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How Much Should I Charge for Cooking, Cleaning and Shopping?

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I recently accepted a job which I'll be starting in about a month working 8 hours a week cooking meals, doing the grocery shopping, laundry, and very light cleaning (the family has a separate weekly housecleaner). I have no idea what to charge for this kind of thing. I'm a college student struggling to pay tuition, so I want to get as much as I can, but at the same time want the fee to be reasonable. They are a wealthy family, so I think I could get a decent wage, but am not really sure what to suggest. Any input?

Kristin from Upstate NY



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By Kristin (Guest Post)08/14/2006

Thanks everyone for the feedback!!

By the time I got many responses, she had already called to ask me what I wanted to charge, and so I said $12/hour, which she thought was reasonable. They live only a couple of minutes away with the supermarket right up the street, and so I won't be charging gas money. AND she has already insisted that I do my own laundry there AND make enough of whatever meal I'm making to bring home some for my boyfriend and I, which is awesome (because then I don't have to make 2 meals!). So all in all, I thought 12 would be reasonable. Thanks for all the input!

By Lynda (Guest Post)08/13/2006

I'd ask for $15.00/hr. regardless, PLUS GAS, and .10
mile if using your own car. Otherwise, insist on good insurance coverage if driving theirs, AND that the car be full of gas each day. Write every single instruction
down, if they don't, and be so specific that there is no room for error, otherwise there's room for misunderstanding. Laundry can be particularly tedious, so pay special attention to labels. If no washing instructions on colored items, lay them aside for owner instructions and write it down. If there
is pre-existing damage to the clothing, show it to the owner and write their response down.
Keeping a tiny but accurate journal, "with their permission so there is no misunderstanding" is only good business on both your parts. Remember that
shorter hours usually gets a higher wage, just as if you were in Temporary Employment who charge enough to keep part of what salary their employees
earn="a decent wage". You are obviously intelligent
because you are in college and willing to also work.
Balance your time well, learn to judge distance, call
ahead everywhere possible to save time/gas, be
willing to get owner's permission to substitute? and
write that fact down before going, such as another
brand or item. If out of stock, would the owner want
a rain check, or for you to call ahead to another store
across town to retrieve the item there? Keep a Mapsco handy if in a new area, and know where the
phone books are. That job is not as easy as one might imagine.The employers may be very picky in what/how/when they want the cooking done. Private Cooking is WELL worth the fee and no chef would work for that. Suggest you discuss how flexible they are, and remind them that you will need a little time to get into their routine and to fill their expectations. That should the juggling of all those jobs get too difficult, you would like the privilege of renegotiating your problems and rate. Good luck and God bless.

By Judy Harris [28]08/07/2006

Since you are doing the shopping as well,I think you should charge $ 12.00 -$15.00 an hour. Will you be driving your car, or theirs? You need to take the price of gas these days into consideration as well. I also agree with the person who suggested asking around as to what the going rate is in your area. You may be able to get an even higher rate. Good luck. Judy

By reva08/07/2006

check around and see what the going rate is for personal chefs in your area. That is what you are doing. I have heard that it can pay quite well.

By Katie [3]08/07/2006


By Beverly (Guest Post)08/07/2006

What area you are in would make a difference as pay varies from area to area. But where I live (TN) I would think $10.00 an hour would be good.

By (Guest Post)08/05/2006

not sure but when you figure it out let me know so I can charge my dear husband

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