Let me be the first to admit that I am an impulse shopper, as is my husband. Over the years, we’ve had to start changing the ways we think of our money availability so that we could pay off debt and grow our savings. But I still enjoy going out on the weekends and picking up something for myself simply because I want it, rather than need it. So I started using different phone apps and websites to make some extra cash. I’ve tried several, and these so far are my personal favorites that I still use to this day. Mind you, I am not an avid user.
I don’t use these every single day, I’m rather lazy about them. If I did use them daily, I would probably have made a lot more by now!
The following post does contain affiliate links. I will only link to affiliates that I believe in, and would never point you to a company that I don’t trust. Each and every one of these I have actually MADE money on before I ever even became a blogger, received it and was able to spend it. Some are through gift cards, others are cash through paypal. Choose which ones would work best for you!
Ah, Swagbucks! I started using this site back in college out of sheer curiosity. Cash for answering surveys, shopping and watching videos? Hell yeah, I was in! I was absolutely skeptical of it when I first joined. And the fact is that it was a slow start for me. Unless you are dedicated to this, you’re not gonna make the money super fast but it is easy.
The way you earn on Swagbucks is through a points system. Each survey you complete (you have to fully complete them, and some surveys will reject you), every so many videos you watch and if you activate Swagbucks when you shop online, you’ll be able to earn Swagbucks. When you’ve reached so many, you can exchange those for giftcards to SO MANY PLACES. I’ve gotten Target gift cards, Amazon gift cards, there’s even gift cards to restaurants and clothing stores. You could also chose to donate your Swagbucks to a charity! There are so many options that literally anyone can find something to get there.
The fastest way that I’ve gotten points is by activating Swagbucks when I shop online and you get so many points per dollar you’ve spent. The next way I get them is through surveys. I’ve been rejected from a lot of surveys, but I don’t lose anything more than a few minutes of my time. When I do complete a survey they are usually fairly large chunks of Swagbucks to push me closer to my next giftcard.
Here’s an affiliate link to sign up to swagbucks: https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx?foid=1106914.2943926&foc=2&fot=9999&fos=1
I LOVE IBOTTA! Sorry, I just had to get that out there. Ibotta is an app that is a-mazing. They work as a rebate system, which means you buy the product and then receive a small portion of cashback afterwards. But it’s for useful things like everyday groceries! Seriously, they have so many different stores like Walmart, Publix, Target, even some gas stations.
Every week they upload new rebates available. For example, the last rebate I used was $.75 back on any Breyers Ice Cream. Is it a lot? Nah, but I was gonna buy it anyways! It’s like if you walked by and saw two quarters on the ground. Chances are you’d pick it up, right? Especially if you knew that you’d find more quarters every day. The values are different for each rebate, and some are store specific (i.e. can only be bought at Walmart.) But there are so many options of food, drinks, alcohol, bath products and more. I’ve also gotten a 10% back rebate from JoAnn’s.
To use Ibotta, you choose what rebates you want to get. You can browse the list or you can scan barcodes at the store to see what’s available.
Pro tip, ALWAYS scan the barcodes of what you get!
Sometimes you’ll be able to get something that you didn’t realize was included! You’ll also have to make sure that you’ve reached the minimum purchase too. Most only need one item, but sometimes you’ll need three of the same thing to get the rebate. And yes, they will check.
After you’ve purchased your groceries, you’ll take a picture of your receipt through the app for proof fo purchase and scan the barcodes of the items you bought. Then you just have to wait for verification and BOOM. Money in your Ibotta wallet. You can withdraw money through Paypal or choose a gift card. I’ve done both before. To date, I’ve earned $78.85 dollars through Ibotta. That’s all from a few bucks each shopping trip. I’m proudest of when I actually get items for free or make money off of this. Because you can use it at the DOLLAR TREE. I’ve gotten free tampons and Nesquik there after my rebate. I’ve also many money after items have gone on sale or used a coupon. It’s so easy to pick up and it’s hardly any effort.
If you’re gonna buy the items anyway, might as well get some cash back! Pro-tip: KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! Ibotta adds new things every week, and will often honor receipts up to seven days old! So if you bought something last week and now it’s listed this week, go ahead and get that change!
Here’s my referral link, where you can get a $10 welcome bonus!: https://ibotta.com/r/hqkooho
Checkout 51 is a lot like Ibotta, but is lesser known and not as popular yet. You pretty much pick what you want and scan your receipt just like Ibotta. But I like to use both apps because each one has different items to choose from. Most are brand specific, but sometimes you’ll have ‘any item’ rebates available or ‘any of loaf of bread’ type of rebates. I’ve not made as much on Checkout 51 as I have Ibotta, simply because there are less items available that I’ve noticed and I don’t necessarily use a lot of items they have. But they do have high value ones available from time to time. Once you’ve reach $20 you can have the money sent to you via check or through Paypal. I use Paypal simply because it’s faster. You can find Checkout 51 through your phone’s app store.
Ok, Shopkick is just plain fun on top of being a money maker. This particular app is like a scavenger hunt. You earn kicks for walking into certain stores, for scanning specific items in said stores and even rebates when you purchase listed items. You can also earn kicks for online shopping, but I haven’t tried that yet. Because my mom and I go out most every weekend to walk around shopping centers, this is a ridiculously easy way to earn. I got my mom into it too so now we help each other find the items we need to scan and even hunt down stores that are offering lots of kicks for walk-ins.
After you’ve earned so many shopkicks, you exchange them for giftcards such as Walmart, Target, AMC, Toys R Us, and more. I usually redeem mine when I’m able to get a $25 dollar gift card. It’s an e-card, so when after the card is linked to your shopkick, the gift card can be accessed right in the Shopkick app and be scanned at the store.
Pro-tip, use a gift card through Shopkick, then get rebates from Ibotta and Checkout 51.
Here’s my referral link: http://get.shopkick.com/polygon61362
None of these will make you rich, but they all work and they will all get you some extra spending money. I’ve used the giftcards to buy gifts when living paycheck to paycheck, to purchase something for myself without feeling guilty about spending money, and to help buy groceries. Do you have any favorite money making apps or websites that I haven’t listed? Have you used any of the apps I’ve mentioned? Let me know how they worked for you!