I heard some feedback about my first money-saving blog like, “I never knew this about you” and “I always wanted to try that…” So here are 5 more ways. Take them or leave them!
- Be a Mystery Shopper: I use an app called iSecretShop. I was skeptical at first, but we have completed 20 shops in the last few years, mostly for restaurants or activities. Basically, you answer questions about your experience (sometimes the forms are repetitive, just a heads up) and get paid through PayPal 30-45 days later. It’s a long time to wait, but we sort of view it as free entertainment and pay ourselves back. We’ve gone bowling at multiple Brunswick Zones, eaten dinner at Bar Louie, Redstone, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Pieology, and done some workouts at YogaFit. They currently have an Orange Theory one going on that I keep avoiding because I’m not feeling that strong right now.
- Switch your phone plan: We were with Sprint for years, paying about $60 a month per smartphone. We use wifi when we can, so data isn’t a huge issue. We switched this summer to (yes, this is real) Ting. And our phone costs have shrunk in half. Look into it.
- Flip Furniture: I am slightly obsessed with finding free, ugly furniture and giving it a second chance at life while listening to podcasts or new music. Tips: Buy “oops” paint at Home Depot. I got a gallon on blue paint for $9 at the beginning of summer that I still have 3/4 of, even though it has painted 7 chairs and a bookshelf. All the furniture was on the side of the road. Yes, I’m that person. For the set of 4 blue chairs, I got $30. For the reupholstered chair, I also got $30. I use the app OfferUp.
- Home Meal Delivery Boxes: I actually haven’t landed on a favorite, but if you can stay on top of your purchases, go ahead and try each one once. We got at least half off our first box each time, so you end up getting 3 meals for 2 people for about $30. And they are honestly fun to make. I enjoy learning new recipes and trying new foods. And if you stop using it for awhile, they will often send another promotion like “Come back! Reactivate and get 50% off your next 3 boxes.” The only things I haven’t totally figured out yet is how to recycle all the packaging. Ideas on that one? If you’re interested, try these: Homemade Meals, Hello Fresh, Green Chef, Blue Apron, Home Chef. I still haven’t tried Sun Basket. Do you know of others? Also, several of these also give you cash back through Ebates. Just saying.
- Inbox Dollars: I am listing this one last because it honestly deserves last place. This is one of those things that is actually last and least. Only do this if you enjoy wasting time on your computer, find yourself with a lot of screen time, or desperately enjoy giving your opinions for almost free. The website pays you to take surveys, play games, watch videos, etc, but they won’t let you “cash out” till you have earned $40, and it takes awhile to earn that much. Sometimes you will be taking a survey for 3-4 minutes and then it tells you that you don’t qualify. It’s frustrating. But they also have coupons and you can use Groupon through here too if you forego the Ebates route.