The Price of my Dreams – $60 a Week

That’s right – for just $60 a week, I’ve bought myself some time to chase after some dreams:  working out, playing guitar, and of course writing. 

For $60 I managed to free up 10 hours every week!

Imagine what you could do with just one of your long term goals with 10 hours a week.

  • How about time to exercise? 
  • More time to spend with people you care about?
  • Or if you’re working too hard – maybe even just catching up on sleep!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain to you not just how I freed up 10 hours a week – but also the thought process for how I got here

Where Was My Time Going?

To find out where my time was going, I painstaking logged everything I did for a month – from the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed.

  And I discovered I was spending lots of time:

  1. Cooking
  2. Washing dishes – especially hand-wash items
  3. Shopping – including grocery shopping
  4. Driving out to get take out

All told, these tasks took anywhere from 9-15 hours a week, for an average of 12 hours a week

That was simply too much time. Sometimes I do enjoy cooking or getting take out – but wouldn’t it be nice to not have to do it every week?

How Could I Save Time?

I thought through a few different alternatives:

  1. Eat out for every meal – Pros: Very convenient! Cons: Expensive, Not Always Healthy, Time Consuming
  2. Ordering in bulk for take out – Pros: Relatively inexpensive. Cons: Not Always Healthy, Lack Variety
  3. Hire someone to cook for me – Pros: Variety, Healthy, Possibly Inexpensive. Cons: Perhaps More Expensive, Need To Hire Someone.

I decided on option 3: hire someone to cook for me.. My reasoning was hopefully I could find someone who would come to my home to cook, and could even do dishes, laundry, and other general chores.

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Time To Find a Cook

Having chosen my plan of action, I went to Craig’s List and researched full time chef/cooking jobs.

I learned the average wages paid were $9-14 an hour. 

Based on this, I decided I would hire someone twice a week for 2 hours at a time, and pay $15 an hour, plus costs for ingredients.  I posted an ad detailing the position on Thursday night, fell asleep and expected to wake up with a handful of applicants. 

After all, how many prospective cooks could there be who needed a few hours of sporadic work each week?

Well, it turns out .. quite a few!

When I woke up I had over 30 emails already.

By the time I finally took the ad down (posted in “gigs”) later that weekend, I had received over 70 applicants

I was stunned.

We Have a Winner!

After corresponding back and forth with a few of them over the weekend, I finally settled on one who I’ll call “Casey”. 

Casey proposed that she would cook additional food at home when she was preparing meals for her family and bring them by my apartment twice a week.

I no longer cared about the dishes or other chores – if she was able to cook at home and deliver the food directly, that was even better!

She suggested a menu with various healthy meals she would prepare for the first couple weeks, and was flexible on the drop off time to meet my schedule.

Casey was organized, and clearly understood exactly what I was looking for: simplifying my life.   We had a winner!

The Results

This was a fantastic experiment. Outsourcing experiments don’t always work out – but this one certainly did.  Just a handful of the benefits included:

  • Never having to go out shopping “just for groceries” anymore
  • The first time in years I had fruits and vegetables fresh from the farmers market. 
  • Eating healthier and cheaper than if I was eating out at restaurants.
  • Best of all – it freed up over 10 hours a week that I didn’t have before.

The bottom line –  outsourcing doesn’t always have to be complicated,work related, or involve international virtual assistants.  Hiring locally for personal outsourcing can pay off as well – and free up time to do things you love.


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