Thursday, December 26, 2013

how I save and earn when I shop and what not

via elephant journal

So...maybe I should've posted this BEFORE everyone started their holiday shopping. But...guess what...the day AFTER Christmas is also a huge shopping day. Tons of stores offering huge discounts to get rid of holiday merchandise and getting ready for spring. Yup...spring. So here are a few of the main ways I earn rewards and save money when I'm spending my hard earned dough.

Target - I think it's safe to assume that most people love to shop at Target...if you don't...well...I don't...I don't even understand how that's possible. ;) First off, I suggest applying for the Target DEBIT card. (I won't go into my feelings about credit cards right now.) The Target Debit card comes right out of your checking account and you automatically save 5% off your purchase when you use it to pay. Not a lot, but it's still something. Next download the Cartwheel app to your smartphone. There are all kinds of discounts on items you're already buying. Last, check out for more ways to save. I often find that there are coupons for things that also have a discount on Cartwheel.

ShopKick (phone app) - Because I work in a mall this app really comes in handy. You get kicks when you walk into stores, scan items (and sometimes do a short survey) and if you want you can link the debit/credit card you shop with most to earn kicks when you shop (in specific stores). Kicks can be turned into gift cards or other items. I like to use this app a lot when I'm at Target. There are always a lot of items to scan at Target. I tend to turn my kicks into Target gift cards. (It makes me feel better about shopping there and I feel like I'm not really spending my own money.) The rewards are loaded right onto your phone. I currently have enough kicks for a $5 Target gift card, but I think I'm going to keep on saving and shoot for a $25 gift card or maybe something else. (By far my favorite way to earn rewards because it's as simple as walking into a store, which I do quite often, especially Target.)

Mr. Rebates and ebates - Both sites offer a percentage of cash back for your purchase when you shop online. They also list current coupons and promotions so you don't have to waste time searching the internet while you're shopping. I check both sites when I'm shopping because sometimes one site has a higher percentage of cash back than the other. I prefer Mr. Rebates though because you can let your cash back build up and cash out when you want to (provided you've waited 90 days), where as ebates cashes you out quarterly and only if you've got at least $10 in your account. Also, when you refer someone on Mr. Rebates you get a portion of their cash back when they shop.

Gift Card Granny - Sometimes someone doesn't know you that well and they give you a gift card to a place you don't shop and you think...what the heck am I going to do with this? You're gonna sell it...usually for less than the actual value on it. Gift Card Granny finds all the gift cards that are being sold online and tells you what the value on the card is and what it's selling for. Great for online and in store shopping if you can find a good deal on a gift card for a place you already know you're going to shop at. I'm thinking about updating my TV so I'm watching Best Buy gift cards. Even if I only save a couple of bucks, it's better than nothing.

Wrapp (phone app) - This app lets you send your friends gift cards. They offer a lot of free gift cards. There does appear to be a limit on how often you can receive free gift cards from certain companies. I have a friend that I trade H & M gift cards with when they become available for us to send. They also do occasional promos when they add new companies and I've received free $5 gift cards for etsy as well as Godiva.

ibotta (phone app) - This app pays you when you buy certain products, eat at a specific restaurant or go to see a movie. You look for offers, complete a couple of tasks and then after you complete your purchase you follow the instructions and submit a photo of your receipt. After your purchase is verified they deposit cash into your ibotta account. You can cash your account out to PayPal or use it on gift cards. This app is still fairly new for me. It's pretty simple to use though. I've made one purchase so far and have $2 sitting in my account.

Jingit (phone app and online) - Watch an ad, answer a few questions and earn some change. Literally. Each ad you watch earns you about 10 to 15 cents. Not a lot. And there aren't currently a lot of ads to watch. I log in about once a week to see what's new. They do offer check ins as well that pay 25 - 50 cents. Stop by a particular store and scan the listed item. Easy to do while you're grocery shopping. Last time I checked I had $2 saved up.

mystery shopping - Stores and restaurants pay you to evaluate their service. I wrote a huge post about this this past summer, so I won't go into much about it here. I haven't done a lot of mystery shopping lately because I've been busy with the holidays and I haven't found any that I was very interested in. My favorite shop though was getting paid to walk 3 laps around the mall to see if any of the kiosks workers would approach me. Easiest $10 I made all year long. I look forward to being eligible to do that shop again.

There are a handful of other ways that I earn extra cash, but I'll save that post for another day. I think this is a good start to start lining your pockets with vacation money. Hey, maybe that's what I'll do with the extra dough I earn next year. Sounds like a good plan.

What are some of the tricks you use to save money? Or ways that you earn a little extra dough?

reading - The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
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Teresa said...

have you heard of swagbucks? it's a website where you do little tasks to earn swag bucks that you can turn into things like gift cards! there's a daily poll, special offers, surveys, and other ways where you can earn. I always go for the $5 amazon gift cards!

Jen said...

I love my Target debit card!!!! :) Best thing ever.