Monday, April 11, 2016

Insourcing value in the home...

My weekly Insourcing totals are all about placing a financial value on what I do in the home. Why do I do this?

Well, firstly, if I wasn't here due to illness, accident or other absence, my tasks would all have to be outsourced, and my family would either need to fund somebody else to do what I do, or they would have to do it themselves. Either way, that would be a tough call.

Secondly, much of what I do, truly does have a significant retail value. From making scented candles, to embellishing gorgeous linen, to upcycling thrifted vintage clothing...these things all cost big dollars if you have to buy them at full retail value. And that of course applies, to house cleaning, dog washing, manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, facials, and entertainment too.

If I can save my family the equivalent of a good weekly salary, by insourcing what we need, then there is no need for me to find a job outside the home. Instead I can be here, being the glue that holds my family together. I can smooth their path and my own, by simply being 'available'. I cannot put a financial value on that. It's priceless.

So for example, last week could easily have been an expensive week. A 60th birthday celebration is approaching, my daughter had friends over as it was still school holidays, and having exhausted many of our own 'fun' ideas during the first week of holidays, boredom was a distinct possibility!

Certainly we let our hair down and saw a movie, window shopped at the local Shopping Mecca, and enjoyed a Latte` at a trendy cafe`. But overall, we entertained ourselves at home.

The spools of lace were dragged out, and we trimmed pillowcases, sweatshirts, sheet turnbacks, and thrifted denim jackets, very prettily. You don't know the meaning of the word 'chaos' until you set teenagers loose with a sewing machine, and an endless supply of lace! If they could have stitched some to the dog, they would have!

Then we played with sequins. We always have a stash of those around here too.

 So sequins were added to some of the lace, some sneakers, the denim jackets, and some costumes currently in progress.

That kept everyone amused for two days, thus saving at least $100 each time. I don't know about you, but even a casual visit to a the local Shopping Mecca seems to leave my wallet lighter by that much and more! So we'll call that a $200 saving, PLUS a saving on gifts to come, as we generated at least $500 worth of lace trimmed linen pillowcases, and denim jackets, to gift to friends. Have you seen the prices of the fancy lace trimmed pillowcases and denim jackets currently in favour??? Insane! So, not bad for a bit of tinkering with lace and sequins! If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, or sew on a button (a sequin is easier!), then you can do the same.

So between what we saved in staying home for Chai Lattes with cafe style cakes and fancy burger lunches, and what we generated in gifts, we've insourced about $700 right there. That's not to be sneezed at. Of course it also means that I am home to supervise and be here to chauffeur my teen and her friends, and that, in this day and age, falls into the very valuable category of 'peace of mind', so cannot be underestimated.

We also made several decorations for my husbands upcoming 60th birthday, including balloon weights, table centrepieces, and table confetti. This was lots of fun and with Pinterest at our fingertips, not at all difficult! There's a significant saving to be had there, judging by our reconnaissance mission to the local Party Supplier, where we could have easily spent $300.

So let's look at the list for this week:

60th birthday decorations 
$300 retail value for $30 outlay...insourced value $270

Thrifted denim jackets x 3, trimmed lavishly with lace
$300 retail value for $45 outlay...insourced value $255

Upcycled pillowcases x 12, dyed and trimmed with lace
$360 retail value for $60 outlay...insourced value $300

Home lunches and latte's x 5
$250 retail value for $50 outlay...insourced value $200

Of course, we did our manicures and pedicures with materials already on hand, saving $130 for the two of us, deep conditioned and straightened our own hair, saving $140 for the two of us, and bathed the dog and gave him his flea treatment saving another $35. So even there we added a further $305 to our savings and insourcing total, without even trying!

These are all tasks that many 'outsource' without thinking twice.

This is why the whole idea of tallying up our insourcing for the week is so important to us, and particularly to me.

This gives me an insourced total of $1330 for the last week.

I could possibly have earned that AFTER TAX in a fairly high pressure job, as I have in the past, and been happy to outsource all of those things. But I would not have had the luxury of being at home, spending valuable time with my daughter, my granddaughters, my husband and my family. To me, that's far more important!

What was your value in the home this week?


  1. Being home with your daughter is priceless. :)

  2. Mimi, your posts are always so inspiring. If one day I can be half as good at insourcing as you are, I will be a very happy girl!!!!
    Libby xx

  3. Everything you said is so true. I've had people question why I don't work outside the house when we had kids. My response to them was to figure out how much we would spend for day care and cost of clothing for me to work, the cost of fast food because I would be so tired to cook. The list can go on forever. Even now our children are all grown and I still don't work my husband would be the first to tell you how hard I do work (bless that man).Love the way you figure how much money that can be saved by doing it yourself.

  4. Dear. Mimi , I read your blog regularly and am a member of your Facebook group and love both. I don't comment very often here ( if at all ) but had to comment today . Thus was a beautiful post as always, thank you Mimi . I can honestly say I in source a lot more now thanks to you and Annabel and a few other blogs including Cath and Wendy. An example of my insourcing this week was making banana caramel and white chocolate muffins with a few white chocolate chips and some sad bananas and a few other ingredients I had at home, very minimal cost, very yummy muffins. I also made a batch of cheesy, shallot and sweet chilli muffins using a few ingredients too. Also very delicious .the total cost for the cheesy muffins was under $3.50 for 12 muffins . Thank you again Mimi . Love Barb Woodford

    1. Barb, your gourmet muffins sound mouth-watering delicious! Great way to insource. Yum!



  5. Mimi, what a great post, and what priceless memories you are making for your family! May I ask if perhaps you might be persuaded to post photos of those denim/lace jackets and pillowcases? They sound lovely!



  6. I want a daughter.

    My sister and our girlfriends used to take over the dining room and loungeroom at home making clothes for ourselves. My big sister was our supervisor and Mum kept us in materials. It was how we often spent Saturday afternoons.

    I rarely make my own clothes now but have the skills to upcycle or alter some good vintage finds.

    My two sons have been teaching me how to play Texas Holdem Poker and Asian Poker. I have no idea what I'm doing but manage to win my fair share of rounds. Cards have always been a great source of cheap, fun, family entertainment and lately we've been upping the ante by playing CD's of some great songs from my era (late 60's onwards). We're insourcing a lot of entertainment and food as well these days and enjoying life without a big price tag.

    I'd love to see those lace trimmed denim jackets too. I know you will have made them look fantastic.

    1. I agree! Cards are a great way to get the family together! Cheers, Sophie

  7. Morning dear Mimi,
    I so agree with you on the being home with the family........that is the top of my list of importance too. Most hubbies could not afford us if they had to pay
    us what we do insource and save them financially. Love that you keep track of that.........I never have even thought of that over the years, yet I know
    I have saved our family a ton of $$$. Even just searching on line for the
    best price on something, is time consuming but adds $$ to our income. So
    many ways to do that.......
    Hope you are doing well, sounds like you and your daughter have had a fun
    Have a great week sweetie,
    Blessings, Nellie

  8. I'd never thought of adding up the value of what I do like that. Well done!
    Being thrifty is one of my main values at being at home.

    I'd love to see photos of your jackets and cases.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  9. Please let me add my hearty, "Amen!" to the notion of driving teens around so you know where they are, and when, and with whom, and what they are doing! I spent part of my weekend with my daughter at a very loud, not-at-all-my-style, standing-room-only concert so that she could enjoy the music and I could know she was safe. So worth it! (But please, if you must speak to me, speak up. My hearing may never be the same!)
    And may I second the request for photos of the denim & lace jackets? That sounds exactly like the sort of thing my daughter would love.
    Blessings, Leigh

  10. Mimi, I stayed home with my children too. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I loved being a mom and cooking, baking, just 'being there' for my kids when they got home from school. I did without a lot but they didn't. Today they tell me they're glad I stayed home. Best years of my life! Nothing can compare. I could have had the career but I wanted to be a 'stay at home' mom. The lacy denim jacket and pillow cases sound so lovely. And I LOVE sequins! Thanks for your post and have a wonderful week.


  11. Nice! I loved being a stay at home mom, too. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

  12. Such a cute post. I admit you had me stitches. I can just imagine the teenager chaos and the look on the poor puppy's face if they had managed to get some lace on him/her. That would have been hysterical.

    Thanks so much for joining the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

  13. It's wonderful the things that we bring available to our families, things with financial worth or eternal worth. Being home is just where mother's need to be....for what we can do is totally worth it.


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