Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Some easy ways to earn money pt 1 -- surveys, grocery cash back

Okay guys, I've been working really hard to find little ways to earn money here and there and I have to share some of the top things that are really working well for me.  Because every little bit adds up right??  I had hoped to be able to take advantage of some of these earnings in time for Christmas but it didn't work out.  Right now we can definitely use all of the little $5 here and there, if nothing else but to earn date night money.

So first one that I've been doing the longest is Swagbucks.  The great thing about Swagbucks is that there are several ways to earn bucks and a million ways to redeem what you earn.  My top favorite ways to earn them are by filling out surveys, using their search engine, and watching for special swag codes that are redeemable for typically around 2-6 swagbucks each.  The best part of this is you can almost do nothing at all, and if you simply change your default search engine to Swagbucks you can slowly but surely earn a few here and there.  Between that and entering swag codes I was earning about $5 worth of Amazon gift cards every 2-3 months.  Since I've stepped up my game and started doing a lot of surveys for them I'm at about $25 in the last 2 months.  I'll probably just redeem this to PayPal this time around which costs about 250 swagbucks more than an Amazon card but it's a lot more universal.  You can also earn bonuses for various seasonal activities and for referring friends.  If a friend starts using Swagbucks from your referral link you'll also earn a few swagbucks based on how much they're earning!  Another great way to earn swagbucks is by using their link to shop online.  You can earn a certain number of swagbucks per dollar you spend at select retailers this way. I earned about 300 swagbucks on a Shutterfly purchase before the holidays when I bought our Christmas cards and some gifts!  There is another site that you can earn actual cash back deposited to your PayPal called eBates which I cover later on.

The second place I've been doing surveys for lately is iPoll.  I only recently discovered this one but I have almost $40 now waiting to transfer to PayPal and I think I joined at the end of October.  Really the same is true for Swagbucks surveys also but the great part about these is sometimes a short survey can open up a bigger opportunity.  One time I was asked to keep a TV diary for a week and got $4.  That's not a ton but it requires nearly no brainwork!  And a couple of other surveys asked me if I would be willing to participate in more research studies in the future.  iPoll pays more for surveys than Swagbucks does.  I usually earn 60-100 Swagbucks for each survey (probably fairly close to $0.60-$1.00) and at iPoll I mostly earn $1-2 each.

One of my newest finds has been an app called Smart Panel that you install on your phone that sends anonymous data usage to a research company and they will pay you $5 a month for being active.  You can also earn an extra $5 bonus for installing on other devices such as a computer but you will still only get the $5 a month.

Now we switch gears a little to how to earn money back on things you are already buying!  First up is Nielsen Consumer Panel.  When I go to the grocery store I bring all my groceries into the kitchen with my receipt, and using a little scanner they provide me I scan all the items I purchased.  It asks me things like if I used a coupon or a sale price, who did I go shopping with and such.  Then I earn points for actively submitting receipts.  I have not yet redeemed any of my points but you can use them for items in their catalog as well as gift cards.

Okay, eBates!  I love eBates and I try to remember to always check there before I buy anything online (and check Swagbucks second if eBates doesn't have them!).  They have a large number of retailers and I find very few places that I can't earn back with eBates, and even fewer that don't do eBates or Swagbucks!  They too have a referral program so you can earn money for referring friends.  They will give you $25 for each referral!  They will automatically transfer any money you have to your Paypal every few months providing you've earned over the minimum limit which was $10 last I checked.  We don't often make big purchases but using it regularly with all of our online shopping will add up.

Shopkick is kind of a cool little app because you can earn kicks for simply walking into some stores like Walmart.  You can also earn them for scanning items in the store and answering questions but I don't often do that.  I just open the app when I walk into the store and I earn my kicks.  Every couple of months or so I earn enough to redeem a $5 gift card.  This is also a place you can earn for referring, you get 2000 kicks for every 3 friends.

Finally there are three different apps I've used to submit receipts.  The biggest one is iBotta.  You have to scroll through their current product listings to see if any are things you want to buy this week.  It's a little bit like a digital coupon but sometimes they are for whatever brand of item you wish to buy, even store brands.  I frequently get cash back for bread, milk, condiments, frozen veggies, shredded cheese and more.  Just scan the barcode of the item to be sure it qualifies, then submit your receipt containing those items.  You can connect to your Facebook and team up with all your other friends on iBotta to get bonuses too and also referrals.  Checkout51 is similar but they don't offer nearly as large a number of items.  There is only one pick your own item each week and the rest are specific products.  I haven't really used this one much at all so I have yet to redeem any money because the minimum to transfer is $20 and I only currently have $6 earned.  I also recently started using ReceiptHog which only requires you to send pictures of your receipts and you earn coins based on how much you spent. If you use my referral code brat5754 you can earn a few spins for a chance to win your grocery trip back.

Edit 3/14/16 -- New survey company I've been with since this post!  Harris Poll Online has proved to be fairly lucrative.  What I like about them is if you don't qualify for the survey they still give you 15 points for trying.  There's nothing more annoying then spending 5-10 minutes just to find out you don't qualify for the survey and you get nothing for your time.  It costs 625 points for a $5 Amazon card and I've already earned more than enough points for $10 in cards doing very quick surveys here and there (or even not qualifying for one!). They have a number of redemption options for your reward points so be sure to check them out.

These are all the things I've been using lately to earn.  In a future post I'll share some of the mystery shopping apps I've been using!

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