I loved this money-saving idea from Alice of Farewell, Office:
While I realize that not everyone has the space to do this, we save a lot of money (and earn a little, too!) by owning four laying hens.
Initially, we didn’t know how well this would work and so we went for minimal investment. We bought four chicks for $2 each and set them up in an unused dog kennel and an old dog house with straw inside for a nest. Now that they are full-grown, each hen lays an average of one egg per day and, because we have mild winters, they lay year-round. We get an average of two dozen eggs per week from our hens. We keep a dozen for our family and sell a dozen to friends or family for $2 per dozen.
This gives us $8 per month to pay for feed to supplement their diet, in addition to the scraps we feed them. This means that we pay essentially nothing for having free-range eggs year-round, saving us a good $100 per year.
This has worked so well that we just bought four new chicks, and next year we are going to add four more. Taking care of 8 – or 12! – isn’t any harder than taking care of four. You just throw them a cup of feed every day and collect the eggs. This is a perfect chore for my 7-year-old and we’ve decided this is going to be his job and business, with his savings portion going to his college savings account. -Alice