Grit Blogs > Rural Legend

Egg Money the Modern Way

Brent and LeAnna Alderman StersteWhen you decide as a family to live on one-income so one parent can stay home with the kids, people will often tell you, “You’re so lucky to be able to afford to do that.” But the truth is there’s very little luck involved. Instead there’s a whole lot of cutting back, reprioritizing, and being extremely creative about how you spend your money and live your life. You also find a lot of creative ways to make extra money. In the past, they used to call it egg money: the money that housewives would make selling their excess eggs from their chickens. In our family, since we don’t have chickens, our egg money has come from a lot of other places: LeAnna writes and edits local history books and radio shows. Brent sold two lbs. of our red wiggler composting worms. Brent does a little computer consulting for a friend. He even sold a few photos to GRIT!

A stencil made from one of our old-fashioned canning jars.

Lately we’ve been working on a family mission statement. We realized that we really wanted to prioritize raising our kids ourselves and also making our home a center of creative industry.

To that end, we came up with an idea to make some new egg money. That’s how our unhipster etsy store was born.

A few months ago, Brent and I were preparing to travel to New York City. As I lay in bed that night, I began to realize how dreadfully unhip I had become. There was no way I could ever be as hip as anyone in New York City. In fact, after a few years as a stay-at-home mom, I was so unhip, I could be an unhipster.

Since then, I've begun to embrace my life as an unhipster and it's been surprisingly liberating. For one thing, if you're worried about being hip, it's never really cool to like something too much. But if you are an unhipster, you can feel free to revel in all kinds of old-fashioned, unhip things like cooking biscuits in my grandma's cast-iron skillet, making strawberry jam, and dreaming of living on a farm in the country some day.

T-shirt made with a stencil based on my grandmother’s cast-iron skillet.

I also discovered that there were a lot more unhipsters like me out there. Are you an unhipster?

You might be an unhipster if:
Your idea of a good weekend would be building your own smoker,
You get totally geeked out at a Farmers’ Markets,
You forage for your own food,
You spend more money on potting soil than Pottery Barn,
You are saving up for a pressure canner instead of an iPhone,
You grow your own food no matter where you live.

T-shirt made with a stencil based on a tractor crossing sign.

That is how I happened upon the idea for an unhipster line of t-shirts featuring silhouettes of timeless, rural gear like cast-iron skillets, canning jars and tractors. The designs are hand-painted from hand-cut stencils based on my artistic renderings of old-fashioned stuff (mainly from our kitchen).

Feel free to check out my new Etsy shop called Unhipster: Gear for Rurally-Inclined, Old-fashioned People.

Would any of you consider yourselves unhipsters?

Do you have any creative ways you make “egg money”?

susan_7
3/13/2010 10:35:05 PM

I'm becoming more and more unhipsterish as time goes by. I'm perfectly content to stay home for days on end, talking only to our dogs and cats, and gardening, reading, writing, etc. I've had the opportunity to do lots of that this past year, and when I go back to work I want to keep as much of my unhipster life in tact as possible! Susan GRIT blog: Close to the Earth in Alaska


ozarkhomesteader_1
11/27/2009 9:58:31 AM

Our "egg money" comes from bartering. I wrote here about market bartering: http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/category/market-bartering/ We don't have chickens, so I also bartered extra cucumbers (you can only eat so many pickles!) for eggs. The money we save by bartering can go into other purchases.


vickie
9/24/2009 7:52:49 PM

LeAnna, Both me and my husband are now "retired" a very young age, he is 50 and I'm 48. In order to achieve this goal we have been very careful with our money since we were married 30 years ago. I've worked but also stayed home many years with the girls as they were growing up here and there -I started gardening and canning, hanging up clothes, and clipping coupons a long time ago and never stopped. My husband Bat makes extra money repairing small motors. It's become a way of life that we both love. I guess we love being unhippsters! Vickie