16 Jul 2021

Hourly rates for a domestic cleaner range from about $30 to $40 per hour.

Weekly chores can add up to more than 10 hours of extra work, and depending on what your time is worth, it could be more cost-effective to outsource certain tasks.

From washing laundry to preparing meals, REDnews has explored five chores that could be worth outsourcing if your hourly rate is worth more than the cost of hiring the job out.

With the right balance of outsourced tasks, your weekends could become significantly freer of household maintenance.


Household Cleaning

Whether you reserve time in your weekend to clean the house or try to spread it over the weekdays, cleaning can add up to more than a hundred hours per year.

Hourly rates for a domestic cleaner range from about $30 to $40 per hour in New Zealand, depending on location and the size of your property. If you need two cleaners for the job, rates can range from $40 to $70 per hour.

Extra services such as carpet cleaning and deep cleaning can cost extra, however for general household cleaning, the cost of hiring a professional can be worth the cost.

If your overall household income comes in at the same or more than the hourly rate of the cleaner, it could be worth outsourcing the chore once a week or once a fortnight.

Paying a cleaner can also solve another problem – the argument over whose turn it is to clean the shower!

Estimated annual cost: From $1,560 to $3,120 (based on one hour cleaning per week and two hours per week respectively).


Grocery Shopping

Getting groceries delivered is a cost-effective option.

Going to the supermarket for your weekly shop can take up to two hours, including travel time, shopping and waiting in the check-out line. And if your household shop mainly consists of tried and trusted products and produce you buy every week, why not outsource it?

Outsourcing your grocery shopping can be diverted to online shopping. Across the major supermarket chains, options to collect the order costs approximately $5; getting the order delivered costs around $15 for orders up to $200 and around $10 for orders worth more than $200.

All you have to do is select a time slot for delivery and voilà.

Customer satisfaction with grocery deliveries have an average score of 67%, according to consumer.org.nz.

Estimated annual cost: From $520 to $780 (based on delivery of weekly grocery shops of less than $200 a week and more than $200 per week respectively).


Prepared Meals

Planning and preparing household meals for the week can take up hours of headspace that could be better used on other areas of life. Hence the rise in popularity of meal kit companies in New Zealand.

My Food Bag, Hello Fresh, Emma’s Food Bag, Kiwi Fresh and The Kai Box all deliver healthy prepped ingredients and recipes for quick, easy dinners.

Prices vary from $89 for three dinners for two-to-three people, up to $194 for five dinners for four people. There are also plenty of options for various dietary requirements

Once you learn a selection of new meals your family enjoy, you could switch to ordering the same ingredients through your online grocery shop instead.

Estimated annual cost: From $10,828 to $14,162 (based on 365 dinner meals for three to four people).


Laundry and Ironing

Laundry and ironing can be outsourced to a cleaner or external company.

Washing, ironing, pressing and folding can all be outsourced, as well your usual dry cleaning. There are several companies across New Zealand offering laundry pick up and drop off services with a 48-hour turnaround. Some companies in Auckland also offer 12 to 24-hour turnaround times if urgent.

Prices can range from $33, up to $45, depending on the size of your laundry load and including pick up and drop off. Dry cleaning services are more expensive but are usually required less often than your weekly laundry loads.

Another option is to include laundry in the list of chores for your household cleaner to undertake, which may work out to be the cheaper option.

Estimated annual cost: From $1,716 to $2,340 (based on small to large loads per week with pick up and drop off, not including dry cleaning).


Lawnmowing and Gardening

Whether you just need the lawns mowed once every couple of weeks, or a full landscaping service with weeding and hedge trimming, there are a large variety of companies nationwide offering these services.

Gardeners' hourly rates can start from $30 or be priced at a flat rate of $40 for lawn mowing, while you save hours of manual labour on your weekends. Lawn mowing only needs to be done once a fortnight, so it’s one of the more cost-effective chores to outsource, depending on the size of your section.

Landscaping and gardening flat rates are more expensive than lawn mowing and depend on the individual job description. Hedges can also be priced on height.

Estimated annual cost: From $780 to $1,040 (based on lawn mowing once a fortnight).


Our pick:

Whatever your budget, the grocery service seems like a no-brainer. Ordering online and having the groceries dropped off saves you about two hours a week and only costs $10. That’s great value on almost any budget - and it’ll probably keep you away from impulse buying in that alluring chocolate aisle!


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