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5 Unusual Money Makers

Updated on March 6, 2014

Black Gold Producer

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Unusual But Profitable

When people want to make extra money, they sometimes go beyond the norm to do so. This does not mean they are doing anything illegal, just different.

It often takes some "thinking outside the box" to come up with ways to earn some extra money; and it is those ideas that really stand out when others hear about them.

1. Manure Sales 

This one is for the farmer::

Every farm with livestock has the opportunity to subsidize their income with manure sales. It can be sold locally or packaged and shipped elsewhere. One key point to remember is to sterilize it (especially if it is being labelled as such). Consumers are not going to want it filled with weeds. One of the best manures not available at your local hardware store or gardening center is alpaca manure. For the alpaca owner, this can quickly become a very lucrative business in itself.

Many farmers advertise their "product" and request pick-up. Depending on the source of the manure, it may need to be "cured" for a season. Alpaca "beans" are low in nitrogen so can be used immediately.

2. Compost Sales 

For the family that goes through a lot of compostable materials, this is an excellent way to earn some green. It will take about a year to get the first good wheelbarrow full, but after that it will take less time. The conditions have to be right for the material to compost quickly; if it heats up the way it should it will kill weed seeds and any bugs. The best thing to do to avoid weed seeds in compost in the beginning is to not throw weeds that have gone to seed into it. For tips on making good compost, books are readily available online or at any library.

3. Vermiculture

This is a type of composting as well, except it uses worms. The worms are fed vegetable matter and produce rich castings which are excellent in garden soil as well as houseplants.

This is a venture that can be undertaken by even apartment dwellers, as the worms are kept in plastic tubs. One tub will usually suffice for the vegetable scraps of one or two people, but if it is a larger family two or three will be better. If this venture is something that looks very appealing, more tubs can be used. It is important to keep in mind there is some maintenance that goes along with this type of composting, but an hour or so a week should be the average.

This is a neat way to teach children about the benefits of composting, and most enjoy feeding the worms. (When my son was in third grade, his teacher had worm bins in the classroom. It was pretty neat to see, and the kids loved giving them their apple cores and other vegetable matter.)

4. Pine Cone Sales

This is an excellent way to make a few dollars from the pine cones that have to get cleaned up each year. Many craftspeople can make use of them, especially when getting ready for the holiday season. They are relatively light so shipping costs will not be too high. Advertising on social networks or other marketing sites can reach customers out of local areas. This can be a lucrative business for anyone who has a lot of pine trees and doesn’t mind a little hard work.

Instead of shipping the pinecones, you could opt for local advertising and selling bags of them at craft sales.


Do you do any of these?

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5. Recycling

This one is one that requires time and a bit of work. Cleaning up local roadsides can quickly earn anyone who is willing a few dollars a day. This does not seem like much, but given the fact it is simply going for a walk it isn’t terrible. Along with beverage containers, such things such as scrap metal or other little treasures may be found. Along with picking up the containers, it is also possible to earn a few dollars by picking up the trash. This will depend on local county policies. Some departments will pay groups to do an annual cleanup; it doesn’t hurt to find out if they will fund the cleanup of a certain section of highway on a yearly basis.

Wrapping It Up

The above methods of earning money may not be enough to buy a new home, but if managed properly and with some effort any one of them can easily fund a family vacation. In the case of the first one it is a never-ending job to keep it cleaned up; it may as well be marketed to those who have gardens but don’t have access to their own organic fertilizer.


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    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      mailxpress - The ideas are great for people that don't mind getting their hands dirty. :) Thank you for commenting.

    • mailxpress profile image

      Michelle Cesare 3 years ago from New York

      Excellent ideas. Many of the ideas will not make a million but it definitely will bring in good pocket money.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you! We often tend to overlook the "different" ways to make money; why not gather and sell something nature has provided us? If the pinecones have to be cleaned up anyway, it is a perfect little job for kids - plus gives them a little spending money.

    • sadie423 profile image

      sadie423 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great ideas! We have a ton of manure and compost- but we also have a big garden and tend to use it all :) Never thought of selling pinecones, I can see my kids jumping on that one.

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you Karen...a little variety never hurts.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Interesting ideas I had never thought of...or read about anywhere else!

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you RedElf! That is a very good idea on a way to save for renos.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      We have a huge piggy-bank bottle that we keep our re-recyclables earnings in - it is our reno fund, and is slowly but surely growing - some great ideas here!

    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thank you, and you're welcome. Sometimes it is good to go out of the ordinary.

    • lcbenefield profile image

      lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub with some useful information. I never thought of selling pine cones. We have gazillions of pine trees outside of where we live. Thanks for the good ideas.