Are you looking to make more income, but don’t have any clue where to start? The question to ask yourself is, “What are my free resources?” Free resources can mean anything. It can mean an interest, a skill, a degree. Don’t count the cost that went into it. Just consider now that because you own it, now it belongs to you and can be considered a free resource. You don’t have to pay for it now. Maybe you don’t even own it yet, but you can easily acquire it. Free piles on the side of the road, anyone?
You can get really creative on your own, I know you can – but here are a few ways I’ve made “free money”, spending only what I already have and my time.
~Proofreading~ I have only highschool level English, and no official proofreading/editing qualifications, but I love my language, and have an eye for detail. Most aspiring writers want an extra pair of eyes, and don’t want to pay professional prices for them. Enjoy your red pen, give them your feedback, and make a few bucks in the meantime.
~Food/plants~ I don’t live on a main enough road for a roadside stand to be worth my time, but I do have a garden. Saving seeds, drying herbs, planting up cuttings into pots (or dixie cups, as the case may be..), and selling your final fruit/vegetables are all options. Invest in some mason jars, and do your own jellies/canning. One year, I gathered up a pile of wood chips from local road work/tree cutting, threw some winecap mycelium into it, and sold it by the basketful. (Ok, so I had to pay for plastic baskets. That’s turning one dollar per basket into however many dollars you chose to sell the woodchips for. Sounds like a pretty profitable investment to me!)
~Junk Journals~ Do you have a huge stash of pretty trash? If not, start saving now! Look into junk journaling. You can make a beautiful “blank” made with literal trash. Save money by giving it as a gift, or make money by selling it. There are some selling on Etsy for upwards of a hundred dollars! If making it isn’t your thing, you can always just sell your stash. People will pay lots of money for something you’re about to throw away.
~”Plarn”~ Plastic yarn. Yarn made out of plastic grocery bags. No, I swear. It’s a thing. Depending on where you live, this might not be an option for you (some states/towns ban one-use plastic grocery bags), but if you get a pile of them every time you go out, then you can start saving them and putting them to a new use. Cut them up, twist them into cordage, and either make that into something useful or just measure it into skeins and sell it as “plarn”. If cordage is too time consuming or boring to you, just use it untwisted. Cut the bags into strips (rings), loop them all together using the Lark’s Head knot, ball it up, and knit or crochet whatever you’d like. Or, again, just sell it as is.
~Weavers~ Do you have a yard/garden? I’ve set mine up so that I have perennials like daylilies, irises, and a willow copse. You can use these as replenishing/sustainable cordage/weaving materials. If you don’t feel like doing the weaving yourself, you can learn how to dry them properly and sell them to someone who does.
~Compost~ If you have any outside space at all, it’s worth giving some of it over to composting. I live in the woods, so I’m never out of materials to add to the pile. Leaves in the fall, food scraps all year round, ashes/coals from hardwood campfires, wood chips from tree work along the road – anything natural and decomposable goes into it. I don’t have animals, but manure would also be good to add to the pile or use separately. Either use all this yourself for your own garden to save money there, or sell it to someone who wants to grow organically. Yeah, it’s a time investment, but the materials are one hundred percent free. Start now.
~Raking/shoveling~ Anyone living near you who’s unable or unwilling to rake their own leaves or shovel their own snow? Ask them what they’d be willing to pay to know that it’s all taken care of. BONUS: Take the leaves away with you, and put them on your own compost pile.
~Plants in general~ For information on how to propagate them, read Free Plants for Everyone, or something similar, and then get growing. People tend to like houseplants and fresh food, so there’s always a market even if you have no documentation on varieties and whatnot. (Though it does help to have a name you can put on a label for people.)
Ill update this as I think up/do more. What are your free resources?