I once went to the home of a friend who was a professed foodie and home chef. Her kitchen was more high tech than my friggin’ computer, and was also equipped with an island that looked classier than Sentosa.
If, like my friend, you can actually create great meals instead of just consuming all the time, you might have an untapped side income source without knowing it. Singaporeans love to eat, but their cooking skills are sadly lacking. This means that anyone who can feed them or teach them how to feed themselves can charge handsomely for it.
Here are some ways Singaporeans are making money by feeding the people around them.
Charge people for your cooking by using meal-sharing sites
Thanks to the sharing economy, we can make money with our homes and cars using online services like Airbnb and Uber. But even if you’re too broke to buy a car and too law-abiding to illegally rent out your spare room on Airbnb, you can still host meals in your home, and charge people for it.
Bonappetour and Plate Culture le you turn your humble abode into a home restaurant, and then link you up with tourists and locals who want to enjoy home-cooked meals. Brownie points if you specialise in an exotic cuisine.
Teach cooking classes at community centres
You may fantasise about opening a cooking school, but without deep pockets, it looks like this will be an unrealised dream. But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t become a cooking instructor at a community centre.
Ever wondered what middle-aged housewives with grown up children do during the day? There’s a good chance they’re at their neighbourhood community centre doing tai chi, line dancing or… taking cooking classes.
Many community centres have cooking facilities which they use for their existing classes, so you just have to plan the recipes and buy the ingredients. Most classes tend to be demonstration-only, which means you don’t have to worry about your students burning down the centre.
Becoming a community centre teacher (they call them PA trainers) can be done by filling up the forms here.
Become a home baker
Recently, the Straits Times reported that Singapore cafe owners are feeling threatened by the rise of home bakers, which sheds light on the fact that baking brownies in your home kitchen and selling them online is actually a legit part-time gig.
Thanks to the power of social media, it’s relatively easy to market homemade cakes and pastries. Just ask the home bakers who make a killing during Chinese New Year with their pineapple tarts. Friends and acquaintances are normally more willing to support a budding home baker than a budding blogshop owner, don’t ask me why. It also seems there’s increasing demand for cakes that satisfy certain dietary requirements (gluten-free, vegan, etc).
Set up a cooking blog or YouTube channel
If your hair stands when you see people holding kitchen knives all wrong or trying to deep fry food in olive oil, and have always dreamt of becoming an internet star but don’t like taking selfies, you might have a future as a recipe blogger or YouTube channel owner.
No, we’re not talking about setting up yet another banal blog of restaurant reviews, which everyone and their mother has right now, but a repository of recipes that clueless internet users can turn to when trying to feed themselves.
Start a meal delivery service for your colleagues
Singaporeans are too busy to cook, eating out at restaurants every day is expensive and eating at hawker centres too often is unhealthy. That’s why more and more Singaporeans are ordering lunch from meal delivery or meal subscription services.
If you’re organised enough to prepare meals on the weekends and weekday evenings, you might be able to earn a bit of extra cash throwing together salads or sandwiches for people who work in your area. I’m no master chef, but I used to bring lunch to work and had an ex-colleague who offered to pay for his own portion every day.
If you don’t believe me, try sending out an email to your colleagues saying you’re taking pre-orders for tomorrow’s lunch. You might be surprised to find responses from health-conscious colleagues who are sick of MSG-laden cai png.
Do you cook often? Tell us why or why not in the comments!