We thought we had all the best of the weird and wonderful money saving tips when we wrote that article recently, but when researching for a second round of tips to share with you all, we discovered one that was a little more unusual: the mum who found a slightly unusual hobby that brings in a little on the side each month, but perhaps not how you think!
Lockdown was hard on a lot of people, so many took on new hobbies to help pass the time, but also side hustles to earn a little extra cash here and there. These side hustles have been successful for some, not so much for others, but Victoria Sully, who writes about her money saving experiences at Lylia Rose, knows how to use her money-saving abilities in every situation.
Victoria’s lockdown pond project was only ever intended to be a hobby. She did her research and purchased a variety of pond-friendly plants to help wildlife thrive in the pond, and soon had countless water snails, red damselflies and even a newt or two enjoying the water. But she was also unexpectedly overwhelmed by one thing: an overflow of duckweed! After skimming off a little of the prolific weed for her compost bins, there was still too much for them to cope with.
So never one to say no to a money-making opportunity, Victoria took to the place where she had first bought her own small sample of duckweed and began listing “weed” on eBay too! As Victoria explains:
“It's a great way to make some extra cash from something that might otherwise be thrown away! It was never anything I set out to do, but I set up my pond in lockdown when most of the shops were closed. This meant I had to buy the plants I needed for my pond online and I mostly ordered from eBay. When the duckweed started taking over and I didn't need it all in my pond, I realised I could sell my excess duckweed on eBay as there was obviously a market for it (I had bought it from there in the first place after all), rather than discarding it or putting it on the compost.”
We were very impressed by Victoria’s DIY pond project that earns a surprise passive income with very little expense at the beginning, so we asked Victoria to share a little bit more about her fab unusual money-making scheme and how much it earns her:
“I made around £120 to £150 per month in the summer months last year by selling the duckweed on eBay. It rapidly grew in my pond from late spring to early autumn and I was selling up to six packs a day making at least £2 profit on each bag. Some people would order two or more bags in one go, improving the profit on a single order.
As a project that she only ever intended to fill some time during lockdown and to add some interest to her garden, the savvy mum was pleasantly surprised to find it was a fun and easy way to make a little extra money while not needing to invest a lot of extra time or money into it - you can actually even save money at the outset using eBay voucher codes too. In fact, it made a great learning opportunity for her kids!
“During the lockdown it was a fun project and tied in nicely with our daily walks. We'd post the duckweed orders at the post boxes on our daily hour walk. The kids loved to help package it up and post it. We were so surprised it started selling every day.”
For those who want to try out something similar themselves, Victoria has shared these words of advice on how to make sure that you’re well prepared to cover your costs and time :
“If you plan on doing the same, if you have excess plants in your pond and would rather find a new home for them instead of binning them, then make sure you think about packaging and shipping. The plants need to be posted on a quick service and packaged appropriately so they are not ruined in transit, or so any residue water does not leak out. Postage and packaging also cost money, so make sure your sale price covers these costs.”
By Julian House 14th October 2021