With the holidays fast approaching, I thought I’d round up my favorite ways to earn and save money all year-round.
Who doesn’t like saving money? I know I do! Below you’ll find some of my favorite ways to earn and save money on your groceries, gifts, and other purchases. It might take some planning to incorporate some of these ideas into your shopping habits, but I think they’re worth it. I’ve earned more than $189 in 2017. Let me show you how.
Digital Rebate Programs
Digital rebate programs give you money back on a purchase you’ve made. With no paper to keep track of, this is my go-to way to save money.
Ibotta is an app for your smartphone. I love ibotta because it’s easy to get money back every single week on things I buy often.
The deals change from week to week and there are different bonuses you can participate in every month. Recently, Amazon.com joined the party and now you can get cash back on several department’s purchases.
Click this referral link to sign up for ibotta and get a sweet sign-up bonus of $10 when you redeem your first rebate. You’ll also join my team where we can work together to achieve monthly bonuses for even more cash.
You can transfer your earnings to your PayPal or Venmo account as well as redeem various gift cards including Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more.
Earnings for 2017 as of 11/20/17: $120.46
I recently jumped back on the Ebates after a 4-year hiatus. Boy, have things changed for the better! The Google Chrome extension that alerts you to Ebates savings as soon as you land on a page means never missing out on a rebate.
I have used Ebates at Target, Vistaprint, and Old Navy. The cash back amount can change (sometimes double!) so keep an eye out for when your favorite online store has a sweet cash back deal. Anytime you have at least $5 in your account they’ll send you a Big Fat Check either via PayPal or as a physical check. Checks are sent out the 15th of every February, May, August, and November.
You can use my referral link here to sign up and receive a welcome bonus once you activate your first rebate. I get a little something too – thank you!
Earnings for 2017 as of 11/20/17: $13.14
Another smartphone app, Shopkicks allows you to earn points, “kicks,” for walking into stores, scanning the barcodes of featured products, and submitting your receipts. Kicks can then be redeemed for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Old Navy, and Target.
I mostly just get walk-in kicks, but if I’m bored or have some free time I’ll take Elle and we’ll go kick-hunting, scanning the featured items’ barcodes. I like Shopkicks because it’s pretty mindless and can be most like a game compared to the other savings apps I use.
You can sign up through my referral link here and we’ll both receive 250 bonus kicks.
Earnings for 2017 as of 10/31/17: 9,161 kicks (which is equivalent to a $35 Target gift card)
I have a love-hate relationship with surveys. Yes, they do payout, but sometimes I wonder if spending 30-60 minutes to do a survey is truly worth the few cents per hour I make. Last year I signed up for Pinecone Research and each survey nets me a consistent 300 points which seems to be about $2 per survey which you can cash out to your PayPal account or redeem your points for magazines, books, gift cards, baby supplies, and other physical products.
You can set the survey frequency to as often as once a day (if one is available) or once every two weeks (which is what I usually have it set to). You can also take a break (“vacation”) if you know you’re going to be unavailable during a certain time. I took advantage of this when Addie was born.
I’ve gotten some free product to try a couple of times, but mostly it’s about giving your opinions to concepts rather than a tangible product.
Earnings for 2017: $21.00
“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
I love shopping yard sales. Putting one on, however, can be a pain. But I’ve never organized a yard sale and regretted it. This summer’s yard sale $19 per hour. Obviously, that’s better than minimum wage. Taking into account the time spent organizing and pricing things and set up, I’d estimate our hourly wage went down to about $9. Still not shabby for a quick buck.
During winter we still declutter. Since no one is going to go to a mid-winter yard sale here in icy cold Utah, we just post our big-ticket items on Facebook’s marketplace or a local online classified listing to try to sell it.
Seasonal Part-time Job
Before we had Addie, I worked as a seasonal part-time cashier (“Sellebrity,” thank you very much) at Old Navy. I was later hired on as a permanent part-time employee. I worked mainly during Elle’s school days and it wasn’t a bad gig. And I got a sweet Gap employee discount which allowed me to spruce up my wardrobe for less. Win, win!
Consider checking out your favorite stores to see if they’re hiring seasonal help and if the hours could work with your schedule. Understand that seasonal helpers might get stuck with working those awful hours like Black Friday or even on Christmas Day. Look over your schedule and make sure the potential income is worth whatever time commitment may be required.
These days I am all about the digital coupons. That’s why every week I check out my Kroger/Smith’s digital coupons. (Click here to see the digital coupons available for your area.)
Every Friday Smith’s posts their Friday Freebie which you can load to your card. It’s always fun to see what the free item of the week will be. We’ve gotten to try crackers, juice, cookies, side dishes, and quick meals we wouldn’t otherwise have purchased. And anytime there is a freebie for a pet product I still get it and gift it to a neighbor with a pet.
Looking for a more efficient way to plan your family’s meals? Check out how I use my planner to do the heavy lifting for me in this post.
Acting as a digital coupon hub for a slew of retail stores, Retail Me Not is my go-to for Kohl’s, Old Navy, JC Penney, and many other stores. I just hop on their website while I’m in the checkout line to see if there are any deals. If there are, I just show the cashier the code on my phone and – voila! – pain-free saving.
Target App (Formerly “Cartwheel”)
In 2017 Target merged their Cartwheel app with their Target app, but it’s the same concept: open the app, scan the barcode of the items you want to buy, and the app will tell you if there’s a savings deal for it. Also, check the “coupons” section of the barcode tab to make sure you aren’t missing any other deals. Couple these savings with your 5% Redcard savings and you’re in business.
Maybe you’re surprised to see Yelp on here, but it’s true: some restaurants will provide a free goodie once you check into their establishment. We’ve gotten free drinks, appetizers, and sweet treats by just double checking Yelp when we get to the restaurant. What do you have to lose?
I hope one or more of these ways to save money helps you and your family this holiday season as well as year-round.
What’s your favorite way to save money during the holidays?