How To/Get Started – Live on 19k Per Year And Save 20 hours Per Week.

Lead Engineer- Michael Kirk

Efficiency Is Everything exists to teach Everyone(You) how to apply Industrial Engineering on Life to save time and save money.

By the end of this article,  You will be ready to live on less than $19,000 per year and saving 20 hours per week.

This article is designed to be Efficient with tips, our other articles are backed up with Industrial Engineering principles and data.

We will start with Saving Time, this way, after reading this section, you will have a positive time usage of this website. This is a rare phenomenon.

Money Saving tips are further down.

Save Time

Since you are an expert in your own life,  You will be applying the tools. Ahead are ideas. This is today’s lesson,  following this,  we will have direct tips.  

We saved 1+ hour per week optimizing our morning routine with a process flow chart, where You(or a partner) write every detail of every step to complete a routine. After, you look for non-value added steps and aim to eliminate.

Here are the 7 forms of waste, next time you complete your morning routine, do laundry, or cook food, identify these wastes and look for opportunities to eliminate-

  1. Transportation– Movement of products(or yourself). Every repeated step or going ‘out of the way’ is transportation waste. Attempt to reduce Transportation. Long(trips to stores) and short(between rooms).
  2. Motion– While transportation is movement, motion is the action. Moving clothes to find Today’s outfit is an example of Motion waste.
  3. Waiting– Waiting for the shower to get hot, waiting for others to ‘get ready’. Multi-task during this time. Have a plan for when this happens. 
  4. Over Processing– This is ‘trying too hard’. Imagine spending all day making a fancy dinner for the in-laws, only to find out they aren’t picky. That extra effort is waste that could otherwise be allocated to a cleaner bathroom? See Pareto 80/20 rule for application to beauty.
  5. Over Production– Making more than you will use. If you ever meal prepped and had to throw away old food, this is over production.
  6. Defects– Having to spend time ‘reworking’ or throwing away something you put time/money into. Setting your shower temp and getting it too hot/cold is cause for rework. To reduce defects, checklists prevent rework due to forgetting steps.
  7. Inventory– Buying in bulk or ahead of time has a real risk of expiration or wasting space for a long time.

Time for Tips

Reduce transportation of water, save a half hour a week(1400 lifetime hours) by using a large(Gallon) water bottle instead of small cups. 

Increase playback speed of videos, watch a 3 hour move in 2 hours. 

Slip ons and Shoe Horns are the two fastest ways to put on shoes. Stop tying and untying. Saves 100+ lifetime hours. 

Eat two big meals per day to save 1+ hours per week. 

Save 12 hours per week, by taking a 20 minute nap. This is called Biphasic Sleep. Not Engineering, but will change your life with ~2 hours more a day.

Additional Time Saving Articles

Fastest sources of Protein

Ways to cook Protein faster using thermodynamic optimizations.

Find all Time saving articles here.

Save Money

There are only 3 major things to ‘care’ about, to have 2 people live on $19,000 a year.  Food, Insurance, and luxury expenses.

The following food suggestions are a compilation of 4 years of studying Calorie Per Dollar, Protein Per Dollar, and 40+ Nutrients Per Dollar.

Eat Less:

  • Stop eating out, on average you will get 100-200 Calories Per Dollar, rare best values being 400 Calories Per Dollar. Eating out is 7x more expensive than Efficient. If you must, we have the Calories and Protein Per Dollar of most Restaurants.
  • Avoid- Canned, Processed(Boxed) food, Frozen(Boxed) food, fast food, restaurant foods, and pre-made food.

Eat More:

  • Low Cost Carbs– Flour, Rice, Oats, and Noodles. Average 2000-3000 calories per dollar. Best ~7000 Calories Per Dollar.
  • Low Cost Proteins– Lentils, Beans are close to 100g Protein Per Dollar. 2$/lb proteins like Chicken Breast and Pork are around 50g Protein Per Dollar. Milk, Eggs, and ground beef are also recommended for being high in both Protein and Calories Per Dollar. Synergy.
  • Low Cost Veggies- Lettuce, Kale, Carrots, Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Peanuts, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and other Fresh and Frozen veggies topped our Nutrient Per Dollar List. 

With these ideas, you will be able to eat for ~$20 a week. EDIT: 5 year update, more hardcore, eat healthy for $1.50/day.

Free Cookbook and More Food Data

Our cookbook is now free, 28 recipes that will have you eating for ~20$/week.

And we have studied Protein Powder Per Dollar, 3 Minute Meals Per Dollar, Grocery Comparisons, and more on our Food Per Dollar page. 

Reminder – Speak up! if you see anything wrong. Data is the highest quality and incidences are reported.

Save $500,000 on Health Insurance

Health Insurance boils down to the question-

Am I going to get very sick/pregnant/injured this year?

If No-

Pick the lowest cost plan always.

If Yes-

There is an easy calculation, the goal is to have the lowest: Yearly Premiums + Max Out of Pocket.  

This is important, the savings are significant and finding your best health insurance has an opportunity cost of >>$1000/hr. 

Do this! Health Insurance companies are especially scummy with their plans and pricing. You can calculate the correct Health Insurance plan with 2nd grade math. If you spend the <30 minutes to figure this out yearly, you can save thousands of dollars a year.

Check back in the Fall when its time to Buy.

Killing Petty Luxury Expenses

There are many reasons why you may indulge in buying something.

Optimizing this Almost human necessity, there are a few solutions.

The simple way- Add everything to a ‘Christmas’ list, once a year go through this list, and decide if you really want this luxury. If so, this is your time to spend allocated money. This comes with an additional benefit of having extra time to research and find best deals.

Using Data- we have done our own studies on Fun Per Dollar and Dates Per Dollar. This idea that you can get more happiness per dollar is powerful in making good decisions. 

Quick Money Saving Tips

Mathematically the best, 0 effort way to pick a gas station. Observe 30% of the gas stations on your route, remember the lowest cost. The next time you find a lower cost, Stop at that station. If this doesn’t occur. Stop at the last gas station you can. 

Home Drip coffee is 25x  cheaper than Fast Coffee(Starbucks) and Keurig. Likely better for the environment too.  But if you do use fast coffee, we do have Starbucks, Tim HortonsDunkin Donuts Caffeine Per Dollar.

Find Alcohol Per Dollar, Talk Text and 4G Data Per Dollar, High Per Dollar,  and more on our Everything Per Dollar page. 

Why – Our Goal

Efficiency Is Everything was started to share how our ability to live on $19,000 a year and use Industrial Engineering to create more time. 

Limiting information with a paywall seemed contrary to our goal. 

Similar to Wikipedia, we raise money to create Knowledge. We want to study and share our findings in Life Industrial Engineering.

3 Ways To Support

Share with your friends, or donate to create more knowledge for everyone.

With Engineering oversight, low cost Engineering Interns will collect massive amounts of data. This is made available to you, and we draw greater conclusions given our vast knowledge base.

And- Use Efficiency Is Everything. The purpose is to help You apply Industrial Engineering to Life. 


The Future

We continue to grow our model for Engineering Life, recently adding additional quality metrics to studies. The future will look at Home Ergonomics, Efficient Children, Efficient Workouts, More Time Saving Studies, More Data to Save Money.  We recommend subscribing, updates are Quarterly, and each study changes our understanding.

Expand your Efficiency

Get more Efficiency to improve your daily life. Subscribe and get three slow cooker recipes designed to be low cost, quick and healthy.


Thank You

Thank you for taking interest in Efficiency Is Everything.

-Lead Engineer Michael Kirk