Sometimes we feel like we are spending more money than we make. Groceries go up in price, gas prices rise, and unexpected expenses are always waiting to pop up in the most inconvenient moments. Fortunately, there are ways to find extra cash for doing the things you do every day. Here’s how to get paid to shop and earn money back on your purchases.
Ebates is my favorite website for getting cash back on the online shopping I already do. Millions of websites offer a percentage rebate for shopping on their website. Some shops provide a site-wide discount, and others provide rebates for specific items. For instance, I order groceries from Jet every two weeks at about $100 each time. If I go through Ebates, I get 1% back. $1 may not sound like much but hold on! I also buy household items from Walmart frequently. Walmart offers 1-5% back depending on the item. I order what I need and opt to pick up those items at my store on my way home when I run errands and avoid paying to ship. You shouldn’t change your buying habits when using Ebates. Only buy what you’d normally buy, but now you’ll get free money for doing close to nothing. When you click on one of their links and buy an item, you’ll get anywhere from 1-15% cash back.
Another great feature is the ability to add your Visa card (it won’t be charged) and link it to stores or restaurants you visit frequently. It’s an extra way to get rebates on your usual spending. Ebates pays via PayPal or paper check, and they pay out after each quarter. You must have a balance of $5 to receive your payout. Bonus tip: I love using Ebates for holiday shopping (yay for no lines, no traffic, and cash back!) and planning family vacations.
Earn With Drop
Drop is a free phone app that allows you to connect your credit/debit card and you get rewarded every time you spend your money. Use Uber frequently? You can get money back! How about grocery shopping, Walmart trips, and Instacart? Yep, you earn cash back. Several stores are available—pick the top five places you spend the most money. Every 1,000 points you earn equates to $1. You can payout at 5,000 points or higher. Payout comes in the form of gift cards. Your points will vary according to the company you’re shopping with. Starbucks is 12 points per $, but Walmart is 2 points per $1. May not seem like much, but it compounds quickly if you are the person who uses a card and not cash.
Ibotta is a great app that pays you back on your grocery shopping. The free app allows you to select items you will be buying at the store you are going to. When you finish shopping, you take a picture of your receipt to get the credit. Or you can make it easy by adding your store loyalty card, and it will automatically reward you for purchases. You can see the items that have a cash back offer and how much they are offering. It may be as little as $.25 to several dollars. Payout is at $20, and you can receive your cash via PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards (some require $25 to receive).
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to increase your spending. It is tempting to when you see all the ways you can rack up rebates. The goal is to stick with your budget and get extra money to go into an emergency savings plan or towards debt.