Money Saving Techniques: Selling Steamed Bread, Farm Care-Taking and Using Coupons

Learn how John Minton sells steamed bread, Lorrie Fassi lives rent free by farm care-taking and Sara Sanders saves money on mail-in refunds and couponing.

| July/August 1977

John Minton from Fairhope, Ala.:

As soon as I saw Ruth Ross's recipes in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS article "You Can Bake Steamed Breads ... Right on Your Stove Top!", I knew I was onto a fail-safe cash project. And what made it so great was that I'd recently bought some large enameled pots ... perfect for stovetop steaming!

I knew instinctively that two of the breads in particular would be real moneymakers, because — just reading their names — I couldn't wait to taste them!

Within minutes, I was buying a supply of dates, raisins, and walnuts, and that evening three of us enjoyed Ruth's Boston Brown Bread and Steamed Date and Honey Bread ... with cream cheese, homemade fig preserves, and assorted other toppings (they were delicious even plain).

As we ate, I thought about ways to sell this good stuff, and that same night I made up a batch of both breads and even tried my own variation: Orange Date Nut Bread. While the goodies steamed, I hand-printed half a dozen posters, and next morning — armed with my ads and with dishes of the breads cut into small, tantalizing samples — made the rounds of my neighborhood.

By noon, I'd tacked up my posters at the Laundromat, the local hospital, two small grocery stores, a drugstore, and a cafe. At the hospital, I passed around samples and took orders on the spot. Everywhere else, I just left the bite-sized persuaders ... then raced home to catch the telephone orders.

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