Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Hourly Wage

Well, as sort of an update to my meat grinder post, let me begin by saying that I scored a great (read: GREAT!) deal on a large set of new kitchenaid attachments on Craigslist. I got over $200 worth for $65 in the original packaging! And one of these beauties was, in fact, the meat grinder attachment. Yee Haw! Let's go grind some chuck!

In all seriousness, though, I am really enjoying this attachment, and I'll show you mathematically why it's a cost-cutting dream. First off, I bought 3 lbs of lean sirloin stew meat and steaks. They were on sale for $2.50/lb. This is right at half price because 93% lean hamburger runs (on average) 4.99/lb for the value packs. (It can be over $5/lb if bought individually!) So, in 15 minutes-including set up/clean up-I ground 3lbs of super lean beef for half price!

To calculate my hourly wage for this process, figure that if it took me 15 minutes, I could have repeated the job at least 3 more times in an hour, underestimating for economy of scale. I saved roughly 2.49/lb times 3 lbs. So, in 15 minutes I saved 7.50. Now take 7.50 and multiply it by 4 (times repeated in an hour) and I have an estimated hourly wage of $31.00/hour! Not bad, eh? Especially considering that when you 'earn' money by saving money it is tax-free income. Did you catch that? Yes, I may be the master of the obvious by repeating something that I already typed in bold font, but this is such a revolutionary thought, I want to be sure you didn't just scan over it. "When you 'earn' money by saving money it is tax-free income." My financially savvy husband pointed that out to me. Isn't it cool? So really, to net $31.00/hour, I'd actually have to gross close to $40/hour! Who says there's not money to be made around the home?

Now calculating my hourly wage isn't always so invigorating, but if you are truly at that point where you are going to get "gazelle intense" (Dave Ramsey) with your penny pinching at home, it is imperative that you learn how to figure it out. It is a necessary tool to help you prioritize which jobs are worth your time to do yourself, and which ones are better left to others' efforts. For example, while I may clear a $31.00/hr wage grinding meat, I realized I only saved pennies by making my own ice cream versus buying the high-end Tillamook brand (due to the shipping cost of perishables being so high up here), and what's more; I may even lose money comparatively if Tillamook happens to be on sale! By being able to calculate a rough estimate of my hourly wage, I can plainly see it's not worth it for me to take the time to make the ice cream from purely an economic front.

So in conclusion, while this post is a bit unlike my others, I hope it inspires you to look at the most mundane home management tasks (like making burger!) and prioritize which ones you can perform more centsibly in order to maximize your family's income.

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