Homesteading is a dream for so many of us but it can be expensive at times. Don’t let this stop you! Share your skills, knowledge, harvest, products, and more! Here are over one hundred great ideas for how to make money homesteading.
Over 7 years ago, our family moved to Alaska and found a simple life we never expected. We live in a log home in the woods on small acreage and keep chickens, waterfowl, bees, and dairy cows on our small farm.
Our family harvests our own meat and fish, grow a garden, pick berries, and produce as much of our own food as we can. We are practicing modern homesteading and enjoy living life as self-sufficient as possible.
This isn’t always the easy way…or cheap. It’s a lot of hard work and often the cost is high, both in time and money. Many people ask us if we do these things to save money and the answer is usually “no”.
Is it easier and cheaper to buy eggs and milk at the store? Yes, but it’s not what we’re looking for. The benefits, for us, far outweigh the costs.
However, the expenses do add up and it’s nice when we can offset some of these costs in different ways. As homesteaders, there are many creative ways to not only share the products of our hard work but to earn a little extra income to help fund our dreams.
Even if you don’t have very much land or aren’t able to work full time, there are still plenty of income ideas. Just a little space and some hard work will help you earn some extra money.
Whether you are just starting out or have been doing this for years, there’s always something that you can offer your community. Honey from your bees, eggs from your chickens, bread from your kitchen, or vegetables from your garden.
Here are over fifty ideas for how to make money homesteading.
What to Consider First
Before you start making money homesteading, consider a few things first.
Local laws and regulations– Please be sure to check your local laws and regulations regarding any sales of food or animal products. Label all products exactly as directed. It can be tricky to get into selling animal products so educate yourself and follow all rules.
Multiple income streams– You might not earn a full-time income just from selling jam or duck eggs. You will often need multiple streams of income to get it all to add up. Start by setting a goal for what you want to earn over time. A little here and a little there will add up quickly!
How to Make Money Beekeeping
Sell honey– Plenty of people understand the health benefits and value of eating raw, local honey. They want to avoid the honey from the grocery store that isn’t always true honey. Use different-sized jars (half-pint, pint, and quart) depending on people’s preferences. You can sell to friends and co-workers or at a farmer’s market, or at a local feed or health foods store.
Sell comb honey-Many people enjoy having the honey still in the comb. This usually costs more than pure honey. Sell a chunk of comb honey in a small container.
Sell wax-Pure beeswax can be hard to come by locally and people can use it to make all sorts of projects. Be sure to clean it first using these instructions. Then you can sell it in small chunks by weight.
Teach a beekeeping class-Beekeeping is a lot of work and can be very complicated! We took a class before starting this hobby ourselves and it was worth the cost. Print out a booklet for your students to follow what you’re teaching and take notes. Show them all the steps from putting together the hive boxes to harvesting the honey.
Sell used equipment-As you grow as a beekeeper, you will begin to acquire more and more equipment. Over the years, you might be ready to part with some of it.
Build equipment to sell-We like purchasing any equipment that we can that’s locally made. This can include brood boxes, honey supers, bee escapes, candy board frames, and more. If you are handy and enjoy woodworking, you can build custom beekeeping equipment.
Sell homemade candles-Use your pure beeswax to make candles to sell! Pure beeswax candles are not only beautiful but much better for our homes and health than store-bought candles with artificial add-ins.
Mentorship– Offer your services for an entire season and be available to complete hive checks and other important beekeeping tasks. New beekeepers will appreciate this during their first season.
How to Make Money with Chickens
Sell eggs– Of course, local, farm-fresh eggs are always sought after! Sell your chicken eggs on your own or through a local farmers market or health food store. This is one of the easiest ways to get started with selling products from your small homestead.
Sell manure– Chicken manure makes excellent compost. Sell bucketfuls to neighbors to use in their gardens. Or reuse empty poultry feed bags to fill with manure.
Sell meat birds– Raise your own meat birds to sell. This includes chickens and turkeys. You don’t need acres of land to do this. Process them when the time comes and package them neatly for your customers. Get the word out prior to purchasing the chicks so that you know how many people are interested in buying your naturally raised meat birds. You can also look into selling the meat at a local feed store or local market.
Sell chicks– Incubate and hatch chicks to sell. Those who want to start their own flock of backyard chickens can come to you for their day-old chicks. Be sure to offer breeds that do well in the climate that you live in.
How to Make Money with Waterfowl
Sell eggs-Ducks and goose eggs might not be as popular as chicken eggs but there are many people out there who prefer them. Duck eggs are wonderful for baking with. Be sure to check local regulations regarding the labeling of egg cartons.
Sell meat birds-Raise ducks and geese for meat on a little farm. Process them and package them for customers.
Sell ducklings/goslings-Hatch ducklings and goslings to sell for those wanting to raise their own waterfowl. Geese make great guardians for the rest of the flock and ducks are reliable layers, even during the winter.
How to Make Money with Rabbits
Sell the fiber-Many rabbit breeds make excellent fiber animals, such as angora rabbits. Those who appreciate natural fibers look for local farms to buy from. Then they can spin it and craft with it. These rabbits are adorable, inexpensive to raise, and produce soft fiber that is popular for making into hats and scarves.
Sell for meat-Raising rabbits for meat has become quite popular. They’re inexpensive, small animals that are easy to process, and the meat is healthy.
How to Make Money with Dairy Animals
Sell milk– Farm fresh cow and goat milk are healthy and delicious. But not everyone can keep their own animals for this. Of course, have a complete understanding of the local raw milk laws in your state.
Herd share– Start a herd share depending on the laws in your state. This allows others to share in the ownership of your dairy animal as well as the product…fresh, raw milk.
Sell milk products– Again, depending on the laws in your state, sell homemade products from your milk. This includes butter, cream, and different types of cheese.
Sell manure/compost– Cow manure makes excellent garden compost. We are always able to sell buckets and truckloads full of our own compost to neighbors. This is a great way for kids to earn money, too, by scooping it up for the customers.
Sell the calves– You must breed your dairy animals to get the milk but what are you going to do with the calves? You can sell them as future dairy or meat animals. Advertise when your animals are expecting and find someone looking for a good-quality dairy or meat cow or goat.
Teach a class– Getting into keeping dairy animals takes a lot of work and knowledge. Teach a class to help others learn about what it takes so they don’t have to learn the hard way. Allow them to come out to your property to get hands-on experience. Then they’ll get a good start when they’re ready to start raising large animals.
Rent out a bull– If you keep a bull for breeding your goats or cows, rent it out and charge a stud fee. Not everyone chooses to AI their animals but instead seek out a bull to rent to get the job done. The average cost is lower this way. They can bring their animals to you for breeding or you can deliver your stud to them.
Be a Livestock Consultant– Share your knowledge and experience and help others learn how to raise livestock.
How to Make Money Gardening
Sell produce– Grow extra produce to sell on your own or at the local farmer’s market or local food store. Start a CSA. Many people will be happy to sign up for a weekly pick-up or delivery of fresh, organic produce.
Sell flowers– Cut flowers are so lovely and reflect the beauty of the modern homesteader. Sell bouquets at the farmer’s market or start a weekly CSA where your customers get a fresh bouquet each week! Or charge to allow them to come and pick their own bouquets.
Teach a class– Gardening can be tricky to learn. Host a class (I took one years ago) to help others learn your gardening secrets and tips.
Sell syrup-Tap maple trees to make your own maple syrup to sell. Here in Alaska, birch syrup is popular. We hope to tap our own trees one day but until then, I buy bottles of birch syrup at the local farmer’s market.
Sell herbs– Grow a large herb garden and sell dried or fresh herbs. Herbs are easy to grow so this won’t take a lot of extra work.
Sell seeds– At the end of each growing season, harvest seeds from the produce you grow and sell extra seeds in small packets. Heirloom seeds are especially sought after.
You pick– If you have an especially large garden, invite others out to pick throughout the season. You-pick farms are a great place for friends and neighbors to gather and enjoy the summer garden’s bounty.
Pumpkin patch– Pumpkin patches are so much fun in the fall! They are often in high demand as well. Families enjoy having photo shoots and picking their own pumpkins for fall.
Mushroom/ Foraged foods/ Berries– If you are good at foraging for wild edibles, sell them! We see locally foraged berries, mushrooms, and other wild edibles at our local farmer’s market every week.
Grow fruit trees– Grow apple trees or other fruit trees and sell the bounty or allow others to come and pick.
Sell plants– Not everyone wants to start plants from seeds. You can starts seeds for your own use and later sell your own plants. We have a neighbor who grows lots of plant starts and hangs a cute little sign near her driveway whenever she has them ready to sell. This is a good way to get locally grown plants.
Compost Worms– Raise your own compost worms and sell them to fellow gardeners in your area.
How to Make Money with Food
Sell bread– Homemade bread, especially sourdough, is delicious and very popular. Be sure to always check your local cottage food laws prior to labeling and selling. You can sell from your home or even to a local restaurant.
Sell jam– Homemade jams, jellies, and preserves are delicious and more natural than grocery store options. Make and sell preserves using local ingredients.
Vanilla extract– Make large bottles of homemade vanilla extract and then, after steeping, divide it into smaller bottles to sell. You can read full instructions for how to make vanilla extract in this post.
Baked goods– Bake your own croissants, muffins, cookies, cakes, and more! Offer your creations for parties and other events.
Sourdough starter– Freeze dry some of your active sourdough starter to sell to those trying to get into sourdough baking. You can even mail it! It’s a good idea to include directions for how to use the starter.
Write a cookbook– Share your favorite foods and homestyle recipes to help others learn how to cook healthy, homegrown meals.
Canned food– Sell other preserved food such as canned meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits. Of course, check your local laws and regulations regarding selling these types of food and labeling requirements. Canned apples are popular as well as green beans.
How to Make Money at Home
Sell Handwork– Homemade knitting, crocheting, quilts, sewing, and other craft projects are popular. And not everyone has a lot of time to make their own. Handmade items make great gifts as well for others to purchase for those on their list. Sell at local craft shops, consignment stores, antique shops, markets, bazaars, and more.
Woodwork– Sell homemade woodworking projects. We found our living room side table at the farmer’s market and have since had the craftsman make us a few more pieces. We love them because they are so unique. Also, handmade woodwork is much better quality than what’s available in stores. If you have a talent for woodworking, share it with others looking to fill their homes with special pieces of decor.
Homemade bath and beauty products– Make your own soaps, lotions, lip balms, and more. Homemade soaps are more natural than what you can find in the store and also make great gifts. Use essential oils but otherwise keep your products as natural as possible. Using local beeswax will make them even more special. I buy all of our soap from a local company and I love that they use local ingredients.
Host events– Open up your homestead to visitors. Host dinners, weddings, and other gatherings depending on the amount of land you have available. Many would love to spend a special event at a beautiful, small, family-owned farm.
Bed and Breakfast– If you have extra room, open your home as a bed and breakfast. Give your guests the homestead experience and cook them from-scratch meals.
Teach classes– Teach classes out of your home on various homesteading topics and different things people might want to learn about your way of life.
Metalworking– Another important skill that can be used for a variety of projects. Create practical, beautiful pieces for people to use in their homes.
Sell old items as you declutter– It’s easier than ever these days to sell your stuff online. Pass on what you don’t need anymore for a little extra cash and declutter at the same time.
Cut and sell wood– Here in Alaska, woodstoves help keep our homes extra warm during the long, cold winters. We’re on the lookout all spring, summer, and fall for wood to burn. It’s nice when someone we know clears some trees off their land and sells the logs for a good price. You can sell just the logs or cut them yourself for a higher price to those who don’t want to do it themselves.
How to Make Money with Skills
You don’t have to have a physical product to sell. As a homesteader, you have unique, sometimes hard-to-find skills that others may need.
Write a book– Share your knowledge and write about one or more of the aspects of homesteading. Where is your strength? Beekeeping? Livestock? Write a book to teach others who are wanting to learn about how to homestead.
Online business– Start a blog or YouTube channel. Share your unique lifestyle on social media. Sell an online course teaching homesteading skills. You can have a successful business right on your computer.
Equipment rental– Do you have any large equipment? Rent it out for those needing to complete large projects at home. We hire a friend to do hard-pack removal near the end of winter because he has the equipment for it. You can plow driveways during the winter or landscape during the summer.
Hire out your skills– Building, fixing, yard work, plumbing. There are so many skills that others are in need of. Rent out your time and help customers complete projects around their property.
How to Save Money Homesteading
You don’t necessarily have to have an inflow of cash to be making money. Saving money leaves you with more in the bank also. Homesteaders are hard-working and thrifty and find ways to save money instead of spending it on unnecessary things. Here are some ideas for how to save money on a homestead.
Meal plan– We’ve all heard this a hundred times! The key to saving money on the food bill is to plan ahead. Unplanned meals and going out to eat add up quickly. Plus, you probably have more in your pantry than you think. Maybe it’s not the most exciting ingredients, but it’s still good food. It’s not much trouble to sit down and make a meal plan and the reward is a lower food bill.
Buy used– Not only is buying used better for the environment, it saves you quite a bit of money. Before buying new, looking for used is a better option.
Be less wasteful– The more food you waste, the more money you’ll be spending to replace it. Learn how to properly store and preserve food so that it doesn’t go to waste. Stretch your food dollars. The same goes for household items. Fix it instead of buying a new one. What else can you go without to save money? For example, paper towels are expensive, have wasteful packaging, and can easily be replaced with reusable cloth rags made from old shirts and towels.
Shop local– Steer clear of big box stores full of aisles and aisles of stuff you don’t need. It’s tempting to buy more than what you went for. Small local shops not only support your local community but offer a limited selection.
Modern homesteading is growing in popularity for many reasons. A simpler life, self-reliance, and better health are just a few of the reasons that many families are trying to live a more purposeful, old-fashion life. And there are many ways to financially support this choice so that your family can spend time together doing what matters most. there are even more ideas out there for how to make money homesteading but I hope the ones here will get you on the right track!