General Question

judyprays's avatar

What are examples of errands in the public space that don't involve spending money?

Asked by judyprays (1309points) April 16th, 2009

We can only think of errands that involve spending (post office, groceries, dry cleaning, car maintenance, dentist)

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27 Answers

miasmom's avatar

Walking to the mailbox to get your mail.

aviona's avatar

the definition of an errand is a short journey, often taken on someone else’s behalf, so I guess if it’s paid for previously!

going off of @miasmom‘s answer…getting the newspaper in the morning.

adreamofautumn's avatar

Walking the dog.

Dog's avatar

Visiting a friend.
Going to recycle.
Taking a walk.

basp's avatar

Bringing used clothes to Goodwill. (an errand I must do this week end)

Dog's avatar

Picking up trash at the beach/park.

aviona's avatar

But guys, sorry I left out part of the definition: a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone else’s behalf

So Goodwill, picking up trash, and recycling would work, but technically visiting a friend and walking the dog aren’t errands, right?

I’ve never really thought of the definition before…

casheroo's avatar

Dropping your kids off at school..

aviona's avatar

Haha delivering your kids

casheroo's avatar

And then you have to collect them.

adreamofautumn's avatar

If you picked up the neighbors dog…walked it around the block…then delivered it home again then does it become an errand?!

KatawaGrey's avatar

What if you’re picking up something up that you’ve paid for previously? Also, picking up your pay check, if it doesn’t get mailed to you. Taking movies back to the place from where you rented them.

tinyfaery's avatar

If you need a car for an errand, it costs money to perform it.

Gundark's avatar

Going to the library, which I do a lot.

janbb's avatar

@Gundark You beat me to the punch!

YARNLADY's avatar

Taking someone to work/picking them up.
Walking over to the Toy’s R Us with my grandson and letting him walk around the store.
Looking at the choices of cookware I intend to buy later, to see which store has the best selection/price.
Wandering around the home improvement/craft store to try to get some decorating ideas.
Going to pick out my glasses at the eye doctor, or any doctor appointment, since they are all paid for on our health plan.
Waiting in line to see if I will be one of the first 300 people to get a $20 coupon to a store in the mall.
Checking out the hours and menu at a restaurant I might want to go to next month.

miasmom's avatar

@Gundark Unless you have library fines. :(

ru2bz46's avatar

@YARNLADY “Walking over to the Toy’s R Us with my grandson and letting him walk around the store.”

You’re such a tease!

YARNLADY's avatar

@ru2bz46—he’s young enough (2) that he doesn’t realize they can be purchased and taken home. Just playing with the demo’s is good enough for him.

janbb's avatar

I remember wonderful outings to a tropical fish store and bird store with my younger son when he was a toddler just to look. He still loves aquariums!

fireside's avatar

Walking the dog can be done on the dog’s behalf.
I go over to my parent’s house to shovel or mow the lawn.

Picking a friend up who doesn’t have a car to take them to the store.
Going to a soup kitchen to serve meals.

ru2bz46's avatar

@fireside You shovel their lawn?

fireside's avatar

no, it looks like the occasional snow plow took care of that over the winter, i may have to reseed along the edges this year…

ru2bz46's avatar

@fireside Ah, I was picturing a “lawn” with a bunch of small holes and piles all over.

ru2bz46's avatar

@fireside LOL! I was thinking a little more like this, though.

Gundark's avatar

Looking back at this question, it occurs to me that going to the post office doesn’t necessarily involve spending money. If you have a post office box, you might just be going to pick up the mail. Of course, you’re probably paying for the box, but that isn’t a direct result of the errand. And you also might be picking up a package left for general delivery, or one that was too big to fit in your (free) mail box. The post office used to leave me little notes in my mail box when I got packages, and I’ve have to drive down and pick them up. Assuming the postage was paid by the sender, the errand didn’t involve spending anything but gas money. People used to go to the post office to pick up tax forms; they don’t do that now, but it is an example of a “cash free” errand.

Sometimes, we drop the kids off for a play date or friend’s birthday party, and we pick them up later. No cash outlay there.

Other times, my wife takes a meal to a sick friend. We pay for the food of course, but the errand itself doesn’t involve spending any money. Some other kinds of errand involving helping other people could be considered errands without cost. My mom has driven my grandmothers around to doctor’s appointments and hair appointments and stuff like that for years. They are spending money, but she isn’t. Her errand is to help them.

There are some things you have to do that are paid for by others, or that involve only filling out paperwork. When my dad became paralyzed, our local transit wanted to see him in person before issuing a special transit certificate. When I open a bank account, I’m tranferring money (into the new account), but not necessarily spending money—I have to go down to the bank and sign a signature card and maybe some other paperwork to get that done. Before the internet, there were a lot more paperwork-oriented errands, like filling out credit card applications, that would be done in an errand-like fashion.

When I was a kid, we used to grow a huge vegetable garden. We always grew more than we needed, and we’d put beans and stuff in paper bags and take them around to the neighbors. Cashless errand, right there.

Final thought; registering for your wedding gifts. Wander through the store, scan items with a bar code reader, spend nothing. Great errand.

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