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elderly couple lives about 10 mins from me in need of someone to cook breakfast and lunch for them.

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My two cents are for an hourly figure especially since breakfast and lunch are two meals that can vary hugely in complexity to prepare depending on what they might feel like eating; Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream and fresh squeezed orange juice is a far cry from oatmeal with sliced banana and coffee. They same holds true for the clean up involved - and don't be surprised to find a few extra dishes in the sink. Plus - if you are anything like me, if a sweet little old lady said "Honey, before you leave would it be too much trouble to change the light bulb in the hall"? 30 minutes later you're still there cleaning out the closet to get to the step ladder. My suggestion is $10 - $12 per hour based on how hard the work is - dishwasher vs hand washing and figured in 15 minute increments rounding up or down to the nearest quarter hour. I would even make them a small chart showing if you work until 11:05 you charge until 11:00 but if you work till 11:09 you charge till 11:15. I would in addition, agree to use a clock in the kitchen for THE time. As another poster mentioned older folks with The Great Depression residue on them can be funny about getting their moneys worth.
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I like JessieB's idea of charging a set amount per day rather than by the hour. I have found that some people can get really fixated on "getting their money's worth" and are always watching the clock to catch you coming a few minutes late or leaving early, setting a daily rate eliminates all that.
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I would personally ask $30 a day to prepare and clean up after the two meals. This seems very reasonable to me. Asking less wouldn't be worth tying up my mornings with the schedule. Asking more would be too burdensome on older people who may not have a lot of money to spend. If I ate with them, I would deduct the cost of my food.
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Who is hiring you, the couple or a member of their family? Are you picking up groceries or are they already at the house? Are you going back and forth or staying through from Breakfast to lunch clean up? Since you aren't in a major metropolitan area, I'll start the discussion at $10/hour
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