The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 6 November 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Alternative incomes.

Last weeks Vicky Challenge was reasonable. I counted painting $300, savings on bulk purchases $116 and lunches $100. I wrote $516 in my savings book.
Then I remembered I did not add savings on my hairdressing in October and went back and added that in!
Sometime soon I am going to add up each month so far and be ready to add up the whole year at the end of December!
Then the question will be will I do this again next year and try to beat it as Vicky does?  I think I might as writing down my week and my savings is second nature now and it would be hard not to do it!  And it keeps me very aware of my savings as the week goes along. It makes me WATCH for extra ways to save which is good!

The photos in this post are all from Rachel. This is a meat pie!
She does all her cooking without electricity! 
Thank you Rachel for all your beautiful photos!

Last week we were talking about dealing with really big bills. Thank you for so many wonderful comments and ideas. There are a number of ladies who comment here regularly who are facing astronomical health insurance bills and many others who can just relate due to their own big bills or rising costs generally.
The ideas came in for days and it is worth reading through the comments as they are full of advice about saving money on prescriptions, utilities and some very creative suggestions.
Whenever there is talk about saving money and cutting costs there are always a heap of things that come to mind. Most to the ladies we are thinking about right now have already put into place all the usual things and live very frugally and creatively also bring in extra income. So we need over and above the usual ways to save.

Today we are going to brainstorm some ideas that might be less commonly thought of. Some things are new and available now due to the internet which makes the world a much smaller place!

First I am thinking about tackling a regular large payment by dividing it up. My friend was saying her problem is finding an extra $400 a month.  So I will use that amount as my example.  I think of that as $100 per week.  Then it can be broken down further as you come up with ideas. It could be $50 a week of savings need to be found plus $50 of extra earnings.  Or further broken down into more categories as you think is manageable...  like earning an extra $5 a day and saving another $5 a day. Whatever makes it work better for you!

This is a Ricotta tart that Rachel makes. To top it off first she makes her own Ricotta. 
This is going to be in an upcoming post with the method and recipe.

Possibilities for earning extra money depend a lot on your location and the amount of room you have and everything these days needs to be checked into well for the legal and insurance aspects.

In the city space is a commodity. People rent out their driveways, sheds, spare room, even back yard for the parking of boats, caravans and such things. There is a surprising amount of money in renting space.  If you are close to a big city this also might be a possibility. If you leave near the beach someone is going to want to park a boat in your shed!

If you have land it might be possible to grow a crop as something that is currently popular. I have had success selling home grown Parsley, Bay Leaves and other herbs to a local organic cafe.
Someone else was doing very well selling potted succulents out the front of this cafe.
But markets are also a great way to see all kinds of homemade produce and hand made items. A market stall could be a once a month thing or shared with someone else to reduce the costs.
A lot of families in the country areas here just have a sign out the front that says "fresh eggs for sale" etc.
Growing flowers could be a possibility too.
You may be able to allow someone to camp on your property or park a caravan.
A friend in my old town grew tomatoes from seeds in her greenhouse and sold them as individual plants as soon as Spring started. I always got tomatoes from her! They were so healthy and ready to plant. She made a lot each year from this!

Raising animals is another if you have space. It might be chickens or rabbits, a breed of birds or anything at all but I know quite a few people who have made money from their backyard business this way. Andy's friend earns a good living raising quail as quail are a big menu item and so are quail eggs. They do it all in an average backyard!

I can see I will have access to hundreds of figs in summer. They sell for around $1 each here! I have a possibility I could sell these to a local cafe or restaurant or even at a market.

If you have animals I know that the big trend in gorgeous children photography means these photographers pay for photo sessions with lambs, bunnies, chickens, puppies etc.  You would possibly be able to strike a deal and if you are in attendance you are in charge of the welfare of your animals.   Another would be to allow visits to your farm to see baby animals. People will pay for this!

Explore your talents. There are designers who pay for at home knitters and crocheters, embroiderers etc.
Team up with someone i.e. like Mum does the knitting and I add the grub roses...  and start an Etsy shop.
Explore baby wear stores, gift stores etc in your area. Most times you will see there are a team of people supplying that store with handmade items. Locally this seems to include hand made quilts, knitwear and embroidered rugs.  For some time I embroidered this way for a beautiful store. The store owner had asked my aunt where did she get the rug that was covering her Granddaughter.... and the rug was from me! They would basically take anything I embroidered and that kept me with orders for a couple of years.

Pumpkin Damper.

Selling things via Ebay, your local paper, local online sellers, Face book groups etc. This can apply to anything you have to sell from handmade items to junk in the shed!

Teach a skill. A lady in the town I used to live in made great money from having embroidery classes. This is where I really got started in embroidery. It then became social and we all went along weekly for the fun, chat and actual sewing!  She also sold silk ribbons and various things that we all needed.  It was wonderful! This could apply to patchwork, teddy bear making or anything you can think of really.
Andy taught students the drums for many years as an extra income. We still have that as a back up income available to us.

Take in ironing or mending. No one seems to want to do these things themselves!

I had a friend who decorated wedding cakes. She was wonderful at it and this is worth a lot of money now. She also made and decorated Christmas cakes which she sold each year.

Another lady I know made the most divine Gingerbread Houses every Christmas. She had them complete with little lights that came on inside the house! Each one was a work of art! My Mum purchased one and it became the centrepiece on the table before it was all eaten.

Mulberry Jam from Rachel's Dads tree!

Vicky's husband is a man who can fix just about anything! He fixes things up and sells them and people bring all kinds of things to him to be repaired. He makes a living out of it and people save money as their mowers etc are fixed and they don't need to buy a new one!

Another lady Mum knows knits and sews all year and has a room in her house that is full of gorgeous things she makes. It is all available for sale. The locals all go to her for their baby gifts etc. These days of course that could be run as an Etsy shop, a market stall, a Facebook shop etc.

It is also worth looking into bartering. This can be with goods or skills. Is there something you regularly pay for that could be bartered for? That is an interesting area to explore!

I hope I have got the ball rolling. Finding a market or need and filling it is the key. A man Andy knows could see that Pomegranates were coming into fashion and he planted his spare land with Pomegranates. He makes very good money from this insight!
Kale seems to be a big thing here. Rows of that would sell well I am sure!
Simply asking local shops what is it that they are looking for? What do they have trouble getting?  This can tip you off and tell you there is a gap in the market.

Over to you! What ideas do you have? If you know someone making money from hand made items or catering to a niche market what is it? How do they do it?  One of these ideas might be just the right thing for someone searching for an answer.
I think that multiple income streams are a very good idea.

How did you save last week? I hope everyone has a good new week. It will be a big one that is for sure with the US elections. I am praying about that as it affects us all and it greatly impacts many of my dear friends. xxx


  1. Our neighbor this past summer starting putting out his extra produce from his garden. He first kept what he needed of course but he put the rest on a pretty wagon bed and put reasonable prices on it. You have to keep in mind that we live on a small street but he was amazed how much he sold. I think it was by word of mouth-he didn't put any signs up at all. They just put a sheet of paper with the prices wrote down by the produce. It was all by the honor system also so he didn't have to be out there with it. I was over run with peppers and we contributed a 1/2 bushel of peppers one day to his stand. He does so much for us it made us feel good. So we felt we had repaid him some. He even sold pretty sunflowers (that I couldn't pass up). Too late for us in the U.S. for this year but it might help somewhere else. Have a great day!

    1. Dear Vickie,
      I love your neighbour! I would be buying stuff from him too! I love that you gave him all those peppers! I think this is a wonderful idea and would suit many people. I like that he included sunflowers! It sounds like his enterprise was a big success... I hope he does it next year! Thank you for sharing this! Love

  2. Wow Annabel,
    So many wonderful, clever and creative ideas for building income.
    I had been trading sewing up the hems of a neighbours trousers for his fresh caught fish. This seems to have started something. I now have three widowers who bring their mending to me. I get fish, home grown honey and home grown peanuts. I can deal with that. It's not making money but I think it is something that could bring in extra cash if needed.
    One of my friends has her Grandchildren before and after school. He daughter pays her a small amount and provides all the food and drinks for the kids. This gives her a little bit of extra cash each week and means going to work is worth it for her daughter.
    At one place down the road the gentleman grows amazing tomatoes. He has these bagged and in a set of shelves near his front gate. There is a box for your payment. It's all on the honesty system. He has mangoes out around Christmas.
    When I volunteered at Vinnies we had a regular customer who looked for labelled clothes and shoes in good condition. She onsold these on eBay. Another customer looked at furniture. He would do a bit of work on the piece and then sell it on gumtree.
    I think you covered everything else I can think of.
    Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      You have a whole alternative economy going! Its fantastic! I think it is helping people but really fish, honey and peanuts are all worth good money and if you use these then you are not buying them... a dollar saved is a dollar earned!
      You just listed a heap of great little earners. There are a lot of enterprising people around. It is really interesting to hear this! Thank you Jane! With love

  3. Dear Annabel, this is a really important topic. We are so often at the mercy of events beyond our control and our fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. Last year, we suffered substantial losses to our small business because a builder we had done work for, went bankrupt. Poof went $16,000, and for a small business like ours, that was pretty hard to recover from. And completely beyond our control. So this is not a topic to be taken lightly, as it can happen to anyone. My idea to add, is that buying (or begging from friends and family) a few plants that are easily propagated and are popular in modern gardens, is another good way to make really good money over a period of time. Here that would include Succulents, Agave, Yukkas, Lavender, Crotons, Dracaena, Echeveria, and Bromeliads. Where I live, you could buy one each of those plants now, and use cuttings, leaves, pups and offshoots depending upon the plant, to have several hundreds of dollars worth of plants to sell, several times a year. Even a black thumb can grow all of these too. Pots can be sourced on community group trading sites like Gumtree and Freecycle, and potting mix, although an investment to start with, can likewise be bought less expensively at landscaping suppliers. A friend of mine makes Disney Princess wigs for children, from wool and whimsical notions, and she recently offered them to a local gift boutique who snaps up as many as she can generate. It's an odd arrangement where she gives them the wigs and includes a $5 offering to them for each one, and then when they sell (which they do very quickly especially at this time of the year), the boutique owner gives her the entire sale price, which for her is $50 each one! So whilst the $5 thing is odd at first sight, it's actually a really good arrangement. The shopkeeper doesn't have to buy her goods, but retains an immediate small profit and stocks her store, and my friend is entitled to 100% of the proceeds of her sales. I think it's a very new and interesting way to set up shop. So there, even 'setting up a shop' be it a real one or an online one, could prove profitable if you knew lots of clever people who you could persuade to help you stock your own shop, offering you an upfront 'commission' to sell on their behalf. I think that idea has potential! This will be a very interesting series I think. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again Annabel! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi I grew up with a self employed father - the big builder he worked for went bust (as you often see these days but rare then) and of course the income was gone. Just as well that my father was a good electrician and his name was out there so even though income was low at that time it didn't take long for the word to get around and dad had jobs rolling in by the bucket load.

      I have had my craft sold various ways - the set up you describe was one of them - worked OK until the person running it decided to move to another area (supposed to be more up market) and of course the business went under. Setting up a co op style of business which requires artisans to also work in the business as well as a % taken from sales seems to work fine. I have recently joined one of these co op set ups and while I have decided to work twice last month and this, I am only bound to work once a month or give a larger % from my sales.I have 2 days 'banked' which means that I do not feel the pressure of trying to find a date to work in December (we have birthdays and we move to my mother in laws so that we can help with the final Christmas preparations). I then have 1 day up my sleeve for when I need to miss another month.
      The co op has had the benefit of a semi retired plant specialist who grew his plants up at home before bringing them into the shop - they are well looked after and are not as expensive as elsewhere and fly out the door.


    2. Dear Mimi,
      I love the examples you have given! This reminds me that there was a fairy store here in Adelaide for many years and o many locals made amazing things for that shop. A bit like the children wigs.
      I think potting up plants is a great one. There is a market chloe goes to and a lady just sells plants she pots. They sell like hot cakes!
      Also your mention of sourcing things on Gumtree.... this reminds me that Mel C placed an ad in Gumtree for something she wanted and this worked too. She wanted a bed base I think and soon was given one plus accessories! So perhaps we should consider posting for such things (as are in my dreams) like old canning jars, unwanted fruit from trees etc. Maybe I should try that?
      You are right... no one is immune from finding they are in a financial crisis. Lots of skills and ideas are very handy for us all.
      Thank you so much Mimi, love

  4. Kansans are a very handy bunch! I had a pretty good craft business back in Los Angeles, but people here do everything themselves. I have to think way outside the norm! On the bright side, they're very generous and we've been the grateful recipients of free fruit and other things. In fact, our current television was free. It's not fancy, but it's the best one we've had! Our priest gave it to us because he wanted a smaller screen.

    Most of our efforts are the little ones that add up. We already did a purge and sell.

    Thanks for the topic.

    1. Dear Debby, You make a good point that what will work in one area might not in another. Its finding the niche market I think. And an actual purge and sell is good too and can raise a surprising amount!
      Many thanks! Love

  5. We have harvested free wood pallets and built planter boxes, trays and state outlines out of them and made over $900 in just a few months from them!
    I have done simple clothes alterations and brought in $200 for just one job!
    We have sold excess produce that I bought in bulk from an Amish produce auction which paid for my gas to go there, my own produce that I bought and some income as well!
    We have been in focus groups for research- recently I did two different one that brought in $275 for just 2-1/2 hours total of my time.
    I use ebates for online purchases.
    I've sold several things recently on eBay.
    We work as poll workers at our elections which usually brings in about $165 each for our one day commitment.
    Because we have done many side jobs over the years, people seem to think of us when an opportunity is available! It seems like the more we take on a side job for extra income, the more opportunities come our way!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat,
      I LOVE what you have been doing with the pallets. I keep seeing free ones here and they are an amazing resource to use!
      The focus group research is really amazing money. That is a great suggestion!
      The poll day money is very good also.
      I think your mix of alternative incomes plus growing your veggies, making your quilts and cooking is the ultimate combination of saving and earning. It is really wonderful to see and you inspire me a lot! I have noted more quilts completed too! Thank you for your ideas! With love

  6. Dear Annabel I love this post.
    I have sold Ginger Bread houses in the past. My then husband worked in an office of hundreds of people and I made a good business selling these houses once a year. Sadly this opportunity is no longer available to me.

    Recently I have cut and struck roots of Rosemary. This is used to barter food or other garden produce with. The lady next door and I have an arrangement where I can get Lemons off her tree whenever they are growing and she gave me a Rhubarb plant which has begun producing babies. These will be used to propagate other plants in the garden and then I can sell or barter with the excess.

    My tomato relish is in great demand with the family and my renown for it is spreading and I swap it for lemon butter and jam with friends.

    So while I do not have a cash income at the moment from other sources I am beginning to have a good little barter system going.

    I am going to read with interest the other replies from your readers

    God Bless and have a good week friends

    1. Dear Mel, Your mention of a big office of people as a customer base is really good! This reminds me of a friend that saw a highway was being repaired by a team of men and they moved slowly along that highway everyday. She drove down and introduced herself and offered to make them all lunch every day and deliver it to them. They agreed! Everyday she took morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea plus drinks. She made all kinds of rolls, sandwiches, cake and biscuits. It lasted about three months. They loved her! Were very willing to pay good prices. She made a killing! I thought how brilliant!
      I love your bartering and that the lady next door is so nice!
      Your tomato relish sounds amazing! I think bartering counts as an income as if it is money saved it is equal to money earned.
      Thank you so much Mel. I hope you week is going well! With love

  7. I sell our chickens eggs for $5 a dozen. This pays for the chicken feed and for us to have eggs for free.

    I've had a couple of sales here and there in my Etsy shop over the last couple of weeks.

    I sell my baking, jams, relish, eggs and greeting cards to a cleaning client for extra income.

    I give jams, relish, biscuits ( cookies ) and handmade items as presents. I put a retail value on these items, take that money out of the gift fund and put it into the envelope I got the money out of to make the item. What this does is keeps most of the money in our family instead of going to big retailers / companies. I did a blog post on this last year It's called - Creating Your Own Mini Economy

    1. Dear Wendy, Thank you for this. I agree with you that we should put a retail value on what we make. We then added that value to our incomes. I know making most gifts saves me so much. Thank you for the link. What we make at home is usually worth far more than we think! With love

  8. Hi Annabel,
    When you mentioned people in cities leasing space etc I immediately thought AirBnB. We've stayed on a moored boat, in a granny flat in the backyard and a room in the hosts home. I know a lot of people who travel prefer to stay with AirBnB rather than a hotel. This could be a possibility for anywhere city or country. What about Farmstays? I'm sure there would be city dwellers that would love a taste of farm living.(looking at Rachel's photos would entice me to have a weekend away)
    My Grandfather loved to grow orchids and once the local florist knew of his hobby, she would purchase his flowers for bridal bouquets.
    I've sewn many dance outfits when DD was involved with dancing - many Mum's can't sew and are very willing to pay for this. I've also decorated cakes for Christenings, engagements and weddings. What I would say here, is don't sell yourself short. Both these tasks can be very time consuming, so charge accordingly.(Note to self!!)
    Apart from Ebay and Etsy, check facebook for Buy and Sell groups in your area, they seem to be popping up everywhere.
    These probably aren't new ideas, just what came to mind,
    Have a great week,

    1. Dear Janine,
      My brother on his farm has done up a little cottage that they could rent or use for guests. To me that would be an amazing source of income.
      You are 100% right about the sewing etc.... we absolutely must find out the going rates and charge at least close to those! We can undervalue ourselves by miles. It is easy to check around what others are charging for similar services. Note to self also!
      Along with so many free or near free ways to sell thanks to social media there are so many free ways to a advertise also! This is good for everyone wanting to generate extra income. Thank you Janine! Love

  9. Hi Annabel!

    I have known that some people manage to bake at home for either a coffee shop or for special occasions. One cake or slice, as you know, can be cut up and sold for dollars apiece in a coffee shop. I have been at a special occasion where the delicacies had been purchased from such a home baker. What was special was the lovely ingredients - butter, cream ..... It took the pressure off the family hosting, too.

    I think, for those in an area with specialty shops, just pretend you're the owner/manager, and think how they'd appreciate quality homemade goods to stock! Then, as I have heard it said, if you do call in to visit, have your stock with you! You can't sell it unless you have it with you!!

    I admire Garden Pat's work with pine! What a success! (Thanks, Janine, for giving me a smile! I was just imagining, some year down the track, hosting you for a farmstay. We could knit socks!!)

    I can hardly remember a week back. A lot has been happening. I'll just concentrate on this week, and keep going!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel,
      Thank you for the encouragement last week. Your baking
      looks amazing. How wonderful that you have such beautiful skills.People pay a lot of money for farm stays. Many people would like to learn to live off grid.

    2. Dear Rachel, You are right how so many things are very expensive per slice or biscuit! Years ago a health food store/cafe was opening where I lived. They were not open yet so I left a letter under the door. I said I made carrot cake, banana cake and all natural slices. They got in touch with me straight away and I cooked for them for a couple of years!
      Another place I made lasagna for for many years!
      It is a shock what the shops charge for small things so there can be good money in this.
      I hope you are having a good week! With love Annabel.xxxx psThank you so much for the photos!

    3. Patti, yes, they'd love the carpet snake I found today! I don't know .... If Janine is like me, I think she'd prefer to avoid even a carpet snake! But, yes, I love the relaxing way of cooking by a fire. An outdoor fire is especially relaxing!! I know what you mean about wanting to visit and learn like this! Even generating diesel power is amazing. We work together and have 'busy hours'. I love it!

      Anyway, how is Billy?

      With very warm regards,

  10. Annabel I love your thoughts on breaking down things to a daily amount - it is often easier to find that smaller amount on a regular basis than the huge monthly one.

    I am sure that there are many of us here who sell our skill sets short - we do so many things without thinking. As we get closer to Christmas (and possibly Thanksgiving for our US friends) I am sure that there are lots of people who hire in help in one fashion or another. We just need to find the niche that we fit into. We are never too old to brush up on our skills and pick up some extra cash.

    Taking overseas students in is another way of earning extra income. Of you live close to a University and have a spare room or two you could always take in a couple of students - sometimes there are very quiet, shy students who are more settled in a family situation.

    If you are lucky to have somewhere that runs community courses nearby see what they have on offer - there just may be an opening for something that you do. That was how I learnt cake decorating, the tutor was self taught and her cakes were in demand. My 2 hours once a week for 4 weeks cost me $80-. The tutor supplied everything because that is how she preferred to do things (meant that everyone had what was needed for each lesson). There were about 12 of us in the class so if you do the maths even with her bearing the costs of what was needed she made quite a good profit.

    Have a great week everyone, we are expecting hot weather and storms this week. A bit of a shock to the system.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      Quite a few people here taking in Chinese students. They pay about $200 a week I am told. Most are very studious as you say.
      Teaching a course is a great idea. As you say people pay pretty good money for lessons, courses, tuition... it would add up when yo have a class.
      I knew a lady who took a yoga class each week. She had about 30 people come on average and she charged $15 per lesson. It was a one hour class. Thats $450 for one hours work for her!
      I saw you have a crazy weather pattern... I hope you are not hit by any bad storms! With thanks,

  11. Dear Annabel,
    I loved seeing Rachels beautiful photos.

    Janine mentioned Air BnB. While we live in a pretty rural area there is a college here and a few towns over there are apartments that many of the students rent rather than dorm life. One of the really popular things among them is to sublet their apartment for the weekend for an Air BnB. They usually make about $100 per day on the weekends and $45 per day during the week doing this and need only provide food for breakfast in the refrigerator.
    If you have excellent typing skills doing transcription work at home for court reporters, attorneys, doctors offices, insurance companys, is often a very good way to produce a stream of income without sacrificing being at home with your family. There is a small learning curve in getting started but for me, when my children were young, it was very worthwhile.

    One of the lessons I learned from some very wise women who sold crafts is that during times like we're going through now is to make whatever it is unique and useful. Useful will sell. I also know some women who "sponsor" artisian or craft shows", providing the venue for the show and charging each vendor a fee for each day they wish to sell. While that's seasonal for them it does create a good amount of income for them and also a place to sell their creations.
    My closest neighbor has an ebay store. She goes to auctions and yard sales, and resells her finds at a profit for herself

    My friends and family have always liked gifts they've received from me and have encouraged me to sell things that I make. They've been some of my best customers when it comes to their gift giving. Don't sell yourself and your talents short. And, under your tutelage, Annabel, there are quite a few new items.

    Nothing else has come to mind. Hubby comes home today. Blessings. Cookie

    1. This is really wonderful news, Cookie - your husband is nearly home!! I think that means he's top of the Show and Tell in a couple of days! Watch out, Bluey!!
      I'm glad you have enjoyed my photos. You know it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, the pictures are saying, "Don't be afraid - a simpler life can also be more beautiful!!"
      With very warm regards,

    2. Dear Cookie, Yay! Your husband is probably home now! That was really fast! He must be doing well. I am so happy for you!
      You crafts are amazing. I totally count the value saved when making your gifts but you would have e the option to sell as well.
      I think you neighbours Etsy shop sounds so interesting. I think vintage and craft items would sell so well. Jewellery components and lace... all beautiful things!
      Working on our skills is a wise thing. They give us many joys and lots of gifts but they can then be a skill to bring in income. Learning everything we can is a good idea.
      Thank you for the suggestion of typing... that is a new idea to this list and a really good one. With love

    3. Yay Cookie! It is good your husband is home!

  12. Annabel, I'm reading and following this post and all it's comments closely. We've already done all the first things one things about when needing to cut expenses ... we did those long ago ... now I'm on the lookout for other ways and this post gives me some things to think on and ponder. Thank you!

    1. Dear Patsi,
      Yes we needed ideas that are over and beyond what families have already done to cut back. I think we are building some interesting possibilities! I have actually found quite a few for us. Andy has not taught drums for a few years but being in the city he could easily. Also we have free pallets all around us and he could make raised garden beds on wheels as everyone is buying those here. I could have an Etsy shop. I am seriously thinking about it. also I am going to try and place free adds for preserving jars and fruit! See what happens...
      Lots of love

  13. Hi Annabel,

    There are so many good ideas here! I don't really have any other suggestions to add, but am certainly pondering many of these. I used to sell bread that I baked, but after doing it for well over a year, found that it was really costing us money in the end, as the electricity for the oven was costing a fortune, as I literally had it going all day, twice a week...the cost of ingredients wasn't a money maker. (Though I really enjoyed doing it!) The childcare on an informal basis would probably be a good idea around here, as childcare costs are really prohibitive here for working parents. Charging a bit less, as someone does for their grandchildren, but still having some cash coming in, might be a good arrangement for both the caregiver and the parents?? Sometimes it's like Wendy says, selling something you have or are making anyway might not really generate INCOME per se, but could cut down costs for your own supply or even pay for it entirely, and that's a bonus, too. Word of mouth is always the best seller, even though it can take time to get the ball rolling!

    It's supposed to be a sunny, if chilly, week, so I'm looking forward to getting a bunch of yard clean up done and the quilts all washed for the season. Canning beets today!!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      Your house would have smelled good! I think with baking you have to go with something that sells for a lot. Locally I can say handmade bread sells for $5 to $8 but a cheesecake sells for $45! I used to sell cakes and Lasagne and it is worked out by what they are selling it for per slice. A slice was $4 and there were 8 slices per cake etc and it soon added up!
      Replacing bought gift with a homemade one definitely equals a savings which can go into something else.
      I think with all your garden, crafts, cooking and milk products you have saved a fortune and make your own gifts. This is massive! You have a virtual little industry going! Many thanks Jen, with love

  14. Thank you, Annabel and ladies, for sharing your ideas.
    More importantly, thank you for praying for the U.S. elections. It's sad to see what has become of our values here.
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh, I can see a lot is at stake. It is nearly here... it is Tuesday in Australia already! With love,

  15. Hi Annabel,
    Another thought ..... pets. Kennels, catteries etc can be a huge expense so you could offer either to take in the pets for the owners or feed and tend the pets in the owners home.

    1. Dear Janine, Yes! I would think many people would rather leave a pet with a family or someone they know rather than at a kennel. Checking into the going rates would be a good idea. And specifying what you will take and how many thus avoiding babysitting a python !haha! This could be a great earner! Thank you! Love

    2. Maybe you could charge double or triple for a python!

    3. Lana I am thinking six figure sum!

    4. Snakes, mice or rats , YIKES!!! I'll pass thanks :-)

  16. Hi Annabel!
    It was a slow challenge week for me with only $150 this week, but part of that was 4 free rolls of toilet paper I got in the mail! LOL
    Back in the day I used to make money setting up Christmas trees and decorating them for people who didn't have time or didn't want to like bachelors plus if I did their Christmas baking or wrapped gifts it was even more dollar wise.
    I noticed that if people are not necessarily savers they are happy to pay you to do the things they don't want to. I even used to wash laundry for bachelors and charged $5 a load.
    If you live in a complex of any kind people will pay you to take their trash out. They will leave the trash and money outside their door you take the cash and throw the trash in the dumpster for them. Easy money!

    1. Dear Vicky, That was an amazing job! Decorating Christmas trees! Well these are some good tips and I didn't know the take the rubbish out one.
      Your savings all up this year have been amazing. Some weeks theres just more stuff to count than others. I wonder if your end of year amount will beat last years? I am thinking so...
      Thank you for your ideas! With love

  17. House sitting in summer when your friends and neighbors are going out of town on vacations is easy money. I pay our neighbor boy to water plants and put out the trash and bring in the cans and whatever else needs doing. Some will pay to have you actually stay in their home and babysit the pets and entire home and that is like a free vacation in your own town.

    My second cousin makes crafts all year long and then does craft parties to sell the items in the fall. She does beautiful work and an entire new set of items every year. Her Mom, my aunt, has gifted me these beautiful crafts and they are very nice. She really supplements her income this way.

    I agree with the propagation of plants and have sold many hostas that have just been divided out of my own beds. I have also sold border grasses which multiply like crazy here. For that I just charge a flat amount and let the purchaser dig their own. I have these grasses in the lawn since the birds spread the seeds and so in selling them the purchaser is really just clearing out what should not be there.

    Our youngest son's father-in-law actually makes a living selling on eBay. He has an eye for what is valuable and will sell. He goes to thrift stores one day a week looking for what will make him money. He will also take junk off for anyone who is cleaning out and sell from that. He is running it like a business and has his days scheduled out to get items shipped and listed.

    1. Dear Lana, Thank you for these ideas! I love what your cousin does! Her work sounds like it must be beautiful. That is good though as you could work all year and have several main selling days at the end of the year. I know there are lots of people who treat eBay as a job. I think thats amazing and shows its possible. It seems like we all know people with carious side line incomes... there are a lot of families doing this in one way or another. I love it ! Many thanks Lana, love

  18. Dear Annabel, I have started this comment three times before now and three times I have been distracted or distracted myself, hopefully it is fourth time fabulous ( third time lucky , fourth time fabulous if I do say so myself!!) ok back to topic !.Annabel , thank you for another excellent blog post. There have been so many wonderful ideas already. Another idea that my grandparents used to do for extra income was sell cow manure, bull manure actually!. So many people bought it and in a way it was doing my grandparents a favour because there was always a lot of manure, too much to fertilise their gardens but as I said heaps of people bought it.
    I have been thinking about asking my family and friends to buy my cards( if they want to) I am also part of a buy swap sell page for my area on Facebook and I thought of selling cards on there. youalready talk about this but I find rather than try to earn extra income I try not to spend what I have. I think to myself , " do I need that bag of chips or that chocolate block" , today I made Rocky Road using about $6 worth of ingredients and it will last me for two weeks probably.
    My Vicky challenge s for two weeks this time as I missed last week.
    Food from my parents - 6 meals plus cooked vegetables to contribute to other meals, I estimate $65 for this. Chocolate chip biscuits / cookies , a dozen made by mum , $6 approx , I am saying 50 cents a biscuit but at cafes they charge $3 at least per biscuit.
    I asked for a discount yesterday at a $2 / discount shop because the manager( owner) had promised us a discount after I bought my cupboard there and it was further damaged( not much damage but this was after I paid over $300 for the shelves/ cupboard. I got a 10% discount and was told that next time I come in I will get another 10% discount , just for asking, it was $2.65 discount but that more than paid for a pack of blank cards , that is 6 cards and envelopes free!.
    Subsidised cleaning $72 for two weeks. Subsidised social support $18 saving. I made 10 cards which I can use as a gift , I will count it as $30.
    I used $16 worth of rewards dollars at a local chemist , I bought two Christmas gifts with this.$16 savings
    I used $10 worth of rewards dollars at Woolworths, this helped last week as pension day is this week. So $10 savings .
    I received a sample in the mail, saving me $5 .
    I made Rocky road as I mentioned earlier in my message. The amount of rocky road I made would cost about $20 in the shops , a saving of $14 .
    I got rides with my dad and did errands when I was with him or mum. Saving at least $50 in taxi fares or transport company fares.
    I resisted temptation to buy more clothes when there was a sale on, I normally would go and at least" look" . Saving approx. $60( the cost of a really good blouse) .
    I didn't buy a magazine whenever I really wanted one, it was an expensive one too. $8 saving.
    Savings on groceries $40
    Total savings for two weeks $385.65 approximately.
    Sorry for the huge comment Annabel!. Thank you again for such a great post.i hope you are enjoying your is getting stormy here. Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb, Thank you for sharing your ideas and savings! You had a great list of things this week. It all adds up!
      Magazines are amazingly expensive now aren't they? I get a few at op shops sometimes as usually 20cents or 50 cents. They can have good card making images in them too!
      I hope this week is going as well for you! With lots of love

  19. Rachel, your foods look wonderful and so beautiful too! My daughter makes ricotta here and so I look forward to your recipe for the pie! :)

    As far as income stream ideas, I will echo a lot of the ladies and still mention what we have done: 1) Sell eggs (I used to drive to the city and had an egg route and then used this time to do my city stuff) 2) Sell excess on Ebay including old homeschool curriculum 3) Sold extra produce to the stands 4) Cleaned houses 5) We sell our sheep and allow people to do their own slaughtering here (helpful for those in the city) 6) Sold casseroles (lasagna, enchiladas, etc) to working families who wanted home-cooked meals. These ideas are all basic but perhaps the redundant ones show that there is indeed a market for these types of things... Great post as always! :)


    1. Thank you, Jes!

      I can just imagine the enjoyment you have working with your daughter! What we learn as children, we do carry on through life! You can tell her that the fancy name for the tart is Torte Della Nonna (Grandmother's Cake). I think she'll love this post idea of Annabel's! I think you'll love eating it!

      Regards to your household,

    2. Dear Jes, Thank you for sharing some of what you have done. I think eggs are always a good one. Right now here eggs represent really good value for a protein as meat has become really expensive so more eggs are sold than ever I think!
      Thanks so much! With love

  20. Ironing is another idea,good to advertise in your local paper, and charge per basket pick up or delivered,i have been selling my eggs also buy the dozen, to friends and people near by,as well and buying old furniture and painting them up and then reselling them,great post,and very much injoying this topic
    Have a great week
    mel xo

    1. Dear Melissa, There is a lady in our area who does full time ironing from her home. She picks up and delivers as well. She does so well out of it.
      I have done the painting up furniture... that is more up my alley! Dressing tables were my specialty! This post has really given me a list of new things plus some I can revive! Thanks Melissa! Love

  21. Annabel,
    Thank you for another wonderful post.
    Rachael your photos are so lovely.
    My Vicky challenge this week. Packed all lunches and snacks $100.
    Made Home made wheat bread $10-Pumpkin bread and muffins for us and gifts, from our decor pumpkin $20-Made brownies for Bible study and 2 gifts $20 Ate at home all meals $100. Shopped at 99 cents only for milk,eggs,butter,fruit,Veggies,ibuprofen,antibiotic cream,
    and small tree and decorations and 50 cent toothpaste.
    I will send in the mail to my brother for Christmas $100 Returned things we did not need for a refund $50 I will count this because I hate returning things. I will normally just donate the items.A return was made and no one died LOL.
    Used my drug store bonus bucks and earned more on toilet paper $25 Sorted thru an old box of clothes and refashioned them. Thank you Mimi for the inspiration.Just a little cutting and sewing and trim. Now I have some new winter clothes $100. So $525 I should keep track more often this is fun.
    I think I am going to put up fliers that I will do pet sitting, house sitting,dog walking,cat sitting,plant watering,mail pick up,trash pick up. Thank you Wendy for the trash idea. I live in a condo and there are hundreds of families here. Thank you everyone! Our insurance has gone up too. :( My Aunt used to paint store front windows at Christmas time for cash if anyone is good with painting? She made thousands of dollars doing this. Also I drove to the country to buy worms when I wanted a worm bin for compost. The guy just had rows like you plant a garden and added manure.Not sure where he got the original worms. It was $25 dollars for a shovel full and you bring your own container or he would sell you a container for transporting. Also I noticed riding lessons. On a board gardening classes on a board and you guessed it they had small veggies for sale for your garden. I hope everyone has
    a wonderful week.
    Much love,

    1. Dear Patti,
      I am just posting the Show and Tell ... there is a message for you there so I hope you will see that.
      I also don't like returning things but now have learned that usually no one minds so I am getting better at it!
      Your savings were great! I find it fun too, to see how it adds up. Its motivating!
      I am glad there were some ideas you can use and living in a Condo then you have many options close by.
      I had not thought of gardening classes or worm farming! Thank you! With love

  22. Dear Annabel,

    What an informative post! So much to think about. I am having a clean out of my house at the moment, but have been donating to the Salvos instead of selling. I just went down the easy road lol! In future I will consider selling via facebook.

    We put our egg sign out on the road when we have an excess of eggs. Usually they sell pretty much straight away. Our sign says "chook eggs $3 dozen".

    I am going to save this information you posted so I can remind myself what I can do to make some extra cash. Most of the ideas can be tried by Phil and I. Hubby is handy and I am crafty and we have put these skills together before to sell things at a market. Worth thinking about again.

    I will also save the informative comments. Such a lovely bunch of people in this little blog community. I love how they are so willing to share ideas to help others.

    Tania xx

    1. Dear Tania,
      I think donating is great. And it counts as donations too as the items will be sold for a reasonable price.
      With eggs expensive at the supermarkets I think everyone would rather fresh farm eggs!
      The ideas just kept coming in here! I love the suggestions. I think these days several income streams are a very good idea! Thanks so much Tania! Love

  23. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for a lovely, helpful post. The comments are also so encouraging and helpful!

    I kind of fell off the challenge for Sept. and Oct. as far as getting everything written down and totaled.

    My birthday was in Oct. and I was able to get several free meals, treats and gift items by going on my birthday and/or joining rewards programs. I'm not sure if this is only a U.S. thing.

    My savings came in at $439.01 this month. My husband has been doing a lot of work in our master bedroom and bath. I did grocery shopping on senior discount day and also combined sales and coupons. I got several free ebooks. At the discount bread store, I got several items for less than 1/2 price along with 2 free items. We used a coupon and gift card from Christmas to have a free dinner out.

    Most of my thoughts for additional income have been covered in the helpful comments. I would add looking into birthday rewards and using YouTube videos to help with projects. A few years ago, I did quite a bit of mystery shopping. I didn't make a lot, but made a little and got quite a few free meals.

    I am thankful for the answered prayers for several in this group. Hope you and all are having a good week!

    Love from Arizona,

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Sorry for my slow reply I have had such a busy week!
      I am glad you had a lovely birthday! Some Australian business do birthday rewards here also.
      I think the birthday rewards and you tube tip are excellent. Thank you Elaine!
      Your savings were wonderful! It is great your husband does that work in the bedroom and bathroom and would be a massive saving in itself!
      Have a good weekend! Much love

  24. WHO IS VICKY? Not yelling, just trying to find out. I've seen people write about the Vicky Challenge. I would really appreciate an emailed answer. Thank you dearie.

    Laura Lane
    Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Dear Laura, Vicky is a bluebird and friend. There is a section in the index for The Vicky Challenge. Here is a good place to start... I hope that helps! I find her way very motivating and count my savings and earnings weekly then annually also.
      With much love,

    2. I'm still confused about Vicky, but I am feeling jazzed about the challenge! Be blessed!


I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.