Have you ever eaten pinto beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
I did once. Or a few times.
Pinto beans are absurdly easy to cook, throw them in a slow cooker with water. Wait ~8 hours, and its cooked.
Yep, its that easy.
(I’m intentionally making this a short article to prove how easy cooking pinto beans are)
When its done, eat it.
These make low cost, high protein, and fast lunches for the whole week. 1 minute in the microwave and you are eating food.
Fun article for the 93% of people who ate pizza in the last month. We are the 7% 😛
I’m starting a Youtube channel where we cook recipes that have us eating for $1000/year per person. I wont be posting them here, so make sure you subscribe!
Pizza is a go-to when it comes to almost any social event.
Birthday parties, Superbowl parties, even weddings (yes, I have actually been to a wedding where they served pizza as their main dish)! The question is: What is your most Efficient Pizza?
|Menu Item||Before Tax Price||Calories Per Dollar||Protein Per Dollar||Cost If Eaten All Year||Calories||Protein|
|Little Caesars Large Pepperoni||$5.00||448||21||$1,629||2240||104|
|Little Caesars Large Cheese||$5.00||400||19||$1,825||2000||96|
|Little Caesars Large Meat Lovers||$8.00||340||15||$2,147||2720||120|
|Jets Pizza Large Cheese||$12.49||248||11||$2,941||3100||140|
|Little Caesars Large Veggie||$8.99||240||12||$3,038||2160||104|
|Jets Pizza Large Pepperoni||$14.28||238||11||$3,066||3400||150|
|Jets Pizza Large Meat Lovers||$17.00||224||11||$3,266||3800||180|
|Hungry Howies Large Cheese||$9.00||222||11||$3,285||2000||100|
|Jets Pizza Small Cheese||$8.49||198||15||$3,689||1680||130|
|Hungry Howies Large Pepperoni||$10.79||195||9||$3,751||2100||100|
|Hungry Howies Large Meat Lovers||$15.00||193||9||$3,776||2900||140|
|Dominos Large Cheese||$12.00||193||10||$3,776||2320||120|
|Hungry Howies Small Cheese||$5.00||192||9||$3,802||960||46|
|Dominos Large Meat Lovers||$16.00||185||7||$3,946||2960||111|
|Jets Pizza Small Pepperoni||$9.88||182||13||$4,007||1800||130|
|Dominos Large Pepperoni||$13.50||178||7||$4,106||2400||96|
|Jets Pizza Large Veggie||$17.00||176||7||$4,137||3000||120|
|Dominos Small Cheese||$7.00||171||8||$4,258||1200||54|
|Papa John’s Large Pepperoni||$15.74||163||5||$4,488||2560||80|
|Hungry Howies Small Pepperoni||$6.29||162||8||$4,502||1020||48|
|Papa John’s Large Meat Lovers||$18.99||160||6||$4,560||3040||120|
|Buddy’s Large Pepperoni||$16.99||159||6||$4,600||2696||104|
|Buddy’s Large Cheese||$15.49||158||5||$4,634||2440||80|
|Dominos Small Pepperoni||$8.00||158||6||$4,635||1260||48|
|Dominos Large Veggie||$16.00||155||8||$4,710||2480||128|
|Papa John’s Large Cheese||$13.99||154||6||$4,728||2160||80|
|Hungry Howies Large Veggie||$16.00||144||13||$5,078||2300||210|
|Buddy’s Large Meat Lovers||$21.49||135||6||$5,402||2904||120|
|Buddy’s Small Cheese||$9.49||129||4||$5,678||1220||40|
|Buddy’s Small Pepperoni||$10.49||129||6||$5,681||1348||64|
|Papa John’s Small Pepperoni||$9.99||126||6||$5,788||1260||60|
|Papa John’s Small Cheese||$8.99||120||3||$6,077||1080||30|
|Papa John’s Large Veggie||$18.99||118||4||$6,189||2240||80|
|Buddy’s Large Veggie||$21.49||113||4||$6,472||2424||88|
As we’ve known from our original Calorie Per Dollar List The Little Caesar’s 5 Dollar Pizza is your highest Calorie Per Dollar and Protein Per Dollar on the list. It should be noted, this food is 2 times more cost effective than any other pizza place. That’s impressive. However, this still costs about 2x more than we spend on food.
I personally cannot handle Little Caesar’s anymore, I had it on Tuesday Nights too many times during my childhood. Apparently my sister having dance class was an excuse to buy those calories 😛
I was shocked to see Jet’s Large Cheese so high on the list, while we don’t eat much pizza, Jets actually tastes okay (IMO) and scored really well.
Honorable mention to Hungry Howies which averages around third place.
The difference in prices get drastic quickly too. Papa Johns and Domino’s costs almost 50% more. At that point I would go to a local favorite, Buddy’s Pizza for nearly the same price point.
If you wanted your restaurant made Efficient, you need to comment and we can study it!
Check out Nutrition Per Dollar, a gigantic study that will teach you quickly how to avoid the expensive foods and continue eating what you like.
You have your ‘gas price’ app on your phone, and you spot a deal a few miles away.
Depending on how much you are Worth, Cost of Gas, and your Tank Size, will decide if that is a deal.
Warning- This article has a bunch of Fun Math. Easy multiplication and addition. If you want to skip the math and learn The Rule Of Thumb, skip to the end.
Table of ‘givens’
Gallons To Fill * Gas Station Price Difference = Total Profit
Total Profit is the actual dollars you would be holding.
Using Miles Traveled and Average Miles Per Hour, we can calculate the extra time it takes to get gas.
If you value your time at 10$/hr you get $ Lost In Time.
Life Profit = Total Profit$ – $ Lost In Time.
Life Profit is a conversion of your Time Value ($/hr) into dollars. I’m not certain this the most significant value in this study. I personally find the Total Profit and Lifetime Vacation Days Lost
Vacation Days is the lifetime cost if you did this weekly, in units of 8 hours(A vacation day). Skip this to save 26 vacation days worth of time in your lifetime.
Takeaways, savings are pretty minimal, a 100$ dollars a year if you are lucky. At a very lucky extreme you are saving $10,000 in your lifetime. I personally think its too much effort.
Anything beyond 1 mile away is almost always a waste of a minimum wage worker’s time.
Should wait until the next gas station on your way home to get gas?
You don’t know future prices, and after you pass a gas station, you cannot turn around. Previous are Eliminated.
I love that probability can be used in real life. This is literally no extra effort, this is optimization of the current process with math.
Anyone have other Real Life Applications of The Secretary Problem? Would you use this to pick a line at the grocery store?
I need to name a Unit. Only in 4th grade did I imagine this day 😛
1/(second * dollar). or Per second dollar. Studying Life and adding Time dimensions will allow Quality metrics to be more comparable.
I really don’t want to name it Kirk, but naming after famous people/things may cause confusion. Do you have any cool sounds/acronyms/ideas for a New Unit name?? If you don’t comment, I’m going to name it Kirk.
This math will change your life.
There are two types of data presented. Nutrition Per Dollar and Nutrition Ratio Total(Sum).
A straight addition of nutrients would yield an unimportant number due to a wildly high amount of Vitamin A in carrots.
The solution was to remove the dimensions of each to find a Nutrient Ratio:
(Ingredient’s Nutrient mg/dollar) / Max Nutrient mg/dollar
This creates a scale from 0 to 1, where 1 is the best value for that Nutrient/$. By removing the dimensions, we can now add these up. If we decided we wanted to weight one nutrient over others, we could use multiplication.
The numbers below are an addition of 37 micronutrients I considered beneficial.
On Data Collection- I nearly always picked the lowest cost option, and obtained nutrition data from here.
Understanding and implementing top 50 ranked foods is valuable.
Nutrition Ratio Total = Sum of 37 (Nutrient/$ / Highest Nutrient/$). The original Nutrient/$ can be found below.
The Nutrition Ratio Total is good for understanding scale of value. IE: Oranges(1.57) are 3x more Nutritious Per Dollar than Lemons(0.51).
If you havent eaten a specific vegetable before, I’d toss the veggie into something you already enjoy. We started adding Spinach or Kale to our friend rice. After 10 minutes of cooking, it still tastes like my favorite fried rice in the world, but it has Kale.
Frozen food doesnt show up until #19, where Frozen Carrots are 2x more expensive than Fresh Carrots. The lesson here is to reduce/eliminate canned and frozen food. Fresh/Raw foods are typically cheaper.
One more cost saving tip- Replace a $1.69 Red Pepper with Carrots. Just as sweet.
Flour + Cereal- Apparently low fiber and enriched with vitamins help you score pretty well. Monster took a note from them. We sometimes use flour to thicken our soups/stews, but that’s about it.
Here is the Excel Data:
A half decade of studying this topic and having to cook for my ‘used to be picky’ wife, here is my ultimate guide to eating the most nutritious, healthy, low cost food ever. We aim to eat around 700 Calories Per Dollar and my ‘used to be picky’ wife now prefers our menu over restaurants.
Protein– Beans, Lentils, Chicken, Eggs, Milk, and potentially discounted meats(turkey,pork/ground beef).
Veggies– Leafy greens, Carrots, and in-season veggies
Carbs– Pick Bread, Rice, Noodles- Don’t buy premade boxed rice/noodles.
Spices– Reward yourself. By eating at home you can borderline go wild on spices, sauces, etc… I’ll stay within ~1$ on things like, cream of chicken, a variety of spices, dressing, BBQ sauces, etc…
Salt, Lemon/Lime/Vinegar, Sugar, Butter/Oil/Fats, and umami taste good.
Add each slowly and taste like you would testing saltiness. If you are unaware of these cheat codes to cooking, they are worth googling.
Play around with texture, how you cook each type of food. Mess around with timing when you add spices/sauces.
My preferred texture, usually uses this method to cooking anything- Cook chicken on medium-high ~4 minutes, flip, 4 minutes, (optional deglaze), throw in veggies, cook everything for ~8 minutes. Serve on top of the carb. Change around timing when you add spices and sauces, the order will slightly change the finished product.
Everything tastes good. There are almost 0 foul flavors. Just make sure you Salt, Add an Acid, Add sweetness, Fats, and Umami (the 5 things up top).
I go to the lowest cost store in my area with a printed out grocery list of what we are eating for the week(we cycle through 28 recipes).
Writing the list was a solid 1 hour job to type everything out and plan it. We even sorted by isle. However after 5 years of using it, grocery shopping takes less than 15 minutes including checkout.
Pick fresh veggies, chicken, eggs, milk. Our list is more specific but we often will grab low cost, in-season foods. When in doubt- You are still saving money not eating out, and all food will taste good.
Buy fresh instead of canned, frozen. Avoid processed rice/noodles.
Chicken Rice Peas
There will be a recipe for it. And since all food tastes good, it probably will too.
Avoid Fast Food, Restaurants, Boxed Food, Canned Food, Frozen Food, Processed Food. (sorry, I just really want to save you money.)
Even Clif Bars on sale for 1$ off were less than 20g Protein Per Dollar.
You were told, McDonalds was the cheapest, most nutritious food. How did that 440 Calorie Per Dollar propaganda spread? Today its 2-3x more expensive than anything we eat.
How much did McDonald’s pay The Telegraph to write the article “McDouble is ‘cheapest and most nutritious food in human history'” ?
You were told Prepared Foods are cheaper than fresh food.
Nice move Marketing Companies. You got away with it for, ~20 years?
After years of studying cost effective eating- Healthy, fresh foods are almost always cheaper than anything a company prepares and re-sells.
We understand the convenience factor of having food prepared for us. That has value.
However, Marketing Companies pushed the idea their foods are low cost. I thought I was saving money by eating canned veggies.
Data shuts the myth down.
Taco Bell is my guilty pleasure. Mrs. Efficiency was dead set on hating Taco Bell, suffering on hard tacos with Ground Beef and lettuce. No cheese, nothing-
The magic of a Loaded Potato Griller has changed her life forever.
|Menu Item||Before Tax Price||Calories Per Dollar||Protein Per Dollar||Cost If Eaten All Year||Calories||Protein|
|Beefy Fritos Burrito||$1.00||430||13.0||1698||430||13|
|Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito||$1.00||420||11.0||1738||420||11|
|Grilled Breakfast Burrito||$1.00||340||11.0||2147||340||11|
|Grilled Breakfast Burrito Fiesta Potato||$1.00||340||10.0||2147||340||10|
|Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla||$1.00||330||14.0||2212||330||14|
|Triple Layer Nachos||$1.00||320||7.0||2281||320||7|
|Beefy 5 Layer Burrito||$1.69||296||11.2||2467||500||19|
|Caramel Apple Empanada||$1.00||280||3.0||2607||280||3|
|Loaded Potato Griller||$1.59||258||7.5||2831||410||12|
|Breakfast Soft Taco||$1.00||240||11.0||3042||240||11|
|Beefy Nacho Griller||$1.59||233||7.5||3137||370||12|
|Spicy Potato Soft Taco||$1.00||230||5.0||3174||230||5|
|Breakfast Crunchwrap California||$2.79||226||7.5||3233||630||21|
|Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller||$1.59||214||8.8||3414||340||14|
|Shredded Chicken Burrito||$1.89||212||8.5||3449||400||16|
|Beef Mini Quesadilla||$1.00||210||9.0||3476||210||9|
|XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito-Beef||$4.19||205||7.6||3557||860||32|
|Cinnabon Delights 12 pack||$4.89||190||1.8||3838||930||9|
|Cheesy Roll Up||$1.00||180||9.0||4056||180||9|
|Mini Skillet Bowl||$1.00||180||5.0||4056||180||5|
|Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadilla||$1.00||180||12.0||4056||180||12|
|Cheesy Potato Burrito||$2.69||178||6.7||4091||480||18|
|Black Bean Burrito||$2.19||174||6.4||4207||380||14|
|Cinnabon Delights 4 pack||$1.79||173||1.7||4215||310||3|
|Cheesy Gordita Crunch||$2.89||173||6.9||4219||500||20|
|Cheesy Gordita Crunch||$2.89||173||6.9||4219||500||20|
|Doubledilla- Steak w/ chips and salsa||$4.99||170||8.0||4286||850||40|
|Double Decker Taco||$1.89||169||7.4||4312||320||14|
|Doubledilla- Chicken w/ chips and salsa||$4.99||168||8.2||4337||840||41|
|Chips & Salsa||$1.49||168||2.0||4351||250||3|
|Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes||$1.39||165||2.2||4412||230||3|
|Cinnabon Delights 2 Pack||$1.00||160||2.0||4563||160||2|
|Double Decker Taco Supreme||$2.19||155||6.4||4702||340||14|
|Chips & Guacamole||$1.49||154||2.0||4729||230||3|
|Chips & Cheese||$1.49||148||2.0||4944||220||3|
|Pintos N Cheese||$1.29||147||7.8||4956||190||10|
|Naked Chicken Chalupa||$2.99||147||6.7||4961||440||20|
|Fiesta Taco Salad-Beef||$5.19||146||5.2||4985||760||27|
|Soft Taco Supreme||$1.59||132||6.3||5527||210||10|
|Power Menu Burrito-Steak||$3.79||121||6.6||6015||460||25|
|Black beans and rice||$1.49||121||4.0||6043||180||6|
|Crunchy Taco Surpreme||$1.59||119||5.0||6109||190||8|
|Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos||$1.49||114||5.4||6398||170||8|
|Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos||$1.49||114||5.4||6398||170||8|
|Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos||$1.49||114||5.4||6398||170||8|
|Chips & Pico De Gallo||$1.49||114||1.3||6398||170||2|
|Power Menu Burrito- Veggie||$3.79||113||3.7||6434||430||14|
|Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Surpreme||$1.89||101||4.8||7262||190||9|
|Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme||$1.89||101||4.8||7262||190||9|
|Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme||$1.89||101||4.2||7262||190||8|
|Power Menu Bowl||$4.99||96||5.6||7589||480||28|
|Power Menu Bowl- Veggie||$4.99||92||3.2||7919||460||16|
|Chicken Soft Taco||$1.79||89||6.7||8167||160||12|
|Grilled Steak Soft Taco||$2.49||80||4.8||9089||200||12|
|Airheads Blue Rasberry freeze||$2.19||78||0.0||9404||170||0|
|Premium Latin Rice||$1.49||67||1.3||10877||100||2|
Despite having a 400 Calorie Per Dollar item, thats still almost 2x more than we spend on homecooked food. Most menu items were around 150-250 calories per dollar, 4x more expensive than eating at home.
A year eating at home eating Efficiently costs around $1,000/person- Eating at Taco Bell, $4,000 a year.
If you have an efficiency request, I engineer solutions to life’s problems. Comment a task, restaurant, or process you want made efficient, I’ll make sure it gets efficient!
With over 35,000 locations, this one will probably end up coming in handy.
Select higher items that are similar – You get 50% more buying a Jr. Mac instead of a Big Mac. Not sure how picky you are, but some items are simply better deals.
Remove things you wouldn’t have ordered anyway – If you are a repeat customer, eliminate the over-the-top expensive items you weren’t a fan of. I never really liked their Fillet-o-Fish much anyway.
Fill up when desperate on Cheese Burgers – The protein + calories is going to be the best you are going to get. Consider purchasing a preferable item and one cheese burger for calories.
Should you get a drink? Drinks are technically Infinity Calories Per Dollar. Is it ethical to buy a soda pop and use McDonalds as a wifi hub all day? I can imagine drinking a lot of Calories, Caffeine and getting some work done.
If you frequent a specific location and want your customized data, download the list and enter your prices. The orders, calories, and protein servings are there for you. Also included in the excel file is Protein/Calorie and a dimensionless weighing system. Prices were similar enough between restaurants to make Efficient decisions.New functionality! Click on a unit to sort
|Menu Item||Before Tax Price||Calories Per Dollar||Protein Per Dollar||Cost If Eaten All Year||Calories||Protein|
|2 Apple Pies||$1.29||356.6||3.1||$2,047.17||460||4|
|Fresh Baked muffin||$1.49||302.0||4.7||$2,417.11||450||7|
|Big breakfast with hotcakes||$5.49||245.9||6.4||$2,968.67||1350||35|
|Oreo Mcflurry w/ candies||$2.69||234.2||4.8||$3,116.98||630||13|
|20 Pc. McNugget||$5.19||171.5||9.4||$4,256.97||890||49|
|Classic Chicken Sandwich||$3.00||170.0||8.3||$4,294.12||510||25|
|Sausage Buscuit with Egg||$3.49||151.9||4.9||$4,806.98||530||17|
|Sweet BBQ Bacon crispy chicken||$5.49||151.2||7.7||$4,828.55||830||42|
|Hot Caramel Macchiato||$2.79||143.4||4.7||$5,091.75||400||13|
|Sausage,Egg & Cheese McGriddles||$3.89||141.4||5.1||$5,163.09||550||20|
|Sweet BBQ Bacon burger||$5.49||140.3||7.7||$5,204.81||770||42|
|Sausage biscuit with egg||$3.79||139.8||4.5||$5,220.19||530||17|
|Pico Guacamole crispy chicken||$5.19||138.7||6.4||$5,262.08||720||33|
|2 Snack Wraps||$4.38||137.0||9.6||$5,329.00||600||42|
|Garlic White Chedder crispy chicken||$5.19||134.9||6.4||$5,412.43||700||33|
|Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles||$4.09||134.5||4.4||$5,428.55||550||18|
|Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit||$3.59||133.7||5.3||$5,459.79||480||19|
|Sausage McMuffin with Egg||$3.59||130.9||5.8||$5,575.96||470||21|
|Fruit & Mapple oatmeal||$2.40||129.2||2.5||$5,651.61||310||6|
|10 Pc. Buttermilk Crispy Tenders||$9.69||129.0||10.1||$5,658.96||1250||98|
|Double Quarter Pounder||$5.99||128.5||8.5||$5,678.83||770||51|
|Pico Guacamole burger||$5.19||127.2||6.6||$5,740.45||660||34|
|2 Pc. Buttermilk Crispy Tenders||$2.00||125.0||10.0||$5,840.00||250||20|
|Garlic White Chedder burger||$5.19||123.3||6.4||$5,919.84||640||33|
|Sweet BBQ Bacon grilled chicken||$5.49||122.0||9.1||$5,981.64||670||50|
|Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel||$4.55||120.9||5.7||$6,039.09||550||26|
|Bacon, Egg & Cheese biscuit||$3.89||115.7||4.6||$6,310.44||450||18|
|Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel||$4.85||113.4||5.2||$6,437.27||550||25|
|Southwest buttermilk chicken salad||$4.79||108.6||5.8||$6,724.42||520||28|
|Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles||$3.89||108.0||4.6||$6,761.19||420||18|
|Buttermilk Crispy Chicken||$5.29||107.8||5.3||$6,774.91||570||28|
|Bacon Ranch salad w/ buttermilk chicken||$4.59||106.8||7.2||$6,838.16||490||33|
|Mango Pineapple smoothie||$3.19||106.6||1.3||$6,849.12||340||4|
|Pico Guacamole grilled chicken||$5.19||106.0||8.1||$6,888.55||550||42|
|Strawberry Banana smoothie||$3.19||103.4||1.3||$7,056.67||330||4|
|10 Pc. Chicken Nuggets||$4.29||102.6||5.6||$7,117.50||440||24|
|Garlic White Chedder grilled chicken||$5.19||102.1||8.1||$7,148.49||530||42|
|Fruit & yogurt parfait||$1.49||100.7||2.7||$7,251.33||150||4|
|Iced Caramel Macchiato||$2.79||75.3||2.2||$9,698.57||210||6|
|Southwest Grilled chicken salad||$4.79||73.1||7.7||$9,990.57||350||37|
|Artisan Grilled Chicken||$5.29||71.8||7.0||$10,162.37||380||37|
|Bacon Ranch salad w/ Grilled chicken||$4.59||69.7||9.2||$10,470.94||320||42|
|Egg White delight McMuffin||$3.89||66.8||4.6||$10,921.92||260||18|
See how we apply engineering to life.
After a weekend of lots of coffee, infinity CPD cream, and infinity CPD sugar later- we have our Caffeine Per Dollar List
EDIT 2-7-17: It was pointed out that the caffeine content in coffee was about 20% higher than it should be. Accuracy is the most important and the photo and excel download below has been updated.
Bolded are some products I found interesting to compare. Take note of how similar products have similar amounts of Caffeine Per Dollar. McDonalds and Starbucks were comparable to each other, but much more expensive than their home brew counterparts.
Got me through many Chem Engineering exams-
>Take Caffeine Pill with a bunch of water
>Set timer for 40 minutes, enjoy life to the fullest- aka game.
>Timer rings, caffeine kicks in, get to work
>Set timer for 5 hours (you study until the half life hits)
>Dream about the subject matter
Bonus points if you ran or napped recently. Worked best for Organic Chem, I used to dream in compounds.
There are two items I didnt list above, but collected data for.
1,500 g Caffeine Powder Pure (Synthetic) From PureBulk – 22,000 mg Caffeine Per Dollar
25 kg 100% Pure Caffeine Anhydrous USP From Nutra Vita Shop – 38,400 mg Caffeine Per Dollar
The problem with pure caffeine is that a scoop of it will kill you. That teaspoon you use to scoop sugar with could kill a few people. Not easy to use.
Ever since BOFAD(Bag of Flour A Day) became a meme on fitness message boards, I’m a bit more conservative on what I put in an infographic.
I’ll take my delicious house coffee. Black or lots of cream lots of sugar – I love coffee.
Happy Thanksgiving! Fun topic for this week, don’t take it too seriously.
We are looking for sources of Infinity Calories Per Dollar or as most people will call it, free food.
1 Calorie / 0$ = infinity
(technically this doesn’t equal infinity, but rather approaches infinity however – no calculus until after dinner)
Originally I thought this was going to be silly – telling people to eat sugar at their local coffee store, but I think there is something fascinating about
I often see engineer’s cubicles have this printed:
Given those, there are all sorts of ways to classify each ‘deal’.
These assume either Sunk Cost, or Calories are infinite (infinity/30$ is still tending towards infinity)
Right away, there are a few things that caught my attention:
There is a fine line between frugal and theft, I don’t feel bad about taking an extra few sugar packets, but I don’t think its right to take all of the sugar packets.
Deals are misleading
- Buy one get one free, is not actually free.
- Coupons/rewards usually require an expensive upfront cost.
Unless you are walking to a location, gasoline costs money.
There is time cost to doing any of these. How often do you drive by the place you have a coupon on the way home from work?
Upon doing this I decided – its SOOO much easier, tastier, and healthier to just cook food.
We eat for ~3$/day and personally, I’d put more time into looking for a higher paying job before signing up for Red Robin Birthday Coupons.
My exception is Work Food and Sunk Cost when they are healthy. I’ve outgrown work’s weekly donuts, but I’m a sucker for protein filled sandwiches. Regarding the chips and salsa, I can’t tell if I love salsa or I love getting Infinity Calories Per Dollar.
Don’t take this topic too seriously, its a fun little exception when math extremes intersects with life. Hope you enjoyed some quirky math this week. Next time, Caffeine per Dollar, I hope I dont kill anyone….
Do you have any places you get free food? Comment below and I’ll do the data science.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about this information. It seemed replacing your dining ware(forks, spoons, utensils, cups, plates, bowls) with plastic or disposable was clearly the time efficient solution. It isn’t responsible to release an article encouraging people to increase their waste.
It sparked us to looked deep for a solution, which we were shocked to find. It wasnt ‘green’ disposable, as it was was 3-4 times more expensive. And really? How ‘green’ is something its manufactured and shipped? Disposable dining ware is affordable but the time savings didnt add up.
I’ll post the raw data without commentary for informational purposes, but continue reading to see our surprising conclusion and recommendation.
We did a Timestudy on loading and unloading the dishes vs disposable. Pretty basic, but we wanted to put real numbers with tasks. We found:
Silverware is bought once. Disposable plates and utensils are bought a few times a year, adding a few minutes at the grocery store.
Daily transportation of dining ware and food are identical in steps/timing.
After use at the dining room table, the dishes must be moved to the trash or dishwasher. Considering the dishwasher and garbage are pretty close to each other. Loading into a dishwasher takes negligible additional time.
Note: This may fail if the dishwasher is full, causing rework.
When cleaned, the time putting dishes away is noteworthy
3 loads of dishes later and a weirded out friend on a Friday night, I have a good range of data regarding the time it takes to unload dishes.
To replace all your forks, spoons, plates, with disposable you would save:
1 Fork + 1 Plate = ~6s/meal
6s/meal * 3 meals/day = 18s/day
18s/day * 365 days/year = 2190 s =
109 minutes a year per person. But it takes more than 18 seconds a day to do dishes, where does that come from?
The painful part of dishes arent the silverware or plates, its the odd objects. Stacking Tupperware, building to-go mugs, and putting away single objects away are time heavy.
Having to walk across your kitchen to put something away takes seconds going there, and seconds going back. I could put away 4 meals worth of plates in the time it takes me to put away a special appliance.
Comparing only disposable to dishwashed cups, forks, spoons, bowls, and plates we can find out
From above, 18s a day/person = 109min/year
109 min/yr = 1.8 hrs/year
$120 for 1 year all disposable dining ware
$120/1.8 hrs = $66/hour luxury
If you are making less than 66$/hour, its a luxury to use disposable dishware.
From the original table it only costs 120$/yr to use low cost disposable dishware. ~400 dollars for the ‘green’ alternative($220/hr).
A few people have pointed out this is only the price mathematics, using this much disposable stuff might cause an environmental disaster. Regardless, disposable forks seems expensive for the time you actually save, I’ll let you use the data make your own decisions.
The biggest surprise to me, was how quick plates and forks were to put away and take out of the dishwasher. The big lesson learned was seeing how long it took to clean or put away a unique object. Pareto rule, 80% of the time comes from 20% of the dishes.
I wont be switching to disposable any time soon, however I’ll be looking to move our oven pans and wok closer to the action.
Can you move anything in your kitchen to reduce walking distances? Look around and think about it when you are cooking or doing the dishes. If you can find a way to save 30s a day, it would add up to be more than 150 hours of your life. Thats like 4 weeks paid vacation! Efficiency!
If you want me to look into kitchen or home time-studies or ergonomics comment below.
Note: I have a huge study coming up in the realm of – “paper plates per dollar”. Its been a struggle trying to find an environmentally responsible, cost efficient, and time saving solution – BUT I’m almost there.
I got a special surprise this week:
We have an interview loaded with Efficiency tips, including a little bit of theory, and a lot to learn. It turned out fantastic and anyone will learn something they can apply to save money or gain time right away. Dennis from Grounded Reason did a great job leading the topic.
I start talking at about 8 minutes into the podcast, but Dennis has a really interesting note about how to play Monopoly that anyone who plays boardgames should listen to.
Grounded Reason finds solutions to cutting your cable bill, reducing or eliminating your monthly bill. Midway through the interview I do a calculation that even sunrises me:
Average American watches 2 hours a day
Each hour has 20 minutes of commercials
40 minutes a day of commercials
40 minutes of commercials x 365 days x 50 years= 730,000 minutes or 12,000 hours.
If you could get that in 8 hour vacation days, that would be 1,500 days off work.
That is one of the biggest uses of time I’ve ever seen – with solutions
Check out the Grounded Reason website and see how they can save you money on the cable bill – at $90/month that comes out to $54,000 in a lifetime. Not even mentioning getting rid of 12 thousand hours of commercials.
And definitely listen to this podcast when you have a chance. Be double efficient and do it on an unavoidable car ride.