I learned frugality at my mother’s knee so sometimes it’s hard for me to part with my hard-earned cash. I have a good friend who sometimes gives me grief about this. Her view of life is all about CPU… cost per use. If she purchases something and then uses it a lot, the CPU gets smaller and smaller. She taught this life view to YA early on, so I am exposed to the theory on a fairly regular basis.
The one place I have been good at applying CPU is with the Minnesota Zoo. I have an annual membership so when YA and I go to the zoo, we don’t have to pay anything. It’s obviously not free but it feels free at the time. We go enough that the annual membership is less than the full price and parking we would have to pay.
I have another friend who has been a supporter of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for many years and have always urged me to get a membership. But at $60 I knew I’d have to go at least 4 times a year to justify the CPU. This past spring, this friend called me to tell me that the Arb was having a membership sale. Just $30 for the annual membership. Right up my alley.
Now that I don’t have to pay every time I go, I’ve been to the Arb a few times. Twice this summer I even parked myself in one or another garden with a good book. In October they had their annual Scarecrow exhibit so last weekend, I made some space in my Saturday and headed out. I strolled about, checking out how things are changing now that the big blooms of spring and summer are over. (I even got a gardening tip; I noticed that in the Peony garden, they have chopped the peonies back. This is not something I have ever done but the afternoon after my visit, I chopped all my own back!)
The scarecrows were a lot of fun. Most of them were up on the hill and it was almost like a fall festival – lots of kids and lovely autumn displays – not to mention a gorgeous sunny day. I normally take the tram ride but since it’s done for the season, I drove slowly along the Three Mile Drive myself with Enya playing on my phone. I’m sure it’s the lowest my blood pressure has been for years! They were starting to put up the lights for the Winter Lights Walk so as soon as I got home, I ordered tickets for that. The CPU will be seriously low this year.
I was thinking as I enjoyed my day that even if they raise the price of membership on me next year, I’ll probably renew anyway.
How do you decide if something is “worth it”?