Four years ago, my wife and I moved from the country to town. We decided that 20 minutes of driving each way to town was a waste of time. We figured the gas money and time saved by living in town would over come our feeling sad about leaving the country.
We left a 4 acre plot and downsized our yard to a city lot. I had no idea the time it would save me on Saturdays doing yard work. WOW! What used to take 6 hours of a Saturday now takes about an hour. I can cut the grass, do the trim work and clean up in less time than it took to do the fence row of our old place.
Unfortunately we did increase our house size. It is still more efficient than our old place. It's a one story brick Ranch with nice overhangs and a full basement. We had new windows put in almost immediately. We have a few more tricks up our sleeves to add to the benefits of this house.
We have also become "car-light". We now have one car for the two of us. Since we live in town, I am less than 5 miles from work and my wife is about a mile away from her work. I ride my bike from March to December (assuming there isn't snow or ice on the roads and bike trail). For the bad weather, I use the city bus. The bike commute adds about 10 to 20 minutes to my commute, but that is still 20 to 30 minutes faster than when we lived at our old house. My wife loves riding her folding bike in nice weather.
We now recycle, garden, compost, exercise (not in a gym), eat healthier and are working on simplifying our life in order to get out of the "rat race" and enjoy more.