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Side Hustle Test: Homemade Dog Food


Thank for you all the feedback on my ideas for side hustle. I have decided to pursue a couple of them, beginning with homemade dog food.

The Plan

I will make batches of dog food over the next two weeks, and freeze it.

In July, I will set up shop at the local Farmer’s Market. It is open Tuesday evening and Saturday mornings.

Before then, I must come up with some sort of labeling and pricing.

The Investment

  • Time –  I will work the cooking and crockpot-ing around my other work.
  • Money  – I have budgeted $100 in start up costs. This money will have to cover food supplies, labeling, containers.
    • Label stickers including ingredient list will be printed on my home printer.
    • Ingredients and packaged food will be weighed on the scale I use for making soap.
    • Containers – maybe these? I’m thinking long term I would charge a deposit for the containers and request they be cleaned and returned. This will keep it economical and more green. Or I can sell it in Ziploc bags?
    • Food – meat, zucchini, apples to start. I have everything else in my pantry – oats, rice, frozen vegetables.

The Risk

There is limited risk with this investment. Since the food is frozen, and I will transport in a cooler, if it doesn’t sell, I can put it back in the freezer.

our recsue dogs
If no one buys it, I can feed it to our dogs or donate it to the local shelters. I believe I will find a steady client base here locally. The idea of the social aspect of the Farmer’s Market is appealing.

I am excited about this new venture. It’s nice to be doing something outside of my day to day job.

What am I missing? Any guidance on pricing would be great? Have you ever ventured out on a small side hustle like this? How’d it go?


Kid Free for Two Weeks


Today begins my kid free two weeks. Sea Cadet left for his job at the summer camp in VA last Monday. And I will drop Gymnast and Princess at summer camp this evening.

This will be the third summer since I had kids that I have downtime like this. I have so many plans. My to do list has grown by leaps and bounds as I have contemplated how to use this time.

Economics of  Summer Camp

The cost of the kids’ summer camp has been discussed several times. Now it is here. And the cost is so worth it to me with just the thought of this down time. (Parents of teenagers will be understand this. Teenage angst in full affect in our home these days.)

But I also know that at this point, this will be our last summer of camp. Princess has already started applying for jobs and will be old enough to attend college classes at the local community college next summer. And Gymnast? Well, we are not sure what his immediate future is going to look like.

I am budgeting $50 for my two weeks to give me some fun money. But in reality the weeks are going to save me money.

  • No gas costs. I don’t anticipate leaving the house much at all. This is huge, especially when you consider my gas costs has been more than $100 a week for the past year.
  • I am continuing to list things for sale – antique cameras, schoolbooks and crafty items. Hopefully, I’ll get some sales with more time to focus on this on-going project.
  • Work, work, work! In addition to project work that I’ve picked up. I have a new business opportunity that I will be putting in some time on this week (more on that soon.) Specifically, I will be hitting up local businesses and networking.

Me Time

The daily stress of the last year has been overwhelming, especially the last few months. And while I think we have turned the corner, the burden has been rough. Single motherhood, single income households and big moves are definitely not for everyone.

I am planning on some quality me time this next couple of weeks. And I am doing it for free, these are my plans:

  • Giving myself a manicure and pedicure using the stuff I bought a couple of months ago.
  • Read, read, read. I LOVE to read. My library card is in working order, and I can check out books online anytime. Or go get some.
  • Scrapbooking! I have fallen way behind on the kids’ books. I have had the pics printed for years (literally.) I am determined to get some updates done with the craft supplies I have on hand.

I think all of us need these next two weeks. And I’m grateful the camp is already paid for. I think a break from each other, our crazy schedules and the daily grind will do us all good.

Are you getting a break this summer? Do your kids participate in any summer camps? How do you get some downtime?