One of the best things about living off-grid is that you can make some money while living your dream lifestyle. I’m not talking about millions of dollars, but instead hundreds or thousands of dollars — enough to supplement other sources of income, which allows you to continue living off-grid.
For these, you likely already have experience in them or already are involved:
1. Selling surplus protein
Many off-the-grid homesteads have a collection of small animals raised for protein. Chicken and rabbits are common, but other fowl or fish are also possible. One easy way to make some extra money is to sell surplus protein. For example, you can only eat so many eggs at a time. So if your hens are rocking, sell the extra eggs.
The key is diversity. Many off-the-grid homesteaders focus on one or two animals, so eating chicken or rabbit every day can be monotonous. Your neighbors, who may raise cattle or pigs, may be eager customers for a few meals of chicken or rabbit rather than beef or pork. Word can spread quickly, and you even could sell the items at the local farmers’ market.
2. Selling surplus produce
The same goes for the output of your garden. Make a special effort to grow something different and uncommon that other nearby neighbors will happily buy from you. For example, while everyone grows potatoes and carrots, consider some other root vegetables like salsify, parsnip, or sunchokes. Again, variety is the spice of life, and neighbors and others in town may happily pay you for something different from the ordinary.
3. Growing grains
If you have the available land and labor (like a horse or a tractor), growing grains is a moneymaker. People are naturally drawn to buying locally, and if you can offer something relatively unique like quinoa, sorghum or amaranth, this will be a welcome change to corn or flour. You could bake and sell bread, cakes and other delights made from your own flour.
You also can expand this to growing fodder for your neighbors’ pigs or cows.
4. Making household supplies
Another way to make some extra money is to focus on making household supplies that every homestead needs. Canning food, growing and producing herbal remedies, tanning, making soap, and making candles are all options. The best part about these options is that you can use supplies readily available on the homestead.
For example, candles use rendered animal fat. Soap can be made from lye. Herbal remedies come from the flowers and herbs in the garden. Finally, consider woodworking. While today’s shops are noisy places filled with buzzing saws and loud drills, people have built simple furniture and other items for centuries without modern tools or electricity.
5. Using your technical expertise
Most off-the-gridders rely on some type of modern device for power – solar power, diesel generators or hydropower are common options. While all of these technologies are great alternatives to buying from the electric company, some degree of technical know-how is necessary to troubleshoot and repair an off-grid power source that’s not working.
So if you have solar power, become an expert on inverters and batteries. If you have a diesel generator, learn how to diagnose and fix any common generator problem. Likely, you and your neighbors live in remote areas, so those near you will appreciate having someone close by to troubleshoot and repair their off-grid power systems.
While many of us cherish books, a lot of us learn by searching the Internet. You can make some money by setting up a website and writing blogs about your own off-grid living experiences.
Often, people living off-the-grid can use some supplemental income. By putting your labor and homestead bounty to work, you can provide goods and services that others in the nearby community will readily pay for.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below: