Monday, February 14, 2011

Money-Making Ideas

If you're looking for some ideas about how to add a little to your family's income or make some extra spending cash, here's what I've been thinking about lately:

1. Become a seller for your friends. If you like selling items on eBay, craigslist, etc. then offer to sell your friends items for them in exchange for a commission on the sales price, maybe 25-30%. You won't have any start up costs or overhead, but you will need a place to store the items you're selling. You also need to be a very organized person to keep track of who gave you which items and how much they sold for (not something I would enjoy). I know I can drop my kids' stuff off at the local consignment store and get 50% of the sales price, but that's just enough that I'd rather sell it myself. On the other hand, I do not enjoy taking pictures/posting/selling items so I tend to put it off indefinitely. If you're thinking of trying this, I'll drop a carload off with you this week!

2. Be a coupon clipper for working parents. When I was working full-time I just didn't have the time to shop sales and clip coupons, so I almost always paid the highest prices for our groceries and toiletries. You could make a business out of buying the newspapers, and preparing the lists and coupons each week for a group of employed mothers. If you can save them $50-$100 per week, it is a service easily worth $20/week. Again you will need to be very organized, but as long as you do something you enjoy it won't feel like work.

3. Cook meals for families with two employed parents. Whenever you cook a meal for your family, double or triple the recipe and either freeze or deliver it. You can keep your costs down by purchasing in bulk, the families will eat healthier and spend less time rushing around after work and before dinner, and it will make you money-while still being less expensive for others than ordering out would be. Or you could spend an entire day making freezer meals and decide on a price/meal. I think places like Let's Eat that do this charge around $25/meal.

4. Host a parents night out at your house once a month. If you have a good amount of space and can be sure to contain many children at once, you can offer to babysit for several families so the parents can get a date night.

5. If you enjoy sewing you have so many options. From cute burp cloths and hair bows to baby blankets and breastfeeding covers, there are many things that are in high demand right now and would make nice baby gifts. Besides, so many of the store-bought options are either hideous or much too expensive.

Don't be afraid to take a risk! As you probably already know, it was a stay at home mom that created Baby Einstein in her own basement with a video camera, her daughter and a few of their toys. I've really enjoyed this brainstorming session, and as I think of more ideas I will add them to this post, so be sure to check back! I would love to hear your ideas if you'd like to share them in the comments. All it takes is a little creativity and initiative...


  1. Sweet! I won't be selling your stuff, though ;-)

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