Because our apples are starting to come in, I decided to try making some pies. I didn't have lard on hand, so I used butter for the crust and it turned out very yummy. Pies are a little time-intensive, but they don't cost a lot to make because the fruit I'm using is from our own orchard. I sold one of the pies, and today we ate the other one. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing.
My goat's milk soap was finally ready to sell! I did my best to package it in an attractive manner. Unfortunately we didn't sell any, but SIL told me a lot of people seemed interested. One lady asked if we had a "plain" bar, but so far I've used essential oils on all of the soaps.
Garlic bread: $15.00
Banana Bread: $2.50
Apple Pie: $7.50
Total Income: $46.50
Costs of goods sold: $10.08
Total Expenses: $19.08
Total Profit: $27.42
Costs of goods not sold this week was $2.93 as follows: sugar cookies ($0.46), marshmallows ($0.25), applesauce bread ($0.55), apple pie ($1.47) and garlic bread ($0.20). It makes me happy that we didn't bring a lot of high-dollar items home this week. Sugar cookies were the only cookies that didn't sell this week, so even though I like them, I don't think I'll be taking any more to the market.
Our total profit this week was $27.42. It doesn't sound like a lot, but remember my SILs also grossed a total of $53.50. My cost of ingredients are usually around 11%, so we can assume that they also netted almost $48.00. That would bring the total net earnings of the booth to $75.50. This is still within the $50-$150 range that I talked about in a previous post. And remember that technically I have already paid off my booth fees and tent, which I still count as expenses so as not to mess up my spreadsheets. :) I will be adding $36.42 to my sidebar total (total profits I have made this year at the farmers market).
More Benefits of Being a Vendor
In previous posts I've mentioned non-monetary benefits that come with selling at a market. Things like meeting new people, learning how to sell stuff in general, having an outlet to sell homemade stuff, and Hubs getting to eat more dessert. Another thing I realized this week is that I'm getting very good at making cookies. And fancy breads. And marshmallows. And hopefully over the next couple weeks I will get better at making pies. Under normal circumstances I would make a few pies per year- some at Christmas and some at Thanksgiving- but never enough to really get good at it. I'm excited about perfecting more baking skills in the next two months.
Monetarily, me doing the farmers market has been a financial bummer. Look at the sidebar- I've made a grand total of $143.07. If I steadily continue to make $30 per week, at the end of the season I will have made $443. Divided by 24 weeks, that makes $18.00 per week. If I'm working 10 hours per week making stuff (and in the beginning I worked MUCH more than that), that means I'm being paid $1.80 per hour for my effort. Fantastic!
But remember, this is an experiment. Thankfully Hubs and I don't need more money, so I can afford to work for $1.80 per hour doing quite literal "market research". I can afford to make mistakes. What I was looking for before I started selling- and what I NEVER found- was a real analysis of profit and loss selling at a farmers market. So since I couldn't find it, I had to make it myself.
But all this experimenting aside, consider this. If I take our average gross sales of $93.00 and remove 15% for costs (ingredients, booth & gas), we'd be making around $80.00 every Saturday. If we did that three weeks out of every month, at the end of the season we'd have $1440, which is over three times what I might make this year. It's still pitiful at $8.00 per hour (under minimum wage), but not quite making a total fool of yourself.
Hey readers! YOUR suggestion could allow me to work for more than $2 per hour!
If you have any ideas of things I could sell, please leave a comment. :D