What Is Your Time Worth to Grow Your Own Food?

I was recently looking at a site on Get Rich Slowly about growing your own food. In 2009 they claimed that the actual cost (seeds, dirt, fertilizer, and any other supplies) cost this family $351.37 for the year. They stated they received an equivalent of $809.75 worth of food as compared in price to the grocery store in their area. They also said it took them 71.5 actual hours of work to obtain this amount of food. What they did not include in the figures is what was their time worth to harvest this much food. The price at the grocery store includes the cost of the product, labor cost to harvest the product, cost to transport, plus a profit to the grocery store.

What is your time really worth? If you were to give yourself a $10/hour payroll for your time and you spent of 71.5 hours this would equal $715.00. If you add the $715.00 (time spent) to the $351.37 (actual cost) then your garden actually costs $1066.37 vs. $809.75 harvest value.

While this family did try to use organic as much as they could this could raise both the actual cost and harvest value if comparing to a traditional grocery store that usually does not carry as much organic food. What if your time is worth at home more than $10/hour then you are really losing money.

Sometimes it is worth going to farmers markets or organic grocery stores to get your fresher food and still save money. Valuing your time is critical to not waste money.

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