Strategic Pizza: When a Slice Is Worth the Price

Photo (cc) by ginnerobot

Recently, I found myself with too many things to do in too little time before I left for a seven-week trip. So a friend did a telephone intervention – that is, I sort of melted down while he was on the line.

Bless his heart, he didn’t start to make bad-cell-reception noises and say that he couldn’t hear me so we’d have to talk some other time. (Like, um, never.) Instead, he listened to me whirl and howl about so many things I wanted to do, so few days until my plane left, and so many professional plans but no time in which to bring them to fruition.

Then he gently encouraged me to think about how I’m spending my time.

Am I using an available hour on tactics that will ultimately earn me more money and thus make my life easier, both now and in the future? Or am I soaking pinto beans and reusing Ziploc bags to save a dollar or two today?

Boy, I hate it when a guy 20 years younger than me is light-years smarter. But he was right.

Why on earth was I obsessing about what to fix for dinner? Wouldn’t a strategic pizza delivery have freed up my head for more important things – or allowed me to take a long, hot soak?

I owe my pal a nice fruit basket. And I owe myself the favor of being smarter about my time. So do you, whether you know it or not.

Saving or self-sabotaging?

Not everyone has the option of getting Chinese food or a sandwich at the corner deli. Five years ago, that was me.

I was back in college, working a couple of part-time jobs and grabbing extra gigs (babysitting, mystery shopping, medical testing) whenever I could. Meals were made from scratch and as cheaply as possible so that I could pay my bills and, eventually, throw whatever was left at divorce-related debt. I didn’t buy nonessential items and spent as little as I could on the things I did need (clothing, utilities).

But that’s not me now – not all the time, anyway. Thanks to a mix of frugality and freelance, I can pay my bills and plan for the future. I can even afford to splurge from time to time. Yet I’ll still panic over the possibility of spending $2.25 on the bus and opt to do my errands on foot instead.

Never mind that taking public transit would give me that extra hour. Often I’ll be too stubborn to pay $2.25 to travel a mile. It just seems wasteful.

It isn’t wasteful. It’s self-sabotaging. It deprives me of an hour better spent on stillness, contemplation, reading, or sleep. As deadlines approach, it causes unnecessary stress.

I know all this. But I tend to forget it. Or, more to the point, I forget to apply it to myself even though I counsel others not to overdo it. No wonder I recently hit the wall.

Understand: I’m not suggesting that all frugal hackery go by the wayside. Instead, I’m proposing balance. Instead of spending every free moment on extra work or extra penny-saving tactics, allow time for rest, relaxation, and, when prudent, the occasional pizza delivery.

How about it, readers? Do you try to do too much? Do you find yourself fretting over a dollar that you feel you shouldn’t have spent (even though you really should have)? How long can you keep up that pace?

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Things You Should Do Before Claiming Social Security
7 Things You Should Do Before Claiming Social Security

To get the most out of your Social Security retirement benefits, you have to think ahead.

8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life
These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life

Need a laptop that runs as long as you do? Check out these models.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live
5 Reasons You Should Work for as Long as You Live

These benefits might make you think twice about retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.