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At this time of year many of us are still paying off December’s credit card bills. If you’re looking for ways to bring in a little extra pocket money, look no further than your own farm.

Plant extra

Plant extra plants this season and sell to neighbors, at a farmer’s market, or through a CSA. And don’t forget about the time-honored tradition of preserving excess fruits and veggies. People will pay a pretty penny for homemade jams and probiotic pickles.

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can still make extra money with the plants themselves. And you can sell or barter with seeds from your garden, particularly if you grow heirloom varieties.

Educate

People want to feel more connected to their food. Embrace transparency and offer classes at your homestead. Teach the basics of raising chickens, milking goats, or sustainable farming practices. You can charge a fee for the class and get a little extra help to boot.

Bees!

If you keep bees, you know why local honey is so expensive. Honey and beeswax are labors of love. Not everyone keeps bees because it can be time-intensive and labor-intensive. Oh, and a lot of folks just don’t like bees! So capitalize on this as a beekeeper. Sell jars of honey, honeycomb, and beeswax products like hair pomade or chapstick.

Breed animals

I know a few people who can’t bear to slaughter their animals. Instead, they make a living through breeding them for live animal sales. It takes years of experience, but breeding can be both fun and lucrative. Consider raising rabbits, turkeys, goats, or even pigs to sell.

Use it up

Bring in a few extra dollars and then couple that with saving your money, and you’ll be ahead of the game in no time. We all have an arsenal of products for our personal use, but many don’t know it. And one of the easiest ways to save is to raid your cupboards for natural DIY beauty remedies.

  • Highlights: I know it’s still cold outside, but summer will be here before you know it. If you’re craving a sunny, beach look, you can DIY highlights at home. I used this method for years and always got compliments on my dye job! Simply soak a few cotton balls in hydrogen peroxide. Run the cotton ball through your damp hair wherever you want highlights. For best results, sit in the sun after applying the peroxide. You may need to repeat this a few days in a row to get the desired amount of lightening. If you want an all-over effect, spritz peroxide through your hair and comb through.
  • Anti-acne toner: Witch hazel is an all-purpose wonder item. Not only can it clean cuts and soothe eczema, but witch hazel is also an excellent facial toner. If you suffer from acne, you can minimize breakouts with an application of witch hazel. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply to the affected area 1 – 2 times a day.
  • Makeup brush cleaner: I know not everyone washes their brushes, but this is essential to preventing breakouts and early aging. I stopped buying expensive brush cleaners years ago. To clean your brushes, let them sit in a bowl of peroxide for an hour before rinsing and allowing to air dry.
  • Lotion: My grandma swore that Crisco was the answer to dry elbows. Shortening does hydrate your skin, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was rubbing Crisco on myself. It reminded me too much of fried chicken! A modern alternative is to hydrate dry skin with coconut oil. Keep a jar on your nightstand to hydrate before bed.
  • Face mask: Who needs pricey storebought masks when you have nature’s perfect mask in your pantry? A honey face mask is the perfect way to fight acne and clean your skin. Combine a spoonful of honey in a bowl with a dash of cinnamon. The cinnamon is a great exfoliant! Rub on your face and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off.
The bottom line

We’re blessed to have Mother Earth support our way of life. Instead of searching for coins in the couch, look to your homestead for a New Year’s windfall.

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These 9 Eating Habits Can Harm Your Health

Eating right isn’t always easy, and many people who think they are eating healthy are making costly mistakes. Are you guilty of one or more of these nine nutrition missteps? You could be accidentally derailing your diet or damaging your health.

You drink too much caffeine.

It’s true that caffeine can boost your metabolism, so many people consider low or no-calorie caffeinated drinks to be diet foods. Unfortunately, that assumption can backfire.

Consuming too much caffeine can make you more vulnerable to heart disease and increased blood pressure. It can also contribute to insomnia and leave you feeling sluggish. That may have you reaching for more caffeine and creating an unhealthy cycle.

Many caffeinated beverages contain high amounts of sugar and calories, and some studies suggest that consuming caffeine can cause you to crave sugar.

Finally, caffeine can block the absorption of essential nutrients.

You eat foods from cans.

Many healthy foods like beans, soups, and vegetables come in cans, and canned food is convenient to have around the house. However, you should carefully read the labels on your canned food items because a majority of them contain far too much salt.

Thankfully, most canned foods come in low salt varieties and some, like beans, can be rinsed to reduce the amount of salt you consume.

You eat too many nuts.

Nuts are a delicious and healthy snack food, but it’s not hard to eat too many. Nuts contain fats that can be great for your body, but these same fats make them high in calories.

When you eat nuts, don’t have more than a handful and be mindful of how many calories you are consuming.

You drink coffee or tea with cream and sugar.

If you avoid sweets, it might be easy to convince yourself that a little bit of sugar in your coffee doesn’t make a huge impact.

The problem is that if you are having several cups of coffee or tea each day, those calories can add up. If you take cream, you are adding fat to the mix.

If you need to sweeten your drinks, then try a sweetener with no calories. Just remember that any sweetness, even without calories, can make your body crave more.

You eat the wrong yogurt.

Yogurt, although usually high in fat, can be a healthy treat. The probiotics are useful for managing gut bacteria that keep your body balanced and can aid weight loss.

The problem is that not all yogurt is equal, so you have to read the labels. Some yogurt contains massive amounts of sugar, and it may contain no beneficial live cultures at all. This kind of yogurt can blast your health without bringing any of the positives.

You trust all smoothies.

Smoothies are a delicious choice for getting antioxidants and nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, but some smoothies are full of sugar and fat.

Pay careful attention to the calories, added sweeteners and fats in your smoothie. These combination drinks can be very healthful, but make sure you are using the right ingredients.

You don’t consider the salad dressing.

A salad can be an excellent choice for a light meal as long as you avoid unhealthy toppings and choose vegetables with plenty of nutrients. But it’s easy to forget the impact of the dressing.

Salad dressing can seem insignificant, but some dressings have large amounts of sugar, unhealthy fat and calories. Read the label on salad dressing at home, and choose a simple, light vinaigrette when you’re out. Also, avoid drowning your salad in dressing. A little bit is all you need.

You don’t search for hidden sugar.

Reducing sugar can be tricky. You know that sweets contain sugar, but many prepackaged foods do as well. Read labels, so you know how much sugar you are getting. It is often in foods you would never expect to have any.

You don’t keep track of your eating.

Writing down what you eat is the easiest way to be sure your diet is as healthy as you believe it is. Tasting and snacking throughout the day can cause you to forget how much you’ve eaten, and your mind may erase a quick indulgence.

When you have an honest food diary to review each day, you can see where you are making good choices and where you may need to make changes.

The healthiest food options are not always the most obvious. Be a smart consumer and know what you’re eating. Read labels and pay attention to the products you are adding to food and drinks.

If you know what to watch out for, you can make the best choices possible for your healthy lifestyle. Know these nine nutrition mistakes, and be sure to avoid them.


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