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Do you find yourself wanting to find ways to earn a little extra money? Maybe you are trying to find new ways to stretch your budget? These tips are not just for moms but for anyone wanting to make and save money on the side. These are all methods I have personally used or my sister has, and recommend!
(This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on these do not cost you anything extra but I may earn a little commission. I personally believe in these recommendations.)
My sister is a master when it comes to couponing, discounts and cool apps that save you money. I have learned about the majority of these from her and have adopted them for myself. To make it easier, I have categorized my top recommendations for you.
I used to cut coupons back in the day, but after having kids it took too much time. I would also forget where I put them or have them in my purse instead of the diaper bag. Now, I use apps to help me keep my grocery coupons in one place.
- Ibotta– This is an app that allows you to search for stores and load coupons to earn cash back. Sometimes there are even free products or money off of any receipt. You can either link your rewards card or upload a receipt. They often have bonuses if you complete certain offers too. I just started using this about 6 weeks ago and I have already earned $72 just from buying groceries I would already be buying!
- Safeway app– It’s called just for U if you want to download the app. It works with Safeway, Vons, Albertsons, Haggen, Lucky, Pavilions and more. When I get ready to go grocery shopping I look through the coupons available in the app and load them onto my card. When I check out, the coupons are used. I can also earn points towards rewards which can be free items or money towards my groceries. They also do a Monopoly game every year and you can win money and prizes.
- Retailmenot– This is a great site to check for internet coupons before you purchase something. They also offer cash back opportunities when you register your credit card and make purchases at select stores. More below on these.
- Coupons.com– This site has printable coupons and digital coupons you can use.
- Store and Restaurant Apps– If you frequently shop at certain stores or restaurants, you should check to see if they have a mobile app. Often they will offer deals and rewards. Some of the ones I use are Joanns, CVS and Chick-Fil-A.
These websites or apps offer you ways to earn money back on purchases. If you already make online purchases then you should definitely be signing up with some of these. You are leaving money on the table otherwise. Usually, you will link a credit card to your account and then you can add deals into your account. Whenever you purchase something at one of those places then you will receive money back. It will either be deposited directly back to your credit card or sometimes they lump it together after a certain amount of time. Here are some of my top recommendations.
- Yelp– By attaching your credit card, when you shop at eligible locations you will receive money back.
- Groupon– Some people think that Groupon is only about deals you can purchase but they also have cash back options for certain places. Some of these you might already go to.
- Retailmenot– This is a great place to search for coupons and get cash back on purchases at select stores.
- Extrabux– They have deals and lots of money back options.
- Ebates– (Rakuten)It will also give you money back depending on where you shop. You can also add the Ebates button to your browser so when you go to a site it will tell you if there are deals.
I have been doing online surveys for extra money for over 12 years now. Some I like more than others based on the effort to payout ratio and what the payout options are. Some surveys only give you credit if you completely qualify and complete a survey. This can be frustrating because you can get pretty far into a 10-15 minute survey only to be disqualified and given nothing. I prefer the sites that at least give you something for attempting it. Time is valuable. Here are my top recommendations.
- E-poll– This was one of the first companies I ever signed up with to do paid surveys. They are often fairly quick which I like. I have earned $270 in Amazon and Starbucks gift cards so far.
- InboxDollars– You can earn rewards for doing a variety of things like surveys, opening emails, watching tv, searching the internet and more. I like that there is a variety so you don’t get bored with just one thing and they have different levels of effort.
- Valued Opinions– I have been taking surveys through this site for many years and am at Diamond Level. I like that it doesn’t make you wait for a large sum before you can cash in for a reward gift card. They have great reward options to choose from.
- E-Rewards– I have been taking surveys through this site since 2009 and have used most of my rewards on Macy’s gift cards. Free clothes for me and my kids? Yes, please!
- Swagbucks– This is one I have more recently joined but am loving it so far. It has a little of everything. You can earn rewards by shopping, taking surveys and more! By adding the SwagButton to your browser it will automatically pull up options for money back when you go to a site they support.
- MyPoints– You can earn rewards which turn into gift cards when you do certain activities like online shopping, surveys or watching videos
Here are some additional ways to make and save money.
- Smile.Amazon– If you go to Smile.Amazon instead of just Amazon a percentage of everything you purchase will go back to a charity or non-profit of your choice. I chose my son’s school and it helps fund their special programs like science, art, and music!
- Subscribe and Save– Amazon has a lot of great programs like Subscribe and save where you can schedule qualifying products to automatically be shipped to you on a regular schedule. You will get an additional discount of 5%-20% for doing this. You can choose every month or up to every 6 months and can even delay items if you don’t need them yet. This is how we purchase diapers, wipes, toiletries, even some snacks. The Amazon Family program can get you 20% off diapers!
- Mystery Shopping– I have worked with a few different companies to do these. They do take some work but it sometimes can mean a free meal or a small payment. A Closer Look is a great one to join. If you would like a referral from me just send me your email address.
- Camelcamelcamel– This is a great site to make sure you are getting something for a great price. You can search for a specific item like a crib mattress and see the price trend. You can also set alerts so that when it gets to a certain price threshold it will email you so you can go purchase it. It will track the price of that item over many online stores as well. This is especially helpful for shopping on Amazon.
- Hip2Save– It’s a blog site that gives great tips on how to save money.
- Shell– I have started using the Shell app for gas and it is awesome! You tell it when you are at the pump and which number pump. You link it to your credit card so that you never have to put your credit card in the pump or go inside. This gets rid of the risk of skimmers and having your credit card stolen. The app will give you a code that you punch into the pump, then you choose your gas type and start pumping. Put it back when you are done and off you go. You don’t need a receipt because it saves it in the app. The best part… You get a discount each time of 5-10 cents per gallon!
These are additional tips that my sister or I use that you might benefit from also.
- Separate Email– My sister created a Gmail account that she solely uses when signing up for rewards programs. By doing this, it doesn’t clog her main email. When you go into a store that you have subscribed to, you can just search your email to see if you have any recent coupons from them.
- Charge card– When I attach a credit card to a cashback site I make sure not to use my debit card. I personally prefer to use American Express because they have excellent fraud protection. If you are concerned about going into debt, then instead of a credit card, you could use a charge card. These require you to pay the balance in full each month but if it is stolen you don’t need to worry about someone draining your bank account.
- Don’t overbuy– It can be tempting to purchase something because it’s cheap or you will earn points, etc. Don’t fall into the trap. Be smart with your decisions and only buy what you need. These tips are supposed to help you make and save money not to spend more money.