Do You Have a Favorite Scavenge-y, Sneaky, Clever Way to Make Extra Money?

by Katy on October 10, 2011 · 49 comments

Due to the nature of the comments on this particular blog post, I have closed the comments. It is important that Non-Consumer Advocate readers feel free to leave their stories without fear of personal attack. Please know that if you choose to leave nasty comments, I will delete them. -Katy


I am looking to come up with some super original money making ideas for a project I’m working on.

Some examples of things I’ve done in the past are:

  • Selling my volunteer plants in a mini-nursery on my front steps.
  • Bringing home curbside finds, cleaning them up and then selling them at my garage sales.
  • Replacing pricey items with low priced Goodwill finds, and then selling off the more valuable versions. (Porch light, coffee table, etc.)
  • Buying the cheapest Mets tickets available, and then spending a fortune on beer and ice cream served in tiny batting helmets. Oh wait . . . that’s entirely different.
  • Scouring my house for things I can sell on Craigslist. And then scouring it again. (Seriously, my house is a never ending cornucopia of Stuff!)
  • And of course, buy low, sell high from garage sales, thrift stores and curbsides.

Do you crawl hip-deep into dumpsters to glean the gooey-center of buried treasure? Or perhaps you’re more the babysitting, dog walking lawn mowing type.

Either way, I want, no I need your interesting, creative and downright wacky money making ideas. And I want them now. Now!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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clickclackgorilla October 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Hmmm…I’ve wracked my brain and come to conclusion that I’m really more of a “make sure you need to spend almost no money through scavenging” kind of girl and not a “dumpster it and sell it for all it’s worth” kind of girl. But collecting cans for the deposit (25 cents a pop here, which really adds up quickly!) is one of my favorite ways to get a few extra bucks.

Angela@MyYearWithoutSpending October 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

25 cents for a can? You’re kidding! They’re recycled here, I’ve never even thought about selling them. I don’t think you can in Los Angeles.

Linda October 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

If I could sell cans for 25 cents I wouldn’t have to work, but then again if there was a 25cent return on cans there would be a lot more can pickers so I guess I won’t give my resignation notice yet.
Here in Seattle we can sell scrap aluminum but it takes a lot of cans,time and space to get a big enough load to make it worthwhile.

FrancesVettergreenVisualArtist October 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

up here (Canada), you’re not selling the cans, you’re getting the deposit back. If they’re your own cans, that’s not making money, just getting it out of the garage! If someone else paid the deposit, well, then…

Megan October 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Gee we only get 5 cents, so it’s not really worth it to go collecting. But we do take ours back!

Jinger October 11, 2011 at 3:18 am

Doing market research studies in real time and doing surveys online add a few extra dollars to my spending money each month. Recently, I was asked to so a usability study for AT&T that yielded $100 for 15 minutes of sitting in a room following directions to install UVerse. And today, I am taking books and magazines to sell at Half Price Books as well as some gently worn clothing to the resale shop.

Katy October 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

Very nice with the market research!


Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life October 11, 2011 at 6:36 am

I also do surveys in my spare time and usually cash out via Amazon money. We order our pet rats’ food on Amazon and so far haven’t spent a dime on it because it’s all been paid for with my survey money. Occasionally I also cash out a $20 check, and that’s always nice to get in the mail as well.

I enter sweepstakes, too. It’s not a guaranteed payback, but I find it a fun hobby. I get to work half an hour early every day and do them then, so I don’t feel like it eats into my “free time” at all. The biggest thing I’ve won is an $800 HD projector, which we use instead of a TV. It’s fabulous.

Laurie Bennett October 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Jinger – how do you get into doing Market research? How do you know the company is not a scam? I have more time than money and would love to do this.

Jinger October 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

There are several legitimate market research companies in my city. You sign up and when they have a client who needs someone with your profile, they call you. Not often. Also, some advertise on craigslist in the ETC section.

Jackie October 11, 2011 at 4:31 am

I’ve dabbled in a lot of the same things that you do, Katy. I also babysit, and recently, one of my babysitting moms paid me to go to a huge kids clothes sale and buy clothes for her kids. When I was in college, and the first few years after, when I worked for a university, I used to participate in medical/psych studies (the non-crazy ones) as often as possible.

Dogs or Dollars October 11, 2011 at 5:24 am

I am the depot for all unwanted books for our family. No one seems to want to hold on to them once read, and Ive made it known that I will take whatever. People are so anxious to get rid of them, they mail them to me.
Not something I’m interested in? Into the box it goes to be sold during my next trip. I have to save them up, but I usually make $40 to $60 once or twice a year. I’d get more if I opted for store credit, but really who buys books? 😉
I also moonlight at my old job for store credit (its a pet supply store so it works out). I get more in store credit, than I could get in hourly wage.
Makes sacrificing the occasional Saturday much more worth it.

Adrienne October 11, 2011 at 5:40 am

I spend so little $ buying my kids clothes (under $1 an item – even for coats) that I usually make $ when I donate them and take the tax write-off. (I go by the salvation army valuation guide) Not that much $ but zero hassle compared with trying to sell. (had great luck selling big items – clothing not so much)

Jana @ The Summer House October 11, 2011 at 6:48 am

I write for text broker …while watching TV. It’s not much money however it doesn’t feel like work either.
xo jana

Stephanie October 11, 2011 at 6:59 am

Jana –
What is writing for a text broker? As a student with very little time (and money, haha!) I’m always looking for things I can do to help supplement our income when I have a few spare moments or a less-hectic-than-usual school week. Luckily my hub’s salary carries us, but I like to contribute to the savings when I can.

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 11, 2011 at 7:00 am

Hmmm…I’ve done nannying, pet-sitting (in & out of home), work for my brother doing data input/research, buying & reselling items, etc. As for inventive things, I’ve sold items for relatives on Ebay & Craigslist and took a percentage of the selling price. I’ve also cleaned relatives’ house, helped with reorganization, and graded papers. Tutoring is also a lucrative option. We are trying to figure out some extra sources of income (a small reason I started my blog). The Hubs wants to start brewing his own beer and create a website about the process. I can’t wait to hear of more options because we need some!

Oh yeah, just remembered, applying for government programs. Due to our low income, we just got our house weatherized for free! New AC, shade screens, duct work, jumper duct system, vents, etc.! Work to the tune of $15K FREE! Each county/state/city/town has their own unique programs. Check out what’s available for you! It’s surprising how high the income limits are for some of these programs!

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Harriet- Who’s to say you wouldn’t qualify for such a program. I’m unsure of where you live, but you could check. I know the funding for the program we applied for is being cut at the end of the year, so you won’t have to get so huffy about your tax dollars possibly going to such programs. Also, we didn’t expect to qualify or receive all the help we did. We were extremely surprised at what the program covers. Finally, a lot of the electrical companies help fund these programs, so there’s another reason not to get your panties in a bunch over your precious tax dollars. Personally, I’d rather help someone get a new AC over funding pointless wars, but that’s just me.

Trish October 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Yes, I agree about helping people here rather than funding pointless wars. Glad you got the AC. We are fortunate to make a good income, and I am more than happy to help others who for WHAT EVER REASON are not as fortunate

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Harriet–the reason we unfortunately NEED taxes is because people are NOT charitable enough. We are all pretty inherently selfish, so a system has been put in place to ensure people get help. Is it skewed? Most definitely? Did we ask for a new AC or all that we received? Absolutely not. My MIL told us of the program, and we believed it may involve some simple, cheap weather stripping, possibly sun shades, and CFL bulbs. We did not expect any of what we got, and we appreciate it all. We pay taxes along with everyone else, so in a way, we ARE funding some of it. We aren’t just trying to mooch off the system at all, and I’m sorry if that’s how it comes across for you.

In terms of the making money standpoint, these new features to our house will significantly add value. Granted, that won’t be for years as our house went down 30k in value only a year after purchasing, but every little bit helps.

Finally as for the statement of not wanting to pay for something for another which you can not afford, we are doing that too. Our state taxes help fund state health insurance, which we just found out we make $100 too much for. We can’t afford other health insurance, so we are in essence paying for another’s health insurance while ourselves and kids go without. However, I’m choosing not to be quite so bitter about the whole thing. At least someone is getting help, and to me, that’s all that matters. If you hate the system so much, I suggest you spend your time actually fighting it rather than complaining about those we are extremely fortunate to benefit from it.

Kate October 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I was actually just going to say that in some places AC is definitely a necessity and I saw that you had put that about your weather, in some places you HAVE to have it and it can literally be dangerous for children and the elderly not to have a place they can go with AC.

Kate in NY October 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

I was thinking that, too. Here in the Northeast, I consider A/C a luxury, but I wouldn’t bat an eye at my tax dollars going to help low-income families with heating. That’s an issue of survival – just as important as food during certain months. I imagine there are places in this country – and no doubt there will be more and more of them – where the heat poses just as much of a problem.

As for earning extra $$ – – – I recently started a “before school enrichment program” at my house (I live in a fancy area, so “enrichment” gets more attention, and money, than “daycare.”) The elementary school starts late – at 9:15 – so plenty of parents going to work must leave earlier than the school opens.  I don’t have too many kids at a time – maybe 3 or 4 – and so licensing isn’t a big issue (yet). The parents pay cash, and I am here with my youngest daughter anyway. It’s fun – the kids hang out and play, and I putter around and make them hot cocoa. Then everyone gets on the bus at 9! Works for me!

Anon October 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm

My goodness Harriet, what next? Should are tax dollars go to funding eugenics so that we can start weeding out all those who “have no business having children”? Would you prefer that you’re 30% contribution go to forced sterilization programs for the poor? Goodness gracious, how high and mighty of you. You really feel that you can judge somebody for spending money on netflix (what was $10 a month last I checked? Or for the extremely frugal and unethical, free if you want to open up trial accounts with rotating credit cards!).

This woman volunteered helpful information to those who might be interested. She said that she thought they made to much money to qualify for assistance, but as it turned out they were able to get weather-proofing and then some! Wonderful! They live in an area where AC is a necessity and they are technically low-income. Because this woman is frugal and wise with the money she has, it may not seem to you that her family qualifies for low income programs, but the government decided that she makes the cut. I’m sorry she didn’t check with you first, Harriet, to see if it was alright to accept. Now she knows for next time.

I think it’s ridiculous to ask people not to take advantage of programs their taxes paid for that they qualify (yes, her family pays taxes too). A similar post recently on Get Rich Slowly stated that 30% of those who qualify for foodstamps do not use them, either because they are embarrassed, daunted by the paperwork, or assume they are not poor enough. WIC income guidelines are pretty loose, because WIC is a great way for our government to invest in creating healthy children who will hopefully not tax Medicaid/Medicare later down the line because they were given a healthy start. If people do not use these programs, that money will eventually be allotted to other programs. It’s anyone’s guess which programs. Personally, I would prefer to pay for weather-proofing and food for the needy then pointless wars and corporate bailouts.

Your taxes paid to bailout Wall Street, Hillary, maybe that would be something more appropriate to be up in arms about, instead of attacking a low income individual who has made good choices with the money she has. Oh wait, Megyn is visible and much more vulnerable than a faceless corporation. Honestly, the bullying and self-righteousness of these posts sickens me.

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Harriet- It’s funny because had you read further, you would know more about our situation. It seems we have very different opinions on what is important in life. We qualify for WIC because my husband (who often works 72 hour weeks saving people’s lives as an EMT) makes about $10K less than the cut off for our family size. I have my bachelors degree, but due to the areas I received it in, income is extremely low and daycare is extremely high for two small children. Also, we did not plan either children and are trying to do the best we can considering what we’ve been handed (and if you suggest I should have had abortions, the gloves WILL come off). Finally, Netflix is a whole $8/month, I have the computer from my college days, and who the HELL cares where I buy my food? If you had further read my blog, I supported my hypothesis that health food shopping can be just as affordable as buying crap food. I highly suggest you educate yourself about other people before making such harsh judgments about them. You come off as if you know me by reading two blog posts but had you read them all, a better picture would be painted.

Oh yeah, and we pay more in taxes a month than the benefit we receive from WIC.

Bridget October 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Megyn, I agree. Glad you were able to qualify.

Kate October 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Amen. Well said (Megyn)!

j October 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I hear you… I think this is poor use of taxpayers money.
my parents, who survived the depression (without AC) are rolling in their graves!!

Linda October 12, 2011 at 4:33 am

Just my 2 cents, I would rather my tax dollars pay for feeding, clothing and housing people who need it…not for luxuries like AC. With Feeding America able to provide 7 meals with every $1 given, that alot of meals for that AC.

Denise Johnson October 12, 2011 at 5:54 am

I’m curious about others thoughts on what constitutes minimalism? To me it is sheer simplicity, buying & using only what you need. Living on the least amount of money needed to be comfortable. I am by no means a complete minimalist, though I strive to use less,spend less, waste less, and all on my own hard earned dime. I find it interesting to hear of folks calling themselves minimalists while draining the Government programs, Wic, Free Weatherizing, etc.Then spending nearly $100.00 a week on groceries at a natural food store? That in my book is not minimalism, it is simply freeloading off from the taxpayers so You can spend Your money on what You want, not what you need…Want: Cable, Internet, Computer, Beer,Dinners out, etc…Need: Groceries, Home, Heat,Electricity,Clothing…..​.What are your thoughts on this?

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 12, 2011 at 7:17 am

I’m just curious how all of your finances are? Have you had to live poor? Well, we are. I think it’s rather harsh to say I’m free-loading. There are many other government programs we qualify for, but choose NOT to apply for. WIC helps our family out a lot, and what we are not able to use, we donate to others who can. Our grocery bill per week is less than what people who are on food stamps get (BTW, they get $29/week/person…we use$25/week/person). Why does is it matter that I buy organic/local food with our money? How is that NOT minimalist?

As for the weatherization program and AC, we live in an area with EXTREME heat. We had a whole month where everyday was over 110. AC is not considered a commodity in our area, but a necessity. Heat related deaths happen here a lot. When power goes out during the summer heatwaves, relief programs have to step in because a lack of AC often means even more deaths. This is a harsh reality of where we live. To say that we should just go without that option (which also provides heat in the winter), would say that we should just be ok with the possibility of heat related deaths and sweat it out. The weatherization program where we live is trying to help low-income families reduce their energy bills in the long term, which depletes less of the Earth’s resources and dependence on oil. I’m guessing from the program’s viewpoint, the initial investment is worth it in the long run for the family and the environment.

Finally, for how we spend our money, we spend about 95% on sheer necessities. The extra 5% is for “fun” stuff, and we frankly do very little of that. I’m just so surprised at the harshness of the responses. Had I have known this sheer outrage and belittling, I would have omitted my response. I
was just trying to help people out.

Minimalists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and socio-economic statuses. I suggest that unless you walk in another’s shoes, leave the judgments aside.

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 12, 2011 at 7:56 am

Just wanted to add about the tax money–we unfortunately do not get to choose how our tax dollars are spent. We leave that up to the elected officials. Programs are created and funded for things they believe tax payers want/need. If you feel your tax dollars are being wrongly allocated, contact those who you help elect. Get involved politically. Stop putting your anger towards those who are finding help in the programs designed for people like them. Get mad at the politicians spending your tax dollars in a way you don’t like. The thing is that these programs have funds that just sit there whether they get used or not. The best way to stop these programs is to write/talk/get involved politically, so such programs lose funding or don’t get created altogether. BTW, that weatherization program is losing the majority of funding at the end of the year, along with the majority of other tax-funded programs in our state. And to reiterate, we did NOT expect about 90% of which we received, so we weren’t applying in search of such a massive handout (we truly believed it just involved some weather stripping, CFL’s, and sunshades).

Denise Johnson October 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

Yep, I have been poor. I had my first child when I was 15, she is now a Registered Nurse,married with two kids ( she worked fulltime all the while going to College and raising a Daughter, as did her Husband.) I lied about my age to work to support my Daughter since I was not yet 16, my Husband also worked fulltime. I worked at a Daycare Center fulltime so I could have free childcare for my Daughter, I went to School, Me & my Husband had our second Daughter, we Both worked Fulltime and spent our money wisely. We shopped for the least expensive healthy food, bought Garage Sale clothes,we did not have cable, we had one junker car for a long time. We both worked hard, saved, bought a house, saved more, bought another house, saved more bought nice vehicles, saved more, bought a cabin…The key is we earned the money we spent. We are now middle class? Neither my husband nor I have a College degree. Both of our Daughters are College educated.Both have awesome work ethics and are good with their money. So yes, walking in someone elses shoes can be enlightning can’t it? When we earn All of our own money, nobody can have an opinion on how we spend it.By the way… we only have 2 kids. That was all we could afford to support ourselves.

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 12, 2011 at 8:26 am

Denise- It sounds like you did great, and there’s nothing wrong with that! We work very hard as well. It saves us money for me to stay home (daycare would cost all that I could potentially make). We don’t have cable either and never plan to. We have junker cars as well. We work our butts off for everything we have. However, we did get extremely fortunate with the weatherization program. Why suffer ALL the time, if you could get a little help now & then? We choose to donate/give a lot, and plan to do so even more now that we have been so fortunate. I think our stories are much alike, so why get so mad/bitter/angry/negative? Everyone needs help from time to time and sometimes people just get lucky.

Denise Johnson October 12, 2011 at 8:53 am

Megyn, Nope, I’m not angry,bitter,negative,or mad, actually if you knew me you would see that I am a pretty happy, go lucky person. I just have an opinion on how My tax money is spent, and yes, I am vocal with my local Government on my opinions. I am careful with my money and donate to charities of my choice. Obviously you have your own opinion on how you spend money. So, what ever…I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Megyn @Minimalist Mommi October 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

For those interested (no matter which side you lie on for this issue), here is a link to information from the program we were a part of:

I feel that it’s great to get info. and perspective on why this program exists rather than just hearing my opinion. Even after receiving help, I’m still not personally sure well I think funds are allocated…but then again, it also depends on WHO the funders are. I truly appreciate all of the feedback, even the negative. It’s given a me a lot to think about & consider (and blog about later lol). Thanks for all the candid convo. Katy–sorry for all the comments. Just glad this discussion got started because I think it’s one our nation needs to have to enact change 🙂

Megg October 11, 2011 at 7:33 am

I try to babysit a lot. I signed up for but so far have only had 1 hit.
I’m trying to get into the whole, refurbish free things, but so far I’ve only done a coffee table and it took me a month to sell it! (At least it’s gone now)
I’ve tried to sell things on eBay (we have a bunch of old baseball and comic book cards from my husband’s uncle) but haven’t made much from that (maybe $60 total).
I also do Swagbucks, which doesn’t earn me real money, but it does help save a LOT of money. So far I’ve spent less than $10 on Christmas presents and I have half my list done. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty impressed with myself for that.

Judy October 11, 2011 at 8:53 am

This is/was a once in a lifetime found money opportunity. Last week I found $100 in a book I had bought at the GW or and estate sale! Yup, I turned the page and there were five twenty dollar bills stashed between the pages.
The hardest $100 I ever earned was being a movie extra for about 13 hours.
I’ve also had some luck at the local casinos, but that doesn’t always work!

Katherine October 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

Cleaning houses- I did it in grad school. Not my favorite job (I mean- some of it is ick) but people will pay a lot to have someone else scrub their shower.

Kandace October 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I stay at home with a toddler and am about to have another kiddo any day now, so my chances to make a little extra money are somewhat limited, but I try. I’ve been doing Swagbucks for a little over a month now, and I do surveys for a few companies. Not big money but enough to help out some. I also go through our house for stuff to sell on eBay, at yard sales, and consignment. I’ve recently gotten surprisingly lucky with some blog giveaways. Every little bit helps.

Janinne October 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I can’t do this personally, because my body interprets actions like this as trauma and I go into syncope, but at some places you can sell your blood or plasma. Plasma you can provide fairly often. But I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, Katy, since you’re a nurse. Maybe you could get the rest of your family to do it too–thus increasing your income more than if just one person were to do it.

Kelli October 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

One of the more “interesting” ways I’ve made extra money: we had a fish tank that I was weary of cleaning, but it was home to 2 really large angel fish that had grown from the size of a quarter to the size of a soup can lid…..I called a local pet shop to see if they would be interested in purchasing and I sold them for $25. I was happy, the pet shop people were happy….I think the fish were happy to be in a clean tank. Win-win-win!!

Lauren October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I have a friend who works full-time and hires a neighbor to come by once or twice a week to prep dinners she can just pop in the oven. The neighbor also packs the kids lunches for the week. My friend supplies all the ingredients. I think that would be a great way to earn a little extra money (if I could cook well enough, I’d try it).

Athena October 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I always have something up my sleeve and have always said if I ever lose my day job I am sure I could still survive. I can’t do these things much though with my current schedule but I do them when I need extra cash (or want it).

First – our local Salvation Army store has a family day where everything is half off. I buy all wedding gowns on that day that I can repair or clean. No – I don’t dry clean them. They actually do pretty well in a very gentle wash cycle or with hand washing. Then sell them on Craigslist or ebay.

Second – our local Goodwill has $1 Sundays where everything that was the color on sale during the week is now only $1 (clothing). I search for any article of clothing that is new with tags, gowns, heavy coats etc… Sell on Ebay or Craigslist. Remarkably there are always a large number of articles of clothing that are new with tags for just $1.

Third – if you live near a Goodwill Outlet – they have phenomenal prices but you need time to go through bins and determine what you can sell outright, what you can make into something else and sell or what you can refinish to sell.

Why I don’t always do it – clothing is difficult and time consuming to sell. If you develop a system it isn’t so bad but you need to measure every inch of the clothing, take tons of photos, and be prepared to answer a great many questions. Clothing and Jewelry are the most time consuming to sell but they can reap the greatest profits.

Christina October 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I just started offering chair massages at a local cafe once a week. I bring along things like clays, bath salts, and body oils to sell. These are items that I buy in bulk for personal use so I’m not spending extra to provide them. Seems to be going okay so far. I’m grateful for my massage skills because I know I’ll always be able to hustle up cash that way.

Adventures in Thrift Land October 12, 2011 at 5:02 am

Some of my best finds I’ve sold online have been from Dumpsters.

Nicole October 12, 2011 at 6:14 am

I knit for profit.
My mom has a lot of friends who used to knit/crochet, and no longer have the time. I am the recipient of a lot of the yarn they no longer want. Much of it is stuff I don’t/can’t use. That yarn goes to various charity groups I knit with. I trade yarn with one group often. I give them a shopping bag full, and I get one or two skeins of stuff I can use.
I knit items and sell them at craft shows, in my etsy shop ( or to people I know.
It’s something I love doing, and as of right now, isn’t my full time job. It will be one day!

CNM October 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

My husband and I take aluminum cans to the scrap metal yard and cash them in. The price per pound varies, but it’s usually around 50 cents per pound. You won’t rake in a ton of money, but we pick up cans when we out walking the dog. I also have a can recycling box at my work. I figure that it cleans up our city and, honestly, it’s kind of fun- like an Easter egg hunt! Over the past 3 years we’ve been doing this, we’ve made about $200.

Tabitha October 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

I live a minimalist life style. I run my own consulting business, and my intent with it is to work only as much as is required to support my family of four. And by support, I mean feed, cloth, entertain and educate all of us. There is room for some luxuries, such as road trips to visit family, an occasional girls’ weekend for me and money to do small household projects.

I knew almost ten years ago that I wanted to work towards this lifestyle. I wanted to have a flexible job, flexible hours and be able to do what I wanted when I wanted. As a result, we bought a house far below the price the bank was willing to allow us to spend. We worked hard and paid off that mortgage. We live in the same, moderately sized bungalow today that we’ve renovated over the years with extra cash we made doing our full-time, double income before kids jobs.

Today, when I want some extra cash to stow away for either a larger household project, an extravagance for me (new clothes, bought at a consignment store) or whatever, I use the skills I have to help others. Other posters mention doing work for friends. Because I have a flexible job and hours, and my friends are full-time employees at companies as well as moms, I sell my services to them. I am known as a phenomenal organizer, so friends pay me to clear out garages, organize home offices and get their spaces functioning better. I take care of the small jobs these moms don’t have time or inclination to take care of, and tack them onto my own chores/errands lists. I think the other poster who talked of prepping meals for a friend is another great idea – do what you already do for someone else, and have them pay you a bit for it.

I love your blog because it speaks to so much of how I choose to live. My husband is not on the same page as me in this regard, so we struggle with that. But it’s nice to find this space where others are aligned and working towards a common goal. Thank you for being that community to me.

Adventures in Thrift Land October 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Okay, here’s one:

If you post videos on YouTube, monetize them with ads. I make $.50 to $1.00 per day with them. If I can make money with my pathetic videos, I truly think anyone can.

Here’ s my channel link, in case you want to see.

Cindy October 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

My family did the concession stand for several square dancing events in our local town. We made about $100-$125 for each event which lasts roughly four hours.

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