Make Money From Home Part 1

Measure Yourself

You have been scouring the internet for days but are still jobless, if not yet penniless. You have applied for every online job market that you could find. Are you going to wait in vain, twiddling your thumbs? Or find other ways of earning money while waiting for the big career break on the Internet?

You really want to earn extra income while staying at home and taking care of your family. But how?

Open your eyes wide and look inside yourself. Yes, inside your self.

Assess your capabilities and your strengths. What are your motivations? Are you willing to make adjustments? Do you still want to learn and to experience new things?

On a small notebook, jot down everything about yourself: skills, how-to knowledge, hobbies, interests, and personal plans.

Can you cook or bake? Good. Are you fond of gardening? Great. Do you like pets? Excellent.

Too Small for Big Challenges?
Too Small for Big Challenges?

Measure the World outside Your Home

On each new page of your notebook, start listing the names of your neighbors. Write down every bit of information you knew about these people: jobs, schedules, needs, activities, and etcetera.

Note those who are single and living alone; those who leave their home very early in the morning and come back very late at night; those who have parties every weekend and what kind of parties; those who have cats, dogs, and other domestic animals; those who have great affection for plants; and most especially, those who have kids and what their ages are.

Why do you have to get your nose into other people's personal affairs? Because this is your informal feasibility study for your new home business!

A Simple Kitchen
A Simple Kitchen

Cooking is a Lucrative Business

Let's start with your cooking. You don't have to be a gourmet chef for this newly-concocted job. What job?

First thing to do is to call on your neighbors one by one, by telephone or in person. For a few minutes, have a friendly chat about work and lunch breaks. When this person mentions about full-packed canteens or tasteless food, you are presented with a perfect opening. Grab the opportunity with both hands.

Introduce your new home business: selling delicious packed lunches to busy workers.

A Healthier School Lunch Program

Healthy and Appetizing Packed Lunches, Anyone?

Prepare your packed-lunch business carefully.

On your first menu, include your favorite and know how-to-cook dishes only. Save the unknown and adventurous recipes for later versions of your menu.

Also, don't forget to take note of the requests, the comments, and the suggestions of your customers. These will improve the performance of your business.

The equipment you will need can be found in your own kitchen. Let's take a short inventory: pots, pans, cooking spoon, knife, chopping board, pot holders, a table, a food processor, and a recipe book.

You should buy the ingredients from a supermarket, as opposed to a gourmet or specialty store. The prices are more competitive there. The best practice is to list down everything you need before shopping, so that you will not forget anything; and most important, so that you will not over-spend.

Start with the Popular and the Favorite

Hamburgers, hot dogs and cheese sandwiches, fruit and vegetable salads, fried and roasted chicken, barbecued beef or pork, pizza, muffins, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and many more goodies.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Do not press your spatula on burger patties while frying to retain its juicy taste. It will dry the burgers up and they'll be stringy.
  • To make your veggie salads look attractive, top them with ham rosettes. Roll 1-inch strip of ham to form a rose bud. Secure both ends with a tooth pick.
  • Make your own marinade mixture. Pre-marinated meat is more expensive than fresh meat. Prick the meat with a fork to absorb more while marinating. Meat for roasting, frying and grilling are more succulent when marinated in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To remove the fishy smell from fish dishes, rub the fish with salt and vinegar before rinsing with water.
  • Try steaming the hotdogs, instead of frying. They will retain most of their juices and will look younger without the unsightly wrinkles!

How to Make Braided Pizza

How to Bake Yummy Cup Cakes

(All Photos used in this Hub are from Flickr)
(All Photos used in this Hub are from Flickr)
  • Pizza crusts can be pita bread, sliced loaf bread, roll bread halves, or plain crackers.
  • Use fresh cheese for any dish you make. Aged cheese stays longer on the tongue and overshadows the taste of other food.
  • Buy the freshest fruits and vegetables.

  • Plan your menu for one week in advance. Get your orders at least two days ahead.

  • Completely cool down home-baked cookies before storing in airtight jars, and they will keep crunchy for 2 weeks even when inside the refrigerator. Cakes remain moist and mouth-watering for 3 days. Well-baked muffins and cupcakes last a bit longer.

Finally, put a reasonable price on every product. Include all your expenses, from travelling gasoline down to your cooking gas; plus the water and electricity used for the business. Exclude the telephone calls if you pay monthly.

Don't forget to add up your time. Multiply the hours you worked to the on-going hourly rate of a cook. Take it from the lowest bracket, (or your newly-born business might not get up from the ground!).

For example, the $50 you spent for a particular menu should be divided by the 12 packed lunches it yielded. Add 10 percent to the quotient to get your reasonable price: $4.60. You can make this into $4.75 to cover your other miscellaneous expenses, such as the packaging.

Introduce Exotic Dishes Once in a While

To avoid taste fatigue of your customers, add variety to your menu. Start adding a different entree to your menu and in limited quantity. You can find lots of delectable but easy-to-prepare foreign dishes from the internet, or from your cookbook.

Try this oriental-influenced recipe. This has the potential of becoming a favorite because it comes in a practical and compact package.

Procedure:

  • Marinate pork slices for 15 minutes or longer. Drain the marinade into a small bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch in it and set aside.
  • In a pan above low heat, sauté pork in margarine for 5 minutes, or until meat is cooked. Add the green peas and marinate mixture. Stir with a cooking spoon. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Scoop out half the cooked meat, to be used as toppings later.

Barbecue Rice

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams pork tenderloin, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup of barbecue marinade mix
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 6 cups steam-cooked rice

A Chinese Take-Out Box
A Chinese Take-Out Box
  • Add rice and sprinkle salt and ground pepper to taste. Cook for another 2 minutes while blending all the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Assemble the dish in Chinese take-out boxes (available in major supermarkets) and ladle a spoonful of the cooked pork on top. This should yield 7-8 packed servings. Also, this dish is rich in Vitamin B1.

Be Positive and Innovative

Keep in mind that everybody eats. A food business only fails when the food does not taste like food and has sky-high prices.

If you keep your goodies tasty and healthy but inexpensive, people will keep on coming back to buy them.

Although the word-of-mouth advertisement is the best because it's free, it would still be better to use online and offline publicity to help your budding business grow faster; especially if you're planning to offer free delivery of your healthy and appetizing packed lunches!

Comments 7 comments

Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

I am a bad cook, so will wait for the next hub in the series to see if there's something I can do.

Thanks in advance, keep going.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

I hate to be a stick in the mud but it has to be mentioned that some areas will not allow this kind of business to be started from ones home without getting a health-unit's permit. (Which is not easy to get either).

regards Zsuzsy


Live N Learn profile image

Live N Learn 8 years ago from Las Vegas Author

Thanks for the encouragement, Kenny Wordsmith!

Thank you for the helpful reminder, Zsuzsy Bee. However, this suggested cooking business is just in a very small scale only, from a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 24 packed lunches which could comprise the number of all the friends and neighbors. My idea of this home-based cooking business is just like to that of car pooling to save on gas and to help lessen the traffic, so to speak.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

This food packet biz thrives very well in India, by the way.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

The packed lunch concept has some possibilities.


Live N Learn profile image

Live N Learn 8 years ago from Las Vegas Author

Thank you for the encouragement, Bob and Kenny!


thesirenwakes profile image

thesirenwakes 7 years ago

hmm! If i knew my little one, hubby, and room mate wouldnt eat the food then this would be an amazing idea! I might try it anyway!! This is great hub! keep it up!!!

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