What Duck Dynasty Can Teach You About Finances

Oh, I love those goofy rednecks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, you’ve obviously been missing out. It follows the Robertsons, a tight-knit stereotypical southern family from Louisiana, who are in the business of building duck calls. The business is ran by Willie, who employs two of his brothers (Jase and Jep) and his goofy uncle Si, who is clearly being fed hilarious one-liners by the producers. The business was started by the boys’ father, Phil, who these days just hangs out in the woods shooting and fishing.

Each episode, the boys get into some wacky adventure. Once they snuck onto an exclusive golf course to hunt bullfrogs, with predictable results. Another time they attempted to steal the honey from a beehive, only to be thwarted. Eventually, Phil’s fatherly wisdom came to save the day, and the honey. Each episode ends with the entire family gathering for a meal.

Because of the show, the Robertson family has leapt from merely wealthy to full blown rich. It seems like every shelf in Walmart is filled with some sort of Duck Dynasty branded product. The show is consistently A&E’s most watched. It appears America loves the Robertsons and their brand of good wholesome family first comedy.

Among the chuckles, there are some valuable lessons about finance. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Stay married

I can’t remember the exact number of years, but Phil and his wife Miss Kay have been married just about 50 years. Even each of his children have been married to the same spouse for a number of years as well.

There are all sorts of advantages to only marrying once. Not only do children get the advantage of a stable home life, but they get constant nurturing from both parents. Both parents are usually working and contributing to running the household. But the biggest advantage by far is they avoid the cost of getting divorced.

Forget about the Robertsons for a second, think about a normal couple getting divorced. Chances are the family home will be sold and children will split time between mom and dad’s new places, which is just inefficient.  One spouse will end up paying child support or alimony, which puts a real damper on their ability to save money. And lawyers are going to take at least a few thousand bucks to make the divorce happen.

Divorce is such a wealth killer. I realize it’s necessary sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t weep for the money.

2. Kill food

Getting a lot of your meat from the woods is a really easy way to cut down on your food costs.

I’ve witnessed the Robertsons eat everything from frogs to squirrels to some sort of weird wildebeest jerky that Willie refused to share. They seem to like all that weird stuff.

You don’t have to go that far, there are plenty of animals that you can go out and shoot. Most of them are pretty tasty. I’ve had moose sausage before, which tasted pretty similar to beef or pork varieties. I’ve also eaten duck, which is an interesting take on dark meat. It’s a little greasy, but still pretty good.

Even if you can’t bring yourself to go out in the woods and shoot Bambi’s dad, you can still swing a deal with a hunter you know. Offer to buy some of the meat from him for a discounted rate. He gets the thrill of the hunt, and you get some cheap meat. Everyone wins!

3. Don’t shave

The Duck Dynasty men are known for their long redneck beards, which are at least a foot long. Sure, they might look goofy, but think of the money these guys save on razors and shaving cream. We’re talking tens of dollars a year.

The ladies must like them, because take a look at how attractive the wives are. It’s okay. You can admit to noticing. I won’t tell.

4. Patience is important

For years, the family has plugged away at the business. Before the show became a success, the company was known for having the best duck calls in the business. It slowly became kind of a big deal, until the show came and everything exploded.

Your finances work the same way. It takes years of working hard and saving before the results really start to show. But once they do, compound interest suddenly takes over. I know people who look at their statement and realize that each year their investments go up by more than what they invested in the first few years. That’s when the real wealth building starts to happen.

Like with any journey, patience is key. You’re not going to pay down your debt or become wealthy overnight. But by sticking to the plan and having support — like the Robertsons so nicely personify — you too can eventually figure this stuff out.

What To Do with the Extra Produce from Your Garden

One of the best ways to enjoy fresh food is to grow a garden. There’s plenty of fresh food to enjoy during the summer, and it doesn’t cost very much when you grow it yourself.

But what happens when you have extra produce? You don’t want it to just rot. The good news is that you do have some options for making use of it. Here are some ideas for using the extra produce in your garden:

Give It Away

You don’t have to just try to get rid of squash; you can give away other produce as well. Your neighbors will appreciate peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, and other produce. If you have a lot of extra produce, share it with the people you know. They will enjoy it, and you don’t have to see it go to waste.

Another option is to find out if the local soup kitchen accepts donations of fresh produce for what they make. The local food bank might accept it as well. Being able to provide a service for your community, as well as food for your own table, can be very satisfying.

Sell It

Of course, you don’t have to give it away. You could decide to sell it. If you have kids, this can be a great way for them to earn a little extra money. Have a “farm stand” set up so that they can sell your extra produce. You can also consider whether or not it makes sense to take the extra to a local farmer’s market. Some markets charge a hefty sum for participation, so it might not make sense if you don’t have a lot of produce. Consider your options, and figure out what makes sense for your family. Selling your extra yield could mean a little extra cash in your pocket.

Preserve It For the Winter

Just because you don’t eat it during the summer doesn’t mean that you can’t eat it some other time. You can preserve most fresh produce with the right processes. A number of fruits and vegetables can be bottled or frozen. You keep the nutrients and most of the flavor, and you can enjoy your garden even during the winter.

There are also ways to preserve your produce in other forms. When we have a lot of apples, we make applesauce and pie filling. It’s a fun way to preserve all those extra apples. You can also turn extra tomatoes into spaghetti sauce or salsa.

Dehydration is another good way to preserve some of your produce. Many fruits can be dehydrated and stored, or made into fruit leather. I like to dry my herbs and use them year-round. They are tasty, and it saves me having to go to the store when I want herbs.

There is no reason to throw out any of your produce. If you must, turn it into compost. But, really, you are better off giving it away, selling it, or preserving it for use later.

What do you do with extra produce from your garden?