In my rural town of 2,000, no one uses Uber, DoorDash, or Instacart. So lots of the side hustles that I used to do in the city went out the window when I moved here. But luckily, there are still plenty of ways to make some spare cash out in the country.
Here are some side gigs you can try if you live in a small, rural town.
Sell Fresh Eggs
Most people who live in the city don’t have enough room for chickens. But if you live in a rural area, you probably have a large backyard that’s perfect for them.
A dozen organic, extra-large eggs sell for about $2.60 to $3.60. So if you have a big flock that produces a dozen or more eggs per day, you could earn a pretty penny from this side hustle. If you have a big enough pasture, you can even free-range your chickens to reduce your feed costs, allowing you to keep more of the profits.
Farmer’s markets are a great place to sell your eggs, but word of mouth will probably be your best marketing tool. Post about your egg operation on Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor to let people know about it, and you’ll have customers in no time.
Resell Outdoor Gear and Farm Equipment
When I lived in the city, I resold designer clothes I’d find at the thrift store for a profit. But now that I live out in the country, I’ve had a hard time finding stock for my store.
Luckily I’ve been able to pivot and start trying to resell outdoor gear. I recently bought a used canoe off of Craigslist for $100. Although that may not sound like a great deal, it would’ve cost $1,000 or more brand new.
I’m currently repainting it and cleaning it up. I’m hoping to make at least a couple hundred dollars on this flip.
Deals like this aren’t hard to find in rural areas. Many people in the country have used farm equipment, ATVs, and other outdoor gear they want to get rid of quickly. You can find some great things to resell by going to garage sales and looking through Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Make Furniture From Free Pallets
Rustic pallet furniture is all the rage right now. As a bonus, it’s easy and cheap to make, especially if you can find free pallets or scrap wood.
Free pallets are usually plentiful in rural areas. Businesses will leave them outside for people to take. As long as you have a way to haul them, they’re yours, and you don’t have to pay a penny. The free section of Craigslist is also a great place to find scrap and pallet wood for projects.
Just make sure you verify the pallets are safe before you pick them up. Sometimes pallet wood has harmful chemicals on it that you don’t want in your home. You can figure out if a pallet is usable by looking at the markings on it. Here’s a helpful article on how to determine if the wood is contaminated or not.
I’m not much of a woodworker, but my partner plans to turn the scrap wood we’ve collected into pallet furniture and pens. We’re planning to sell the finished products on Etsy, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and hopefully at the local farmer’s market.
Become a Farm Animal Sitter
Farmers rarely get to take vacations because it’s hard to find someone qualified to watch their animals. If you have experience taking care of chickens, cows, goats, pigs, and horses, you can market your services to farmers and ranchers. Animal sitters can earn $20 to $40 per hour or more, so it’s a pretty good side gig.
Putting up a flyer at your local feed and supply store is a great way to drum up business. You can also network with animal farmers at county fairs and livestock shows. If you want to advertise your services online, try Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Care.com.
Making side money in a rural area can be difficult. You usually can’t rely on gig apps like Uber and Lyft. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to earn some extra income, many of which aren’t available in the city.
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.