The last month has brought with it many ups and downs for us, but ultimately we have so much to be thankful for, including being able to close on our first house together this past week! We are looking forward to getting settled into our new home, but being frugal is especially important for us right now as we have a long list of projects we want to work on for our house and items that we will need to purchase. We are always on the lookout for ways to save money and get paid for things we are already doing, so to round out Week 30 of trying new things, I’m sharing some new ways we’ve found to help stretch our money, and none of them require too much effort. I hope you find one or several on this list that are useful for you!
Cashback Monitor – If you shop online at all, you NEED to have this site bookmarked. All you do is type in the name of the website where you will be shopping (Walmart for example), and it will give you a full breakdown of all the cash back, travel points/miles, credit card points, and other reward points available so you can choose the best cash back site to start from. I geeked out so hard when I found this site – I love having all the data to make the best possible decision for my purchases. If you’re going to shop online, why not start here? If you want more details on the cash back websites themselves, you can check out my post about those HERE.
PEI – This app rewards you when you make a purchase at a merchant in their network. You can search for offers near you or just spend as your normally would and see what ends up as part of their program. Chipotle is one of their connected merchants, so that was a huge plus for me as I go there often. You do have to link at least one credit card for them to track your purchases. As a gauge for you, I made my first $15 using this app today after only making 2 food purchases and using a friend’s referral link. You can use my code o1aqfo to receive a $5 bonus when you make your first purchase at a connected merchant. Payout options include cash AND Bitcoin, but I prefer to receive mine in my favorite currency, an Amazon gift card.
Miles App – This app earns you miles for ALL of your travel, whether it’s walking, driving, riding a bus, train, boat, airplane or even skiing! You can redeem those miles for exclusive rewards. Download the app to get a limited time offer of 1,500 bonus miles. We have done a lot of driving lately with our move, so I’ve already earned a lot of miles. Offers are more centered around percentage discounts, free trials and free product when signing up for a subscription. Depending on what you’re looking for, the trial offers can save you quite a bit of money! For example, I’ve signed up for the free trials on all the home meal delivery kits to see which one I liked the best, and we got almost a month of free dinners that way!
CIT Bank Savings Builder – This has been a major blessing for us! It’s a high yield savings account and has the highest APY of any that we have found (It was 2.45 when we opened the account, but I believe it is now 2.30). We opened a joint account in January and have already earned more in interest than we both had combined from other savings accounts in the past few years. It’s quite crazy how low the returns are on most traditional savings accounts. Compounded interest in a high yield account like this is so valuable, so I’d encourage everyone to make sure they’re investing at least some money into a compounding savings account, whether it’s this one or one from another bank. For those that aren’t comfortable with non-local (primarily online) banks, we can vouch for the fact that CIT has multiple layers of security to log in to our account and has relatively low requirements of only needing to deposit $100 a month to keep earning the highest APY. They also have a nice mobile app with the capability to deposit checks remotely, so it’s worth checking out if you’re already saving that much anyway.
Checkpoints – This app will let you earn points by scanning merchandise barcodes while in a store. I typically use it while grocery shopping, but they do have things to scan in places like Lowe’s, Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond as well. Basically when you get to the store, you’ll click on the app to see a picture of what items they need you to scan the barcode on (using your phone). Typically it’s 6-10 items, so nothing too crazy. I never go to stores just to scan, but if I’m there anyway, I will try to scan items as I shop. You’ll earn points for each successful barcode you scan, and you can redeem your points for gift cards. Use my code aimeili7 for a bonus at sign up.
GetUpside – This app provides you with discounts on fuel purchases, groceries and restaurants. You can claim offers for discounts on gas based on your location and all you need to do is upload your receipt to receive the cash back. I really like being able to offset climbing gas prices with these discounts. You can receive an extra 15 cents off per gallon when you use my code 2HVTR to sign up.
Mercari – If you’ve used apps like Offer Up or Let Go, this is similar to that except that it eliminates the need to meet up with anyone (and often the people not showing and wasting your time – anyone else hate that?!). The app sets up the whole transaction process including shipping labels, so with Mercari you will never have to worry about safety concerns meeting strangers to buy/sell items, just ship your items and make money on things you no longer need! You can use my link to receive $10 off your first purchase.
Google Opinion Rewards – This one doesn’t exactly earn you cash directly BUT, if you ever use the Google Play Store to download movies, books, games, music, TV episodes, etc, this will be your new best friend. I earn enough credit to rent at least one free $4.99 movie each month, so that is one less expense and more that we can put into savings. They ask you short 1-3 question surveys based on location and habits. I think we all already realize Google has this type of tracking enabled anyway, so why not profit from it?
Panel App – This is another app that asks you location-based questions and rewards you points for answering. It definitely takes longer than the other apps to earn enough points to redeem for gift cards, but the questions are short, so not much effort is needed.
Trunow – Another blessing for those who want to save on gas. This app gives you cash back on fuel purchases, just upload your receipt and you’re done! It also offers discounts on food and drink purchases within gas stations themselves, so that’s a nice bonus if you are on the road a lot. Use my referral code 1Q7IVB for a sign up bonus.
Crowdtap – I don’t think this one has an app yet, but the website allows you to answer short questions, participate in focus groups, sample products, and share your opinion – all of which earn you points. I like that you can earn quite quickly on this – I’ve already redeemed my points for several (you guessed it) Amazon gift cards.
Has this post helped you avoid some serious FOMO about where to find free money? I’d love for you to share with others if you found it useful. What other sites and apps do you use? Please let me know in the comments!
Before you go, you might also enjoy reading:
Thanks for reading!