Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cash from Junk: Paying for our CSA share

It's no secret that we love our CSA share.  The farm we work with, Creek Song, is fabulous and always provides great produce.  It's wonderful that it's all organic and it is always super fresh and great for our family.  This year, we decided that we wanted to purchase a full share so that we could can and freeze some of the extra produce to use in soups, stews, and stir fries throughout the winter.

However, the $500 share fee wasn't in our $100/month grocery budget and we didn't want to use our savings to pay for the CSA.  So, we had to come up with a way to pay for the share that wouldn't dip into our savings.  Enter:  Raygan's closet, or more accurately, the junk we've stored in his closet.  It has become abundantly clear over the past few months that our little guy is growing and will need the closet space sooner than later, which meant our junk had to go.  Since we're giving up about 800+ square feet of our basement and upstairs for rental income, this space is now out for storage.  So, we evaluated... did we really need the junk?  How much of it had we actually used in the past year or so?  If we hadn't, we sorted it... keep (mostly if we saw that it had reasonable future use), donate (if we saw that it didn't have substantial cash value), or Ebay (if we thought we could sell it for $20 or more online).

Slowly, we've weeded through a box at a time, mostly in evenings after dinner and on snow days.  We found more than we thought that we could sell, including old phones, crocheted items, maternity and baby items, gifts from students, and some old Mary Kay inventory.  We tried to set a goal of posting 3-5 items a week.  This meant that we weren't overwhelmed with trips to the PO and that it was easy to post items during Raygan's naptime.  It's worked out that we've been able to make our regular weekly trip to the PO and take items to mail then, so it hasn't been any extra fuel cost added to the budget.  We're still fine tuning the shipping costs, but all told, by the end of this month, we're sure we'll have our $500 CSA fee, if not a little more to put into our savings.

It's so nice to know that we've turned our junk into some cash for our food for the summer.  And we love the bonus of having the extra space in Raygan's closet.  (Built in shelving there soon, anyone?!)  Plus, it's great knowing that none of our junk went to the landfill, but it's either getting repurposed in our home or finding a new life in someone else's home.  

Have you had success selling on Ebay or some other site?  What closets have you been cleaning out?  I'd love to hear how you're living and saving green!

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