

  6. I'm trying to think back to when I was a grad student (below the poverty line…) — even though I'd want to save the money, I probably wouldn't have waited. I would have tried later (hopefully after the line died down…) and taken my chances…

  7. Ellie — I agree with your idea that these days something "tactile" like an easel may have been a lot "cooler" back in the day, before kids had their own Blackberrys. We just played football in the street.

  8. Depends. Is it the ONE thing on my kid's list that they're truly hoping to see under the tree on Christmas morning? And is this the only place to get it? Those two answers being "yes", then I'm probably in line, with a coffee (and maybe a cinnamon roll), texting on my phone or reading a book to buy that sucker.

  9. Oh hello no. That is so funny. I wonder if people were waiting in line because they assumed they had to, and didn't see the smaller line…? Sometimes people are sheep.

  10. BBL — I think that was the one thing that my child really was looking forward to — and then it would be more about making sure I got one (before they ran out) than getting the discount.

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