Can You Save $40/Hour By Washing Your Own Lettuce?
By Sally Herigstad
Who wants to wash lettuce or peel carrots after a hard day's work? It's so much easier to grab a bag that's ready to eat. What would it take for you to start washing lettuce again? Most of us would be motivated by $20 per hour, and certainly by $40. Let's see what's worth your time:
Peeling and grating potatoes. This is a bit of work. You could peel a pound of potatoes and grate them into hash browns. Bagged potatoes are 66 cents per pound, vs. $2.08 for frozen hash browns. If it takes you ten minutes to prepare the potatoes, you'll make about $8.50 per hour - minimum wage many places. But there's no going back when you find out what hash browns should taste like.
Spooning yogurt into single-serve dishes. Strawberry yogurt in the big carton is $1.10 a pound, but twice that in single-serve cartons. Grab a spoon. If it takes five minutes to spoon out that yogurt, you made $13 per hour - not a killing, but it's easy work and you'll have less packaging to throw away.
Making ice. Surprisingly, ice costs almost as much per pound as some food - 47 cents in our search. Make it for free. If it takes you two minutes to make a pound of ice, pay yourself $14 per hour.
Washing and chopping broccoli. Ready-to-microwave broccoli is $4.39 per pound, vs. $2.49 if you can bring yourself to rinse it under the faucet and give it a quick chop into a bowl. Manage that in 5 minutes and you just made $23 an hour.
Washing lettuce. Too tired to rinse lettuce? The red leafy kind is $1.99 if you bag it yourself, or $5.33 per pound if you toss a pre-washed bag in the cart. If you can wash a pound in five minutes, give yourself credit for making $40 per hour.
Washing green beans. It's a hassle cutting off the ends of green beans. But if you buy them pre-cut, they're probably dried out and you'll cut them again anyway. Ready-to-nuke beans are $5.85 per pound, vs. $1.99 if you wash and snip them yourself. Five minutes here and you'll make $46 an hour.
Peeling carrots. Baby carrots are cute, but at $2.65 a pound, they'd better be. Peel regular carrots that cost 88 cents per pound in 5 minutes, and you made $53 per hour.
We both actually cook but Marco is still a much better cook then I am, but I’m learning.
He won’t buy anything from a can, vegetables, etc, or any frozen foods. He makes everything from scratch, even his own salsa. Everything has to be fresh when he cooks. For instance I would buy mushrooms already chopped and packaged or canned mushrooms, he buys fresh mushrooms and chops them.
So we went through the pantry and took out all the can goods and will take them to one of the food banks in town. He claims it doesn’t take that much more time to prepare the foods yourself and you save more by buying fresh.
Not sure if you actually save money but the foods sure have a much better taste.
I’m thinking of taking a cooking class two nights a week.
No canned veggies either.
chopping, rinsing, stirring, slicing, mincing, grating or checking
C is Arcadian French. She says she is A'cadiAN. No 'r'.