Josh and I are always on the look-out for good deals and ways to make a few extra dollars. Here are some things we’ve done that have worked (please note that my affiliate links are used in this post):
Saving Money with Online Reward sites
I don’t regularly use these, perhaps because I don’t do a lot of on-line shopping, but I’ve been trying to make any on-line purchases through one of these third-party website because they will give cash back (or points depending on which site you use) for doing so. There are many different ones, but the three that I’ve used are Upromise, ebates.com and ShopAtHome.com. They are all a little different, but they all offer a certain % cash back on purchases you make through their site on websites like snapfish.com, target.com, wal-mart.com, and even groupon.com. There’s seriously thousands of websites they are linked into.
When I am considering making whatever purchase on-line, I check out these three sites and see who is offering the most cash back and then shop through their website. It takes a few weeks for the money to show up in your account and each one has different amounts you need accumulated to cash-out, but you can cash out with each of them.
The different angle to the upromise.com website is that it is run by Sallie Mae. You can actually invest the money in your account directly into investments for future education expenses. You can also link your credit cards to your account and earn cash back when you make purchases at certain stores and restaurants. Plus, if you upload their e-coupons onto your grocery’s stores savings card, you can also get cash back. And you can actually have grandparents or friends contribute to your earnings for education as well.
I have reviewed several different survey sites I have used HERE in this post, and I will say again how easy it is to earn money through my favorite survey companies – Valued Opinions and Mindfield. With Valued Opinions I have earned over $40. Through a survey site, I recently did an at-home laundry testing, which means I scored some free detergent to use for a month, and even got paid a few bucks for my opinions on it. I have also done a long-term study on my contacts as well. Most surveys I take are short, 25 minutes or less and earn me between $0.50 to $5.00 each.
Yes, I reviewed this site before too (HERE), but seriously, I earn money without having to do anything other than use the swagbucks search engine. Easiest $5 Amazon gift cards I have ever earned! Though the search engine is not phenomenal (far from it really), I still find what I am looking for most of the time.
Business to Blogger
This is a great website where businesses hire bloggers to review something for them, always giving the blogger some form of compensation, whether a free product for them to sample or to read, and/or cash as well. I have only done two jobs through them, both times for our giveaways on this blog – Home Organization Kit and Every Natural Fact Book Review. Some of the jobs are specific to certain areas, have pageview requirements, etc, but they can be a wonderful opportunity to make a few extra dollars or try out something new!
Freebies 2 Deals
I love this website. And while I know there are probably dozens of websites very similar (tell me what the good ones are please!), this is the one site I follow and make sure I get all the great coupons, freebies, and cheap things I can! I recently scored Lady Antebellum’s CD, the new Coldplay CD, and Guns ‘n Roses Greatest Hit CD through Amazon for $0.25 each because I heard about it on Freebies 2 Deals. I’ve also gotten rebates or certain coupons/deals that I wouldn’t have otherwise. They also do a gazillion giveaways for all sorts of sweet stuff, and though I almost always enter and have never won, there’s still a chance right?
Rent.com $100 Reward Card
If you are moving soon, make sure to check out rent.com. When we were last considering moving and were looking at a bunch of different websites featuring apartments around Indianapolis, we made sure we were also checking rent.com. If the place you check out, and end up leasing is listed on their website, you can get a $100 Reward Card (in the form of a Visa Pre-paid card).
All you have to do is make sure when you visit the apartment/sign the lease you say rent.com was how you heard about them, and then report your lease. We did this for our current place and did get the reward card. It takes like 3 months because they have to verify with the lease office, as well as make sure you still live there a month or two later. But, what an easy way to help with all those moving costs!
Daily Deal Sites
These types of sites are getting more and more popular and more and more are forming! I am signed up with google offers, groupon, livingsocial, and eversave. While I have only purchased about four deals, one for JCPenney Portrait Studio (post about that HERE), one for tickets to the movie theater, one for the Indianapolis Auto Show (post about that HERE), and one for a subscription to e-meals (post about that HERE).
If I ate out more/had more money to do so, restaurant.com would be high on my list of places to shop on-line. You can easily and frequently purchase $25 certificates for around $2-3 each! Here’s things to know about the certificates – you always have to spend more than the certificate amount. So, if you get a $25 one, you may have to buy at least $40 of food and should always tip for the full-amount. But, every restaurant has their own fine print. The certificates never expire either.
Using their certificates is a fun and cheaper way to experience local fare. I love that restaurant.com supports local businesses with these deals. It draws in new customers and helps the local economy. I’m all for that! And, during the Holiday season they let you give away $10 gift certificates (restaurant to be chosen by the recipient) for FREE through their Feed It Forward Campaign. I gave away a bunch this last year to pretty much everyone I knew! What a great thing!