Much like choosing what to eat or where to live relative to key resources, tool stone procurement involves weighing the costs and benefits of available options. Likewise, archaeologists’ choice of analytical methods involves tradeoffs as we try to maximize representative and reliable data within the bounds of our restricted time and resources. This talk explores the economics of stone use from the perspectives of both prehistoric hunter-gatherers and contemporary archaeologists. The prehistoric view centers on an optimization model designed to predict stone procurement choices using Chilean and Argentine case studies. The modern view considers the relative costs and benefits of “non-site” and obsidian hydration analyses.