Grocery Shopping and Dry Cleaning

If you had told me 6 months ago I could pay $800 a year to save 250 hours per year, I would have laughed at you. Keep in mind, $800 sounds like a lot, but saving 250 hours a year is akin to 1.7 months of time saved at work. For the average salary of an average software developer, that’s almost $20K in savings. Pay $800 to save $20K? Yes, please.

What’s almost as important (and maybe more important) is that if you had told me 6 months ago it was even possible to shave off 2 months of work, I would have dismissed you outright.

Once again, as these things often do, the time-saving trade came from my spouse. She’s that magical teacher sort I spoke of in an earlier segment, and she has long spent her time eeking out free minutes where possible. This time? It was groceries and dry cleaning.

Buying groceries for a family of 6 takes around 1.5-3 hours, once you factor in travel, Costco, and putting the groceries away, each week. We’re on a budget, so we can’t afford to waste trips by buying more than we’re sure we’ll consume. Instacart costs $99 per year plus the cost of groceries, and in return, someone else (or several someone elses) do your grocery shopping for you, and deliver your groceries to your house. $99 dollars per year(I think we got a first year promotion, the word on the street is it’s $149 per year).

Three months in, I can’t fathom what would be true for me to say no to renewing instacart. It saves time, which with three kids and a full schedule is more important to me than the money.

The second saver of money for us was getting my dress shirts dry-cleaned. You’ve probably have the $1.50 cleaners, and if you’re like me you’ll spend an 30 minutes ironing five shirts, every week. The trade, once again, is worth it.

Why am I talking about grocery shopping and dry cleaning? We’re surrounded by those sorts of chores when process meets developing software for others, especially in enterprises. Someone, somewhere wants a report, and someone, somewhere else wants certain t’s crossed and i’s dotted.

What sort of activities do you have weekly or daily that remind you of grocery shopping and dry-cleaning?

What do you have to do as a leader of teams or a project manager where you would happily pay to have a report automated, or a process automated? How much would you pay?

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