A homesteading lifestyle is simple, but it can require a decent amount of money to start one not to mention keeping it maintained.
There are several benefits to living this way with the primary one being that of self-reliance.
But how does this help to pay the bills?
Surprisingly, a homestead can offer ample opportunities for making additional income.
If you are looking for a financial means to support your property or supplement what you have, here are some great ideas for using your homestead to make money.
13 Genius Ways to Make Extra Money while Homesteading
A homestead has land, space, natural resources, equipment, and above all the freedom to do what you want on your property.
Here are some of the ways you can use all of that to your advantage to make a little extra green.
Sell Excess Produce
All the years in which I had a garden, I always ended up with more produce than I could eat before it went bad.
The extra food either went bad, it was preserved, or it was given away to family and friends.
More and more people are looking for healthier sources of food that have not been altered in a laboratory or exposed to an array of harmful chemicals.
A homestead can grow organic, or all-natural, products that people will pay for.
Not only that, but a homestead can grow food more abundantly than the average gardener. More produce means more opportunity for additional income.
After you have harvested what you need, take excess food and sell it at a roadside stand or a farmer’s market.
Other than the most common vegetables that come from a garden, consider growing popular seasonal produce.
One of the most popular options that come to mind is pumpkins and gourds.
Pumpkins and gourds require a lot of space to grow but do pretty well growing on their own.
During the fall season, people enjoy using these items as decorations. An added benefit is that people also enjoy harvesting these items themselves by picking the ones they want. That’s less work for you and money in your pocket. I would call that a win, win situation.
Sell Meat and Livestock
Much like the above produce section, people love fresh meat that again is “all-natural,” and they know its history.
Meat in many grocery stores can be questionable since we may not know where it was raised, how it was raised, what it has been exposed to, and the conditions in which it was slaughtered and packaged.
On top of all that, meat prices are higher than ever, and will likely continue that upward path.
I have known many people that prefer to buy a quarter or half of a cow or pig from a local farmer to fill up their freezers.
This provides customers with meat that is cheaper per pound and healthier while at the same time providing you with a little extra money in your pocket.
Additionally, if you have a particularly hearty stock of animals you could breed them and sell those animals to other homesteaders or farmers.
Chickens and Eggs
Chicken is a popular, tasty meat that many people enjoy serving up for dinner.
The cost of raising chickens is relatively low when compared to larger livestock like cows are pigs and they do not require nearly as much space. This allows more chickens to be grown in a smaller area.
Other than the meat, chickens also provide a renewable source of food that can be sold their eggs.
Homegrown eggs taste so much better than the mass-produced version we see in the store, and people will pay a premium for them.
Become a Beekeeper
The idea of being around bees often brings to mind a person running away to avoid being stung.
But bees play a critical role in the environment as pollinators.
As a homesteader, you can use bees in several different ways.
Having bees around will help to pollinate the plant life that you are growing on your property. This is just one aspect of a productive growing season.
The bee population is in such decline that if you have enough of them, other large produce growers will pay you to bring the bees to their fields.
And of course, we cannot forget about honey. Honey is so highly sought after that “fake” honey has made its way into the marketplace. This is honey that has been altered in some way from its original form, so it is no longer pure.
Pure, homegrown honey can be used in several different ways and has been highly sought after throughout history.
If you have a large property there is a good chance you have various types of equipment to take care of it, such as a chainsaw and axe.
With a chainsaw in hand, you could offer your services to cut up downed trees for other people so that it can be used as firewood.
Or if they do not want the wood, offer to haul it away for free and sell it later.
A lot of people enjoy using backyard firepits or heat their homes with indoor fireplaces, but often they do not have the accompanying land that offers firewood.
A small bundle of firewood can fetch a decent price.
Offer Your Skills
Every person is good at something and more than likely, there is someone out there that could use what you know.
Take a moment to think about what you are good at and then offer that as a service to others.
Maybe you are great with computers or you know how to make and repair clothes. Do you have a green thumb or have an aptitude for the trades like plumbing and carpentry?
Some homesteads may also have certain equipment such as tractors, vehicles, and tools that other people cannot afford.
Consider renting this equipment to others or using it yourself as some type of service.
At minimum physical labor could be sourced out.
Whatever skill it is that you have, be proud of it and use it to its fullest advantage.
Dedicated gardeners will have a compost pile. This is a way of recycling their food and property waste while at the same time creating a medium that plants grow exceptionally well in.
Consider bagging it up and selling it to other gardeners and homesteaders.
Homemade soaps have become extremely popular to make and buy in recent years.
Depending on the process you choose, soapmaking is not all that difficult.
Additionally, a homesteader may already be making soap as part of their self-sufficient lifestyle.
Soap is also relatively cheap to make and sells at a good price point. Everyone uses soap, everyone needs it and it is a source of repeatable business.
Bars of soap can easily be sold online or at an outside venue.
Candles are still a popular item to have for purposes of decorations, order control, emergency lighting, or to spice up a romantic dinner for two.
It is nice to have a place outside of the home to make candles because the process can be pretty messy.
But making candles requires very little start-up cost and are incredibly simple to make.
You can choose to make candles that are large, small, unscented, scented, or in jars. When it comes to candles you can let your creative side run loose.
Additional Homemade Goods
Soap and candles are not the only homemade goods to choose from, in fact, there are a lot. Which one to choose only depends on your resources and interest.
Here are a few more homemade products that people enjoy and often seek out.
- Baked goods
- Canned food, especially ones made from homemade recipes
- Quilts, blankets, or throws
- Woodworking products such as boxes, signs, picture frames, and furniture
- Winter accessories such as hats, mittens, and scarves
If you are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the skills listed in this list (as well as others that were not mentioned) you could teach others what you know.
Classes could be conducted at a variety of venues, but many times these locations require a rental fee. Instead, to save money consider hosting the classes right on the homestead.
By hosting a class on the property, it provides a more personal experience and allows people to see firsthand what homesteading is all about.
Here are a few ideas on topics that could be taught.
- Soap making
- Candle making
- Food preservation methods
- Property maintenance
- Home maintenance
- Vehicle and equipment repair
- Outdoor and survival skills
- How to homestead and what you have learned works and does not work
Open Up The Property
Depending on how large a homestead is and what is on the property, it could be opened to the general public to experience certain activities.
For example, some farms and orchards have turned their properties into a sort of rural amusement park where families can come for a day of fun.
Some of the activities offered include:
- Corn or other types of mazes
- Petting zoos
- Hayrack rides
- Haunted houses, barns, woods, etc.
- Vegetable or fruit picking
- Or any other specialty activity that may be specific to the property
Another option is to ask yourlfe if there is an interesting building or particularly beautiful spot on the property that others would want to use.
If so, then these locations could be rented out for several different purposes, such as weddings, parties, or company retreats.
Not every homestead is the same. Some of the above opportunities may be available on one that is not available on another.
This is not necessarily a bad thing because it means that every homestead is unique.
Therefore, every homestead has the opportunity to offer a unique product, service, or experience to interested customers.
When it comes to making money with a homestead, the options available, and what you choose to do are limitless.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your endeavor!