What is it about lemonade stands that makes me groan? I'm kind of germ-a-phob so I guess that's why it never appeals to me. But we needed a way to include our daughter in our adoption yard sale (she's so excited about being a big sister) and a lemonade stand seemed like the way to go.
The tough decision was what to sell. I really wanted to stick to prepackaged items for allergies, convenience and to save time. The cost of store bought items, however, didn't leave any room for profit.
We ultimately decided on coffee and donuts. We used our own coffee, napkins, sweetener and creamer, and we borrowed a 30 cup coffee maker. I found Styrofoam cups and lids at GFS for less than $3. We sold it for 50 cents a cup. It was by far the cheapest item to sell at our stand.
Fortunately, a bakery donated three dozen donuts to us, which we sold for $1 each, that was all profit. The only thing that worked against us was it was unseasonably warm that weekend, so the desire for coffee was less appealing. Also, we only sold snacks on Saturday of our sale since our daughter would be off school and could manage the stand. I wish we had done Friday as well, because we had such a huge turnout. We would have made money even if we had just sold water. A couple of cases of water at 75 cents each adds up fast!
We only sold the coffee and donuts for a couple of hours in the morning, then we switched to other snacks. We filled a cooler with ice and sold bottled water. We also sold lemonade. I used Crystal Light lemonade because we could make several large pitchers very inexpensively. It was the cheapest lemonade solution, costing less than using frozen concentrate or purchasing a few gallons of premade lemonade. We used the same Styrofoam cups and had another cooler with fresh ice so it would be cold.
For the snacks we did individual bags of chips and Airheads Extreme candy (which my sister donated!). Everyone wanted bottled water (again, unseasonably warm) and the kids all wanted Airheads. When all was said and done we made nearly $120 off our lemonade stand! My daughter was very proud of herself and felt like she made a great contribution to the sale. For really pretty little fuss, we were able to add a lot to our bottom line!
On another note: Some friends of ours dropped by our sale with chocolate chip cookie bars, already individually packed in baggies, ready to sell. We marked them all 50 cents and they sold immediately. If you have the time to make homemade baked goods, go for it. Otherwise the cookie fairy is the way to go! If you have some friends looking to help, maybe batch of cookies would do the trick!