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Turn cooking skills into extra cash

Here are examples of how retirees have turned common skills into spending cash--including one couple who had almost no cooking skills at all.  

One thing to keep in mind about making and selling food items: these types of businesses are regulated by local health departments or other similar local government offices. 

Some areas ban preparation of food for sale in home kitchens and require you to use commercial kitchens. Be sure you check out the local regulations before you begin your food business.  

Pies become tasty profits

Calculating how much she needed for retirement income, a woman we know came to the realization that she need more money to live comfortably after retirement.  Her pies became her path to financial freedom.    

retiree cooking

During the year before she retired, she told everyone about her plans for a new pie company.  And "everyone" meant everyone she knew personally, socially and professionally.  

She also brought pies to office meetings throughout the year as a way of advertising her new business.  

When her retirement date came, she was able to launch her business of making and selling pies to local companies for special occasions such as office birthday parties and holiday events.

People who ate her pies at office events, often then ordered pies for themselves from her.  During the holiday season she was especially busy.  After a year or so she had a large customer base, almost entirely by word-of-mouth.  

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No cooking skills?  No problem!

Just call them the "Waffle King and Queen".  This couple had absolutely no background in the food business. They just knew what liked to eat--waffles.  And they liked going to the local farmer's market in summer. So they bought a commercial grade waffle maker and opened a waffle stand at their favorite farmer's market. The toppings for their waffles were in-season fruits, powdered sugar, whipped cream and some syrups. It was a big hit! They have done it during the summer months for several years now and the extra money they earn helps pay for winters in Arizona.

Important: many farmers' markets, swap meets, street fairs and other open air markets are highly in demand and have waiting lists.  And you will most likely need approval from the local health department to open a food business.  Check all this out before you launch your company.

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