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Posts tagged with: farmers market

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?


Local! Local! Local!


There’s a great local publication called “Natural Awakenings SA” that provides great healthy living tips.  I want to share some of those tips today.

How to Keep Your Hard Earned Money Working Locally:

1. Ditch the Cards:  All electronic transactions siphon money out of the local community to some extent, so use cash or second best, write a check.  Studies show that people spend 12-18 percent more when they use cards instead of cash.

2.  Move your Debt:  Megabanks tend to make far moremoney off your debt than your savings.  Choose a local credit union or bank and let the fees support your community.

3.  Spend Deliberately:  Forget internet deals; shop local and independent.  Choose to support local businesses.  Start buying at resale shops, Craigs list or try bartering.

4.  Shorten Loan Lengths:  Avoid the 30-year-mortgage and seven-yaer car loans and start paying down principal early.

5.  Earn Feel-Good Interest:  Consider investing in family, such as a college loan for a nephew or niece, to keep it local (er…not too sure about this one!  That whole loaning family money thing….)

6.  Invest in Home:  Investing in your home strengthens the community and builds wealth.  Beyond mortgages, invest in an alternative energy system such as solar or geo-thermal.

7. Remember Your Community:  Buy shares of a local co-op–utility, food or store–or start a community investment group. Look fo community revolving loan funds that allow participation by individual investors.

I am proud to say we have gone to the Farmers’ Market for the last 3 weeks.  It has been a great learning experience for all of us.  The kids have enjoyed it much more than I anticipated.  It helps that bringing your dog is encouraged so the kids get to see a lot of canine companions and bring our own dogs too.  We are enjoying the fresh farm food tremendously!!  And we are staying within the $150 per week budget.  We tried to stick with $125 and found that we needed that extra $25 especially with the kids home much more now than during the regular school year.

Good stuff to think about and to bring to your life!