Monday, July 20, 2015

Insourcing tally for the week #12....

Preparing for our trip meant that insourcing fell by the wayside for a while...well not the actual insourcing which is second nature around here, but the writing about it.
So just a reminder on what this thing I call 'insourcing' actually is.
In a nutshell, it's where I value what I do in the home. I actually assign a dollar value to my tasks, equivalent to what I would pay somebody else to do them....what's called 'outsourcing'. So if that's the value to someone else of that task, why shouldn't I assign the same value to my own efforts?
It's not an actual financial transaction as such, although NOT spending the money on outsourcing these tasks is certainly a huge saving, and one that allows us greater financial freedom in many other areas of our life.
It's just a way of demonstrating, that your contribution to the home does NOT have to be purely financial, and that leaving the home to be paid for a 'real job' is not the only answer, if you're willing to put in a bit of effort and treat 'home' as your 'workplace'.
It certainly gives you, and those around you, a new perspective on your worth!
So without further ado, here is last weeks list....
Laundered, dried, folded and ironed 12 loads of washing, including school uniforms, pillowcases, and serviettes. We love real linen serviettes and set the dinner table prettily every night, so those can mount up! Value if outsourced? Let's say $20 per load of stuff washed, folded and/or ironed, and that's really conservative! So let's call that $240 worth. I actually hate ironing, but Faux Fuschia, whose entertaining and colourful blog here is well worth a read, says 'yes' (in her own words) to ironing, decluttering, and baking. In fact, she claims that ironing lowers her blood pressure, or rather viewing piles of ironed thing-a-me-jigs does. Tackled with a few cerebral bits of TV viewing (she favours Real Housewives of Melbourne...I'd probably say Downton Abbey), it's less of a trial. Worth a try, I say!
My oven is not working so no baking for us but I did manage to make griddle scones using this recipe here, which were very nice, and crepes and pikelets which were enjoyed with Nutella, or fresh fruit, or jam, and pronounced a success. Savings on bought snacks, around $50.
I cleaned the house saving $100 on a cleaner.
The menu for the week was upmarket tasty, including Roast Chicken with garlic mash, Lamb cutlets with polenta and roasted tomatoes, Eye Fillet of beef with wasabi kale coleslaw, Singapore noodles, Fresh and Healthy nothing-out-of-a-tin Spaghetti Bolognaise, Ratatouille tartlets, and Pad Siew. The ingredients for those meals totalled about $60. For the three of us to eat equivalent meals out, would have been in the realm of $600. Now don't laugh. I know people who actually do this. More power to them. But we don't, so I don't think it's unreasonable to attach a significant value to this. Saving $540.
I made two pairs of pillowcases and trimmed them with some saucy black lace. Very ooh-la-la. A good pair of pillowcases is up around the $40 mark, so let's call that a $70 saving after material costs are subtracted.
I washed my car at the DIY carwash. Price to have them do it $48. Price for me to do it $5. Saving $43.
That's an astounding total of $1043!
Now you might say, but that's ridiculous, nobody would pay that money for those things. I can assure you that YES THEY DO. Week in, week out. And like I say, more power to them. But in the context of my posts here, and the contribution of the stay at home parent, this is a realistic way of valuing your tasks in the home.
Downgrade some of the meals to equivalent takeaway if you want, and apply 'mates rates' to things like cleaning and gardening and ironing if it brings it into line with your expectations. I bet you'd still end up with a value of up to $700, or $700 that you'd have to spend to outsource those tasks if you worked outside the home.
So come on, what did you insource this week? What was your value in the home as a stay at home partner and parent?
Tell me everything....


  1. I am actually also one of those people who enjoy ironing. I iron while I watch a series. At present it is the original "Poldark" borrowed from the library for free! :-) I am considering taking in ironing for some money in the future.

    One thing that surprises me is the cost of services and what people pay in the cities for them. Annabel often says what they charge for certain items and they don't seem to be able to sell things for those prices in the country. I think it is all relative, as house prices, income etc are higher in major centres and generally lower in the rural cities etc. I like how you have measured your insourcing dollars in consideration of this. $700 is still a decent enough salary here in the country where we live! Full time work is difficult to find, most people working at two or three places. Saving the equivalent of that would be awesome!

    This series about insourcing has really had me rethinking my "worth" in view of potential savings. I am really uplifted in my role as homemaker by this series Mimi. xoxo

    1. I plan to learn to enjoy ironing Kaye. As someone who has studiously avoided ironing for many years, I find I am entering a phase in my life where, (thanks to Faux Fuschia!) I can see it as a form of relaxation. I certainly concur with her philosophy that seeing neat piles of linen is soothing, and there's nothing like a freshly laundered and pressed pillow case to lay ones weary head upon. And I take the point that prices for outsourcing would vary according to location. As you say though, if saving $300 a week by doing yourself, what someone else would need to do for you if you worked, is a mighty significant sum that for many, would negate the benefits of working. I hear all the time that people do it for 'their sanity', and I get that too. But I do wonder whether learning to take the art of homemaking seriously would alleviate that feeling. When parents talk about 'their sanity', I think they're often referring to the years when their children are very young and take up a lot of their time. But for me, this was the most joyous part! It's funny, isn't it? Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Far above rubies, Mimi dear. It's all so eye-opening... if we'll open our eyes.

    Hugs and happy weekend to you,

    1. Thankyou Kelley. You always go straight to the heart of things. There is more than one way to leave your mark on this Earthly life, isn't there. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. Hmmm, I will have to think about that, Mimi! I am currently too busy playing with my mouse to see what designs I can make while reading your blog. LOL! I am so pleased to meet someone else who hates ironing.

    1. Lol Nanna! Yes that little sprinkling of stars is quite captivating isn't it! Mimi xxx

  4. Love this Mimi! Well, last week I saved a fortune - maybe $300 by staying home on Bastllle night and cooking my own cassoulet!!! Didn't go to certain restaurant that you and me both LOVE! I have just had top wisdom teeth out today....very much looking forward to seeing you and talking about your trip. Xxx

    1. Now Flora, I am proud of you! I know how that restaurant celebrates Bastille Day, and it would be difficult to restrain oneself. Cassoulet in Winter is the most divine thing and home made all the more so. Wisdom teeth extraction...ouch...hope you are on the mend. Let's get together soon. I have special things for you! Mimi xxx

  5. This is great Mimi!

    I have never sat down and worked out my worth. I will have to give it a try and then poke it under my sons (19) nose. He says I sit at home and do nothing lol. He is only joking thank goodness :)

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I keep track of what I achieve through the week so this shouldn't be too difficult.

    I used to do ironing a lot but now I don't do it very often. Just hubby's uniform for work and the occasional shirt during the warmer months. I usually pick a Sunday night to iron while watching something I like on TV.


    1. Lol Tania....yes teenagers have no idea of how much we do in the home. Often The Diva will ask what I did today and I'll rattle if off. Then she'll say 'and what else?' like I had time for anything else. It makes me laugh! Mimi xxx

  6. Dear Mimi,
    I could, if armed with a video camera, prove people do pay for all this stuff! We have people our street that are broke. Double mortgaged, broke broke broke. (they say) plus others who are not broke, in fact the opposite, he is a dentist. lol Anyway in both cases I watch with fascination as the ironing is picked up and returned, the window washers, lawn mowers, dog washer, caterer, hedge trimmer, yard vac, cleaners, grocery shoppers and so on come and go. So I really do think to myself that I just cleaned the windows and saved that and cleaned my own house, cooked my own meals etc and yep it has to be $1000 worth or more right there. Not to mention my make my own presents, jam, cards etc. I would really love to ask how much do all these services cost? Some I google to find out!
    I know I "earn" a very good wage in savings and we live a very good life working as a team. We have no debts and my savings add to our emergency fund and pantry. I am very happy with this. I feel my efforts are greatly rewarded! xxx

    1. Yes Annabel....I know people like that too. They live in the picture perfect suburb with their picture perfect lives and behind closed doors, all they do is argue over money. It's so sad. But having tried to suggest that things could be different and been rebuffed, I just keep myself to myself on the topic. I think there has to be a desire too, to see these tasks as something that adds to your life rather than taking away from it. So often all we want to do is rush through the menial tasks so we can get to something better. I try to value tasks in the home, and make them pleasurable by using beautiful tools, aromatic home made cleaners, and utilising the iPod and my favourite music to make it something lovely. You haven't lived till you've heard me sing along to Angel of Music from Phantom of the Opera while I'm! Mimi xxx

  7. Hi Mimi,
    I love that you count the value of what you do around your home, cause what you say is
    so very true..........if our hubbies had to pay us they could not afford us...........which is
    a known fact, but not a WELL KNOWN fact!! lol
    It is so true that a lot of people do pay out a lot of money for simple tasks, and like
    you say that is fine, but I like you think that we can have a much better lifestyle by
    doing a lot of things ourselves..........which means $$ saved for more fun and enjoyable things..........I Like that!!
    Hope you are doing well..........we just got back from visiting our sweet daughter and
    hubby in North was restful, relaxing, fun and inexpensive with beautiful and welcoming accomodations! Can't beat that!

    Take care hon, and thanks for coming by.
    Blessings Galore, Nellie

    1. Hi Nellie! You've hit the nail on the head. saving on those things, we improve our lives in other areas. I know I'd rather see Europe than see a stranger clean my! I'm glad you had a memorable time with your darlings. Family are a treasure all their own. Mimi xxx

  8. Great to see you back posting after your lovely trip. I too have just begun to iron a few things here and there and cos i want to do it rather than feel forced to do it, i actually enjoy it. I'm not a big tv watcher so just like silence or iPod playing. I always read what you value things at and go "yep, that's right" but I have never made mine tally up. I made 40 something lined possum pouches for the local ringtail wildlife shelter and gave them those on Sunday as well as some handmade soap and a jar full of the liquid gold cleaner. I used my own scrap fabric as well as buying a double sheet and a snuggie from the op shop and cutting those up. That would have cost a bomb otherwise. I cooked all meals and treats last week and Annabel has me starting on Christmas presents - she leads by example! So got a few of those made. Also made two batches of soap, and used the tractor to mow our extensive lawns and used the tractor to bring in the wood piece by piece, a slow process. My partner and son lift many pieces of wood at a time but one by one for me. I should probably go and add all this up Mimi and see where it gets me. I also made a gorgeous little pincushion and attached it to a cute band I sewed, many moons ago when i first learned to sew I had a wrist pincushion. This is forming part of a Christmas pressie too. Oh and blanket stitched multiple hand towels ready to learn crochet edging. Had a go at the edging last night but looks like someone under the influence was doing it, so will unpick and try again. Welcome back from your break too.

    1. Well, Fiona that lot sounds in the thousands in terms of value! I can't even imagine. I do know that the one time we had a block of land slashed professionally, the bill was $800, so that might give you some idea. Had to laugh at your 'under the influence' comment. I think many handcrafts and fancywork look a bit like that when you first start out. But as they saying goes...practice makes perfect! You'll get there. Thankyou for the welcome home too. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. I've started paying more attention at the supermarket to what things like baked items cost, and it has made me realise just how much we save by baking regularly. The banana cakes are $5, and about a third of the size of the one I would make. Afghans are $4 for 8, I would make a batch of 24 for well under that. And I have never really thought much of it because I grew up with a mum who baked, so have always considered it the norm.

    I think your point about making the amounts relevant to your own situation is great, a perfect example I have had in the last week is a gift I made for a four year old. It was a felt tea party set, with donuts, cake slices and biscuits. I found a similar ten piece set on etsy for $50. I also sewed a gift bag to hold them. So I guess a $55 - $60 gift had I bought it. But I wouldn't have spent that if I'd bought a gift, I would probably have spent $20. So I would consider that a saving of $20, not $60. It makes the saving feel more relevant to me personally.

    I spent some time with a friend recently who has one child who is the same age as my youngest. She has returned to full time work, her partner also works very long hours, and she explained how stressful they are finding their busy schedules. I felt so reassured that the extra effort I make to run our household on a budget was worth it. And every time I read one of your posts I feel that same reassurance.

    Thanks Mimi, I really do find your approach and ideas inspirational.

    1. Jen, I know...what an eye opener just on the baking, right? Now this felt tea party set sounds just adorable! I'm not surprised that an Etsy seller retails them for $50. And what you say that you wouldn't have spent that is very relevant. But you managed to gift something with a VALUE of $50, so I would have said $50. You may have saved the $20 you would have spent if you'd had to purchase a gift, but the value of the gift you made yourself, was much higher. So I guess you can do this calculation according to what you personally would have paid for the gift or service, or alternatively, what the retail value of that item or service might be. I mostly work on retail value because on the occasions where I do outsource, it's mostly due to time constraints which is when you tend to need to pay full retail price. Another reason to plan ahead! I feel for your friend! And I'm glad you find my ideas helpful. Love, Mimi xxx

  10. Hi Mimi, it so great that you are saving money for your family like this. I would love it if you shared this at our Cooking and Crafting with J & J party that I co-host during the week.
    Julie xo


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx