As we approach the holidays this year, I know that many of you have a big to-do list. At least, I do! Figure out who is hosting holiday meals, when they will be held, who is traveling where, and last but not least, gifts! Who to buy for, WHAT to get them, how much to spend, etc., etc. The list of things to figure out is long, I know!
I’m a big fan of frugal gift-giving, especially making homemade gifts. This is particularly important if you are on a tight budget, as many are. However, if you are not so much a making-gifts type of person, there are still ways to make sure that your dollars go as far as possible. In fact, there actually ways to MAKE money while taking care of some of that holiday shopping!
Do I have your attention now?? Check out some of these cool ideas for ways to make money while shopping for the holidays!
4 Easy Ways to Make Money While Shopping
- Shop online through shopping portals. This is my favorite way to make money shopping! What are shopping portals? Basically, these are third party websites you can log into to shop at your favorite retailers such as Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, etc. Instead of going directly to a store’s website to purchase an item, go to a cash back portal like Swagbucks, Ebates, or Mr. Rebates and click through to the store you want to shop at through the portal. These portals offer you some sweet rewards for shopping there! For example, as of this writing, you can earn up to 7% cash back in rewards if you shop certain Amazon categories through Ebates. Every three months Ebates will send you a check for whatever you’ve earned in rewards from your online shopping. Pretty sweet, right? I often check out all three of these portals when I am shopping for big ticket items online, to make sure I am getting the best cash back deal that I can.
- Consider mystery shopping. Mystery shoppers literally get paid to shop at certain retailers if that retailer has requested it. If you are interested in mystery shopping, check out this post where my friend Brock gives some tips for success with mystery shopping. I haven’t done any mystery shopping recently, but when I did in the past I worked through Kern Scheduling and had a good experience with them. In addition to traditional retailers, mystery shoppers can also find gigs at places like movie theaters and restaurants. Date night, anyone?
- Use credit cards smartly. There are dozens of great rewards credit cards out there, offering all cash back and other rewards. I have really enjoyed my Chase Freedom card for this (quarterly rotating categories earn as much as 5% cash back), and the Chase Freedom card also happens to be on this great list of best cash back credit cards. However, this one needs to be used with caution(!), since obviously if you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month then you are likely not going to come out ahead in the credit card rewards game (because of the interest you’ll be paying). But if you pay off your balance every month, then credit card rewards are a great way to get paid for shopping that you were going to be doing anyway. 🙂
- Be a personal shopper. There are folks out there who actually hire people for this! I don’t know of any websites specifically dedicated to this, but good places to look for personal shopping gigs are TaskRabbit and Fiverr.
Black Friday Shopping Portal
Also, since we are quickly approaching Black Friday I thought I would let you all know about a really cool resource that I heard about for Black Friday shopping this year! The good folks at the Penny Hoarder have launched a Black Friday portal this year.
They are going to be doing an around the clock live blog for 48 hours (starting 3 p.m. on 11/25, ending 3 p.m. 11/27) where readers can ask anything they want about the holiday, such as: Store hours? Who has the best TV deals? Are there any Target coupons? etc. The word is that they’ve got 20 money-saving experts spending the night in the office, so they’ll be there to answer all of your Black Friday questions!
Have you used any of these ways to make money while shopping? Do you plan on shopping on Black Friday this year?
CMF’s favorite FREE money management tools!
Some of the best online tools out there for money management are at Personal Capital, and the awesome news is that they are all FREE! Cash flow tracker, 401(k) fee analyzer, investment checkup, net worth monitoring, and many more! I’m a net worth junkie, so the net worth monitor is my favorite. Check out my Personal Capital review here, or click here to check out all the awesome tools for yourself!