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As a stay-at-home wife & Mom, I'd love to be able to help the family budget a bit. Grew up on a small farm & have many skills...unfortunately most aren't really 'money-making'. (Sewing, quilting, cooking, cleaning, home-schooling the kids, etc). Any ideas on what might be do-able, cheap & possible from my home?
 

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I used to sell baked goods at the Farmer's Market, but it is the wrong time of year to be starting that! I do not know about your area, but here the customers drop by 50% once school starts.

A better pathway this time of year may be to save money. $1 saved is $1 earned.

It is early and I am just now starting on my caffiene. Let me think.

For me, the best way to save was in the kitchen. Most weeks Friday would be leftover day: I would take the leftovers out of the fridge and do something interesting with them. Pizza, for instance, can be made using leftover meat, a handful of cheese, some bell peppers or whatever from leftover salad, a home made crust, and by adding fennel to spaghetti sauce. Spagetti sauce makes good pizza sauce, but adding fennel makes it better. Other toppings you might find in leftover food include onion, hot dogs, and whatever.

To make the crust crispy pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Other ways you can use the leftovers include soup, chopping them up and hiding them in spaghetti sauce, adding them to a casserole, and so forth. We had tacos the other day and I chopped up leftover chicken and added it to the beef.

Also shopping. I no longer pay full price for a lot of what we eat: since things like spaghetti sauce go on sale about every 3 months I buy then and stash it in my son's old closet (He moved out) I do the same with tuna, mac n cheese, cake mixes, nd other foods we use regularly. When my kids were young I used a shelf in the laundry room but there is a lot more room in my son's closet and now I all it my pantry. What is in there varies with what is on sale: right now it is cream of mushroom soup and noodles and a box of cereal and..... this drops my food bill every week as if it is not on sale there is a fairly good chance I do not have to buy it. I will wait until it IS on sale and use what is in the pantry until the price is better. And, since I have a freezer I do the same with meat. Right now we only have one or two packages of chicken but we have a lot of pork because the last few weeks that is what was priced the way I want it. We also have steak because it was $3.50 a pound but no hamburger as that was $4.50 a pound and has been for weeks. (DH is on a diet so I only buy the very lean burger)

I am old enough to know a lot of recipes! People do not get bored eating the same meat if it is used in a stir fry one day, tacos the next day, and BBQ 4 days later with a different on-sale meat in between

Also, is there an Aldi's in your area? They are usually-not always- 1/3 cheaper than the regular grocery stores. The selection is not that good so I alternate stores: one week I go to Aldi's and the next week I go to a regular grocery store. Aldi's is best for the things you use a lot of, like milk and eggs and noodles and such.

That is all I can think of for the moment. I may have more suggestions when I am fully awake.

When the kids were home this saved me $20 a week: Now that it I the 2 of us it saves us $10 a week.

There is a "tightwad tips" on the homesteading families forum you might enjoy
 

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I agree with Terri. I work and always found it easier to change my ways to save money than to work overtime. look at the processed food you buy and try making it from scratch. gradually cut down on the amount of detergent you use or make home made cleaners.I always recommend getting the Tightwad Gazette books to learn how to save money( they are from late 80's to early 90's but still give ideas that work today )
 

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Hunter63 Saying Hey and Welcome......From Wisconsin.
 

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Wood Nymph / Toxophilite
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Depending on how much land you have and any restrictions on that you might look into raising animals.

Could you hatch eggs and sell the chicks or ready to lay hens?
Could you get a couple weiner pigs and sell them as butcher hogs?
A couple of us get cheap bull calves from the daries and sell them as grass ready calves.

What about flipping items? Could you scour yard sales for items you know are a good deal, then clean them up and craigslist or ebay them?

The idea about selling handmade items is a great one, too.

You might look into the new takl app and consider doing odd jobs on weekends when your spouse is home to parent. Maybe you have a skill or talent that you could give lessons on (dancen, music, horse riding). If you already home school your kids consider tutoring on the weekends.

And of course the great advice given above about saving money in your everyday.
 

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Welcome! Many skills that aren't money-making are often "tradeable." People who can't afford or won't buy handmade items may be willing to trade for them, especially with Christmas coming up. Or you can offer an hour of your time (cleaning, etc) for an hour of whatever service they offer. Some communities have trade groups (TimeBanks.org, local Facebook groups, MeetUp.com), trade/barter events (check Facebook, Craigslist, and local publications), or try bartering sites like simbi.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I used to sell baked goods at the Farmer's Market, but it is the wrong time of year to be starting that! I do not know about your area, but here the customers drop by 50% once school starts.

A better pathway this time of year may be to save money. $1 saved is $1 earned.

It is early and I am just now starting on my caffiene. Let me think.

For me, the best way to save was in the kitchen. Most weeks Friday would be leftover day: I would take the leftovers out of the fridge and do something interesting with them. Pizza, for instance, can be made using leftover meat, a handful of cheese, some bell peppers or whatever from leftover salad, a home made crust, and by adding fennel to spaghetti sauce. Spagetti sauce makes good pizza sauce, but adding fennel makes it better. Other toppings you might find in leftover food include onion, hot dogs, and whatever.

To make the crust crispy pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Other ways you can use the leftovers include soup, chopping them up and hiding them in spaghetti sauce, adding them to a casserole, and so forth. We had tacos the other day and I chopped up leftover chicken and added it to the beef.

Also shopping. I no longer pay full price for a lot of what we eat: since things like spaghetti sauce go on sale about every 3 months I buy then and stash it in my son's old closet (He moved out) I do the same with tuna, mac n cheese, cake mixes, nd other foods we use regularly. When my kids were young I used a shelf in the laundry room but there is a lot more room in my son's closet and now I all it my pantry. What is in there varies with what is on sale: right now it is cream of mushroom soup and noodles and a box of cereal and..... this drops my food bill every week as if it is not on sale there is a fairly good chance I do not have to buy it. I will wait until it IS on sale and use what is in the pantry until the price is better. And, since I have a freezer I do the same with meat. Right now we only have one or two packages of chicken but we have a lot of pork because the last few weeks that is what was priced the way I want it. We also have steak because it was $3.50 a pound but no hamburger as that was $4.50 a pound and has been for weeks. (DH is on a diet so I only buy the very lean burger)

I am old enough to know a lot of recipes! People do not get bored eating the same meat if it is used in a stir fry one day, tacos the next day, and BBQ 4 days later with a different on-sale meat in between

Also, is there an Aldi's in your area? They are usually-not always- 1/3 cheaper than the regular grocery stores. The selection is not that good so I alternate stores: one week I go to Aldi's and the next week I go to a regular grocery store. Aldi's is best for the things you use a lot of, like milk and eggs and noodles and such.

That is all I can think of for the moment. I may have more suggestions when I am fully awake.

When the kids were home this saved me $20 a week: Now that it I the 2 of us it saves us $10 a week.

There is a "tightwad tips" on the homesteading families forum you might enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used to sell baked goods at the Farmer's Market, but it is the wrong time of year to be starting that! I do not know about your area, but here the customers drop by 50% once school starts.

A better pathway this time of year may be to save money. $1 saved is $1 earned.

It is early and I am just now starting on my caffiene. Let me think.

For me, the best way to save was in the kitchen. Most weeks Friday would be leftover day: I would take the leftovers out of the fridge and do something interesting with them. Pizza, for instance, can be made using leftover meat, a handful of cheese, some bell peppers or whatever from leftover salad, a home made crust, and by adding fennel to spaghetti sauce. Spagetti sauce makes good pizza sauce, but adding fennel makes it better. Other toppings you might find in leftover food include onion, hot dogs, and whatever.

To make the crust crispy pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Other ways you can use the leftovers include soup, chopping them up and hiding them in spaghetti sauce, adding them to a casserole, and so forth. We had tacos the other day and I chopped up leftover chicken and added it to the beef.

Also shopping. I no longer pay full price for a lot of what we eat: since things like spaghetti sauce go on sale about every 3 months I buy then and stash it in my son's old closet (He moved out) I do the same with tuna, mac n cheese, cake mixes, nd other foods we use regularly. When my kids were young I used a shelf in the laundry room but there is a lot more room in my son's closet and now I all it my pantry. What is in there varies with what is on sale: right now it is cream of mushroom soup and noodles and a box of cereal and..... this drops my food bill every week as if it is not on sale there is a fairly good chance I do not have to buy it. I will wait until it IS on sale and use what is in the pantry until the price is better. And, since I have a freezer I do the same with meat. Right now we only have one or two packages of chicken but we have a lot of pork because the last few weeks that is what was priced the way I want it. We also have steak because it was $3.50 a pound but no hamburger as that was $4.50 a pound and has been for weeks. (DH is on a diet so I only buy the very lean burger)

I am old enough to know a lot of recipes! People do not get bored eating the same meat if it is used in a stir fry one day, tacos the next day, and BBQ 4 days later with a different on-sale meat in between

Also, is there an Aldi's in your area? They are usually-not always- 1/3 cheaper than the regular grocery stores. The selection is not that good so I alternate stores: one week I go to Aldi's and the next week I go to a regular grocery store. Aldi's is best for the things you use a lot of, like milk and eggs and noodles and such.

That is all I can think of for the moment. I may have more suggestions when I am fully awake.

When the kids were home this saved me $20 a week: Now that it I the 2 of us it saves us $10 a week.

There is a "tightwad tips" on the homesteading families forum you might enjoy
Love your tips/ideas - thanks so much!!! I actually do a lot of 'scratch' cooking & shop regularly at a local Amish scratch & dent store plus Aldis (& even a Dollar Tree that has a wonderful 'food' section). Now that my kids are teen-aged & older, I want to find ways to do a bit more financially. 4 people living on one income means things get REALLY tight sometimes. Would love to help with some extra towards the fuel bill (winter's just around the corner here in PA) or maybe towards getting the house paid off sooner. Had thought about the sewing/quilting, etc but didn't know if people REALLY buy that stuff much anymore. So easy - & cheap! - to buy mass-produced stuff at WalMart. All of the craft consignment shops in our are have closed. Baking & such in our area - if you want to do it regularly - is a sticky business due to local restrictions/laws, inspections & such. (The guys who work with my husband practically beg for my home-canned veggies, jellies & such so I know I'd have customers!! LOL!) I'll keep trimming the 'fat' from our food budget, see if anything I sew sells online.....& look forward to any more suggestions you might have!! Thanks again!!!
 

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Just curious-- why not make quilts or baby clothes or something to sell on the side?
Like in my reply to one of the other comments here....wasn't sure if there was really a market for it. People can buy much cheaper at the big stores than paying for 'hand-made'. I live in a rural area so Etsy or something like that would probably be the best place to offer it. Think I'll give it a try! Thanks for your interest & if you have any thoughts or ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!!
 

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Etsy sounds like a great idea, I'm crafty and thought about doing something like that to make some extra cash but I just don't have the time. I sold some stuff at work so there is a market for it, and good thing is inventory doesn't go bad unlike food stuff.

Here in CA you can get a cottage food permit, it's like $50. Then I could sell jams and pickles, baked goods, fully licensed. They have a few rules like no animals in the prep area etc but definitely not a lot of flaming hoops.

Also, lots of SAHM in my area clean houses. Couple hours of work at $50 an hour goes a long way. Course, got a lot of rich people around me with big houses and money to spare.
 

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Like in my reply to one of the other comments here....wasn't sure if there was really a market for it. People can buy much cheaper at the big stores than paying for 'hand-made'. I live in a rural area so Etsy or something like that would probably be the best place to offer it. Think I'll give it a try! Thanks for your interest & if you have any thoughts or ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!!
How about making a couple display quilts and hanging them at a local church, business, hall or gallery, ect. with your contact info on a small piece of paper next to them? You might get some commission work, I am guessing the requests would come in from a local display piece.
 

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Some states relax the regulations for the Farmer's markets and some do not.

The MArket MAster knows what is and is not allowed.
 

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We have a local coffee house that hangs local artists pieces for sale.

You could also look into antique or crafters mall spaces.

How about making a couple display quilts and hanging them at a local church, business, hall or gallery, ect. with your contact info on a small piece of paper next to them? You might get some commission work, I am guessing the requests would come in from a local display piece.
 

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Such awesome ideas - many that I never thought of. Thank you all!!! I'm gonna try putting a few of them to 'good use' & see how it goes. I'll keep ya updated on my progress. In the meantime.....keep those ideas coming. With all of us combining our thoughts, I WILL find the 'one thing' that works.
 

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I also thought maybe you could make signs or other crafts out of wood pallets . you can get the wood for free and check stores that sells paint for cans of paint that were mistakes or put out the word to see if anyone has leftover
 

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I also thought maybe you could make signs or other crafts out of wood pallets . you can get the wood for free and check stores that sells paint for cans of paint that were mistakes or put out the word to see if anyone has leftover
LOL!!! Believe it or not, my husband currently works at a pallet shop. But what a neat idea!!! And they toss ALOT of 'duds' that would still be usable for crafting. Thanks!!
 
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