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For the ever vigilant, money can come in a multitude of ways.
But for those not wanting to necessarily give themselves to an endless grind, there’s a variety of simple ways to generate some extra income.
Let’s break down these twelve simple ways to generate some extra income without a ton of effort.
1. Online Survey Sites
If you’ve ever been tight on cash, survey sites almost always can be the quick cash savior for those feeling trapped.
Thankfully, Frugal for Less has already made a list here of some of the beneficial ones; I want to re-list some of the main options available.
You won’t be working for pennies like some of the less savory survey sites; they’re all guaranteed reputable.
For the full details make sure you check back to the list, but you could be taking a relaxing survey already during that time and making cash.
The biggest advantage of the survey option is you can always dip in and dip out as time allows. As long as you have an Internet connection, you’re good to go and resume the process.
2. Shop with an App in Mind
Now that apps that help you save while shopping have become an increasingly common way to refund our hard-spent dollars, there’s an ever-increasing amount of quality options (and therefore money stacks-in-waiting) to make use of.
The issue comes when people install these onto their phones but never bother to actually get to know them or their stacking powers.
In particular, the ability of grocery rebate apps to power-stack your refunds comes into play. Let’s provide an example.
While Ibotta continues to be the power-house, it’s important to keep in mind that many apps have come to challenge the rotating deal powerhouse with their own niche appeal as well.
I’ll mention two lesser known grocery rebate apps that can easily overlap with the crown king.
Makeena came in response to those desiring more healthy food options to make produce and bulk-bin shopping approachable.
With Ibotta’s increasing fondness for produce, the two apps have become even more budding rivals and partners.
If you top this pairing off with a fresh adding of Berrycart, you’ll easily save a few meals worth every time you shop.
If you’ve followed step one, these apps also make it easy to remind you of what brands are on your individual store shelves without setting foot in the store itself.
You can make use of these to approach companies for coupons on foods, products, and other lifestyle needs. The savings will start compounding the more time you set aside.
So, set aside a time before you make your shopping list, and just glance through and see what might catch your interest before you go.
3. Be an Inquisitive Fan
When was the last time you looked forward to checking your mailbox?
With an every increasing health-conscious America, many companies are adjusting product quality with health-centric intent (non-BPA, better quality ingredients [natural and organic], and more).
However, these adjustments can come at consumer expense when they’re left unaware. So, how would it feel to have money gifted directly to you to combat these creeping costs?
The acquisition of money-saving coupons has made life considerably more comfortable for many. For a personal example, I’ve been following my running grocery total savings at Southern grocery store chain Ingles. At present it’s now at $1,334.21 with $19.86 paid for in coupons on the last trip alone!
For the purposes of this list, I’m going to include a few options that become indirect cash or freebies.
The best advice and lead-in that I can offer simply begins with thinking about what you use in your everyday life.
Every single item that you don’t grow or create yourself comes from a business. These same businesses desperately want to connect with you.
They’ll try to do this through a variety of methods; they don’t advertise how much they want to keep you and have your recommendation.
Simply making use of any business contact us form can instantly connect you to a happy pile of cash.
For those that are particularly Facebook fans, most businesses also have an active individual on duty to respond to any messages sent via Facebook messenger.
Using either method, it’s very easy to ask if that business will mail out money-saving coupons to your home. In fact, the vast majority do (barring availability)!
Many businesses will often make free product coupons available to first time contacts and those approaching from a prospective interest.
Setting a day aside to make a list of your monthly needs and expenditures can easily allow you to contact the respective companies and get some money sent your way.
Additionally, the turn around for many of these mailed out coupons is vastly under the prescribed 7 to 10 business days, so it can be done in tandem with your weekly sales ads when venturing out to your respective stores.
If you’re ever in for a tight month, make sure to utilize this method. Most companies have variable periods in which you can request these coupons again—so make sure to touch base again after you find out the respective request wait.
4. Get to Know Your Local Stores
Walking into a store, you’re greeted by a pleasant face welcoming you to the store. The standard door greeter offers you a smile. The everyday shopper doesn’t think much of the exchange—it’s standard for service.
Different from days past, there’s an ever-increasing store base. Many people simply don’t see the same workers with any frequency. Instead, human interest dictates going for variety, the best deal, or simply scoping out new places.
However, beyond all of the structure lies a person working everyday in the same environment. They know their business and product both exceedingly well. They even know how to get their customers a mutually beneficial set of deals if tapped into just right and with some extra outreach.
With the advent of shopping online and the busy American lifestyle, it can prove difficult to build any relationships with the employees whether you possess the time to go to multiple stores or not.
Shopping at your mega-chain Wal-Mart or your small local grocery store can both have added benefits when you simply get to know the employees and the routine of unadvertised deals.
Taking your time to flag down an employee, start a conversation, and ask some well-thought out questions can easily net you with savings. It’s just that important to make yourself known.
An individual passion of mine is looking for cheap produce deals whether they stem from imperfect produce or lack of desire for particular foods.
This hobby of mine had me quickly talking to different produce employees, produce managers, and even the management of the store itself.
Not only did these conversations lead to the store making use of their mark-down allowances to meet some of my specialty needs; it also led to me learning about exactly when these same price-saving strategies would happen in the store.
It’s a lot easier to find deals when they’re offered to you upon entering the store.
While every store has its own allowances, there’s almost always a deal that can be struck on some item that you’ll be needing in your everyday life.
5. Amazon Mistakes
While this method isn’t the mostly reliable one; it’s become a bit of an unexpected goldmine for happy surprises. Most people have heard about Amazon Prime, and they’re still probably using Amazon for some of their purchases even if they aren’t a prime member.
We’re not here to talk about the deals that bundling can save you money on, however. What we want to focus on is the sheer volume of inventory that Amazon pours through.
When you combine money-saving deals with inventory that can dry-up suddenly with the increase in demand, you can often end up with some crazy inventory arrivals.
To give a better visual, imagine ordering a large monthly supply of potato chips on sale. The chips arrive; you find that a few of the bags are not the flavors you ordered.
You contact Amazon support; you receive a refund for the chips while getting to keep or dispose of them as you please.
Amazon support is exceedingly customer-centric; if you receive any item that’s not within expectation or does not follow the assigned image they will take this approach at least once per individual order.
There’s a lot of inventory being pushed and sold, so if you’re a bargain hunter make sure you’re not missing any potential freebies while stocking up yourself.
6. Outsource your Talent
Standing in front of the mirror, you practice your best smile. You cycle through the standard list of interview questions and practice giving prompt, informative replies. Confidently, the silent practice partner, a reflection, listens as you tell how much of an asset you’ll become as soon as you’re hired.
Why don’t you extend the same effort online to an even broader marketplace?
With how connected everyone has become, it’s hard to think that others might not have an available option for your skills.
Working remotely has become increasingly popular, but it can be intimidating for people to actively talk about themselves. With Reddit and Facebook Groups, there’s many ways to offer yourself.
If you’re not feeling confident, you can always just sit back and watch how others are doing first.
Just keep in mind that you are a valuable resource and don’t undersell yourself.
As with most of the suggestions on this list, be sure to take some time to get to know what you’re going to be working with.
With the availability of bidding (and underbidding), there can be some stark competition. But it always helps when the individual applying is knowledgeable and confident.
Your skills are often worth more than you think!
If you have a car, you can at your leisure sign-in and take some happy travelers to their destination.
Each individual company has their own respective sign-up bonuses (these will vary per city) as well for those looking to maximize their entry way.
If you don’t have a lot of spare time, there’s a very tiny amount of time commitment required (i.e. usually one day out of thirty that’s actually driven).
Do you like research and synthesize information together? Wonder allows you to tackle market research questions and answer client questions all-in-one.
No degree is required; you’ll be trained before you ever attempt the process. If you’re nervous, there’s even an editor at the end to clean-up any information or missing elements to your work.
The better you work the more potential profit you can make. Choose the jobs you want to work on and explore it as leisurely as you might a survey.
If it’s not for you, you can always exit out after receiving your first research brief bonus amount (it should still be $50 at this time).
If you’ve ever taken on an independent artistic or creative venture, funding it can seem impossible without working another job.
Patreon allows you to showcase your work-in-progress venture to the world and bring funding via the support of monthly donations.
With the ability to provide exclusive rewards to those with more open wallets towards your cause, you can always keep a steady flow of others interested in your work.
While not suggested as an exclusive measure, it can serve as a supplement for any ambitious individual to circumvent some of the costs of their passion while providing a window peak for others to look in.
10. Online Sales (Clean Out the Excess)
If you’ve ever had a yard sale, you’d be surprised at the amount of money that can be generated from unwanted excess that’s made its way into your life.
Still, waiting in your yard and having to watch over all of the items certainly doesn’t work in this day-and-age of technology.
So why not go online and sell what you don’t need? Ebay works nationally and internationally to sell your stuff; you just need to mail it out.
If you’re like me, and you want to sell it locally and save the post-office headache, there’s always the option to post on your local Craiglist.
With the option to post it to multiple nearby areas and have others come to your door for the actual pick-up, it can be considerably less hectic than Ebay.
And if you don’t want to talk to anyone until the sale is done, you can always have all correspondence done via text message.
Either option definitely has its own perks—try both!
11. Etsy (Your First Online Store)
Have you ever made anything to sell? You’ve probably heard of Etsy then.
Etsy allows the creative maker to sell anything while posting it for pennies in your own respective online store.
If you’re working your way up to your own website, and you can’t afford a store add-on then Etsy may be the individual sales place you’re looking for.
From jewelry to art to toys to home decor, you have an attractive marketplace to sell your gift ready creations. You’ll have a completely different client base than traditional outlets for a cheap entry.
12. Let Others Do the Work for You
Probably one of the best money-making strategies comes in the form of taking some time to read what available options there are.
This goes without saying since you’re already at this site and reading these articles.
However, I wanted to offer one more website archetype that can help take some of the concepts we’ve discussed and make them even easier: The compiler website.
For those that don’t have the time to individually look through all the weekly savings and money-saving options and do the associative math, these sites will showcase them for you.
If you’re needing to find deals on Amazon, local grocery stores, retail stores, and even fast food chains—these options can help save you some valuable time and try a different strategy (or read another article) until you find a better money saving route.
While time is money may appear cliche, it is very true. If you have a specific need, there’s likely a site compiling the required information for you.
13. Look Out for the Unexpected
Imagine yourself in the store. With a list in your hand, you’re quickly pushing your cart to toss in the last essentials. You need to get home; there’s no more time for you to waste because you have to prep your meal, cook it, and get some sleep before work comes again.
The above scenario is all too common and can often be unavoidable for many Americans. However, it’s one of the worst ways to go about shopping. Even if you keep up with all the online deals, there can often be deals ignored except by the most intrepid aisle browsers.
Look to your aisles! The basic lesson that I learned all too quickly is even with ads in-hand, coupons in-tow, and rebate apps, it doesn’t cover all the cut-down deals. All stores always have their own specific-to-store savings; I’m not even talking about just the clearance bin or aisle.
Precisely, you’re after the unlisted deals. Some of these savings can occur weekly—whereas some will continue throughout the month. You’re never going to know about them if you don’t venture out and look.
As a rule of thumb, of course, these don’t usually occur on items that have a high shelf life or are frozen. These are more for your items that you would expect to lose effectiveness over time or just have a hard time being moved by the store. Just look for the usual aisle tags indicating that there’s a sale on the product.
Also, be sure to check those clearance sections! Some stores have an ever-rotating collection of goods in their isolated shopping carts. Some, on the other hand, are littered with a full aisle of goods (i.e. see Wal-Mart’s clearance carts).
14. Keep a Fully Stocked Coupon Keeper (Maybe Two!)
When entering a store, I can admittedly look a bit ridiculous. I’ll plop two full to bursting plastic coupon keepers into my cart (I don’t recommend a vanilla folder—the results are messy) upon entry to the piqued interest and occasional odd looks of my fellow shoppers.
I leave with a satisfied feeling after hearing the surprised remark of “Look how much you saved,” if I haven’t induced a stress reaction or annoyance factor with my cashier on duty due to the volume of paper slips I just passed on.
Couponing tends to be an infectious practice. If you leave them at home, however, they don’t do you any good. Even when not packing two keepers to the point of bursting, it helps to just simply keep them in your car with all the week’s coupons if you run into one of those previously unexpected deals.
If I could count the number of times that I missed a good closeout deal, weekly markdown, or a surprising new addition to the store line-up of a beloved brand then I would run out of fingers. I implore you not to make my mistake. Also, you might look a bit ridiculous when your freehanded coupon stack falls to the ground, and you have to clean it all up potentially in a busy aisle.
Save yourself the embarrassment before you become a digital coupon-user only!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these quick examinations of twelve ways to earn some easy money.
If you have access to the Internet, a smartphone, a car, or even just a pair of feet you can bring all kinds of savings and money-earning potential home.
Do you know of any other simple ways to make money? Let us know down in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling.