What if you put on some quality glass resistant tires like the Marathon Greenguard or similar. First you save tire weight so, as agreed, your acceleration from stops will be better. Not only will you save on your overall travel time (even if only marginally), but being more nimble in starting off and breaking away from traffic even for a few seconds is good for safety. At least with my kojak's I love being able to pull away and then get out of the way from traffic piling up behind me.
Secondly you get fewer flats and hence save time on repairing flats. Thirdly quality tires last much longer. So money is saved in replacements.
I do not think that a significant amount can really be saved for your type of riding. Funnily enough I think premium tires are most suitable for purposes such as yours.
But to each his/her own.
On one bike I use Kenda Kiniption, 26 x 2.3. I run them at 80psi and they are good for a comfy ride. On my trucker I run conti sport contact 26x1.6. These feel as close to 700x23 race slicks as any tire I've had. The centerline is reinforced but the sidewall is pretty soft. I ride on paved streets/trails for the most part.
In the winter I run mount & ground 26x1.9s. I hate these tires in the same way I hate our minivan. It inspires no love, but does exactly what I want it to do...prevent me from slipping on ice. This winter I may try some Schwalbe winter tires, but I have no real reason to switch since the M&G are still running strong after 4 winters.