How I make money and save money when shopping


With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's time for you to treat yourself! Through the years, I've learned of some super savvy ways to save money and make money while shopping. Regardless if you're an avid online shopper or prefer to pick your goods in person, I have some great news for you: You can get paid to shop! Yes, that's right. Let me tell you how good it feels to make money when you're spending money. Additionally, I recently discovered the easiest way to curate the best coupon codes available when shopping online with almost zero effort, so you can get the max discount floating around on the internet.

Making money and saving money while you shop is only a few clicks away. These rebate/savings platforms require very minimum effort on your part, so they become a no-brainer. Here's what you need to know to get started:

Ebates 

When I first saw commercials for Ebates on TV, I couldn't decide if this company was a scam. After reading about it from several reliable sources, I signed up a year or so ago and have not regretted my decision. This site basically gives you a rebate (a percentage of your purchase as cash back) for online and some in-store in purchases. (See the examples below. )

Every quarter, you get a direct deposit or check from the company for your cash back total. Sometimes, mine is $8. Sometimes its $28. Regardless, it's money I didn't have before and barely had to do anything to get it.

It's very easy to use. After you set up an account, just got to ebates.com every time you are getting ready to make a purchase online and type in the name of the store. Ebates will then tell you the current cash back percentage being offered at that store. Then you select "Shop Now." The "Shop Now" button takes you to the store's website, and from there, Ebates records your purchase amount and then credits your Ebates account for the cash back.

Ebates also notifies you via email about store sales that might be of interest to you based on your past purchases.

It's as easy as that. This only takes a few seconds each time you make a purchase. If you shop online, there's no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of this cash back program.


Ibotta

Last summer, my best friend introduced me to Ibotta. It's an app that provides cash back on slew of everyday purchases - think groceries, toiletries, wine, etc. When I first started using this app (see the snapshot below), you could get rebates when you shopped at stores like Kroger and Target, but now the app has branched out to include restaurants and other retailers, like Groupon, Hallmark, Best Buy and even Ebay.

Every time I go to the grocery or Target, I quickly search the app to find out what rebates are currently being offered. Most of the time, the rebates are on specific brands, but the app also offers a few "any brand" offers - think on any loaf of bread, any type of apples, any gallon of milk, etc.

Sometimes I buy new items I've never tried specifically because there's a rebate for them. (That's how I recently discovered Brownie Brittle, which is seriously addicting and amazing.) Then other times, I look at my receipt and then check Ibotta to see if there are any rebate I can claim on items the I just bought.

To redeem a rebate, all you have to do is click a button to "claim" it and then take a picture of your receipt with your phone. That's it!

Once you have hit a $20 threshold in rebates earned, you can redeem your money via a Paypal transfer or by selecting a gift card. Boom. Easy, and again, it's free money for buying things you were already going to buy.

Honey


A couple of months ago, I stumbled across Honey via an article. It's basically a button you install in your browser bar that provides a recap of all of the coupon codes on the web that apply to the site you're shopping on. When you're ready to check out, just click the "h" browser button to show all of the available coupon codes.

When doing some more research on this, I discovered that they also offer cash back on purchases. I haven't explored this yet, but will definitely look into it.



Bonus

I like to shop, but I also like to simplify, which means I'm constantly getting rid of things. When I have clothing, furniture and home accents that are still in great condition and too good to simply donate to Goodwill, I consign them at the local Snooty Fox. Granted, it takes six to eight weeks for money to show up on your account, it's still nice to make money for things you no longer need, use or love.


So, what are your best saving or money-making tips? I would love to learn of more savvy, saving or money-making platforms!


(Referral links included above.)
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