How to earn money while shopping | The smarter way to shop

Are you a bargain shopper? I’ve been clipping coupons and scouring store ads for years, but I’ve found an even better way to stay frugal. Not only do I find the best coupons and deals, but I also earn money while shopping! There’s got to be a catch, right? I must have to sell my firstborn child and give up all of my personal information, right? Nope. No catch (and definitely no baby selling).

The shockingly simple thing everyone should be doing to stretch their online shopping budget. {} #getpaidtoshop #savemoney #saveonshopping #frugal #deals #cashbacksites #moneytips

The Easy Way to Earn Money While Shopping

If you do an online search, you’ll find tons of sites offering coupons and rebate programs. I’ve tried several of them, weighed the plusses and minuses, and come up with a list of my favorites. I think these are the easiest to use and offer you the most bang for your buck.

How I earn money while shopping for Christmas gifts

My Favorite Apps and Websites for Cashback

  • Ibotta – This app is full of grocery and household deals. Before you shop, check out the app to see if anything you plan to buy has a rebate listed. When you find the products you want to buy, click to add the deals. When you get back from shopping, scan your receipt and watch your cash add up. Ibotta now works in many of your favorite online stores as well. Please use my referral code (chripdr) to sign up.
  • Walmart Grocery Pickup – You probably already know that you spend less money when you shop with a list. That works pretty well for me, but I still buy extra stuff when I’m in the store. (Everything is just so tempting!) When you choose to shop from your favorite grocery store online using the pickup option, it’s so much easier to stick with your budget! You’ll save $10 on your first purchase, so it’s worth giving it a try.
  • Fetch Rewards – It takes a little longer for your money to stack up with this app, but it’s my favorite because it is so easy. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt with the app, and you instantly earn points that convert to rewards. (I always use my points to get Amazon gift cards.) You’ll earn more with this app if you buy name brands, but you’ll still get points for every receipt. Your points add up faster when you share the app with your friends. You’ll each earn 2000 bonus points (and sometimes more) when your friend scans her first receipt. When you sign up, please use my referral code (EF4ET) to get your bonus points. (Don’t forget to scan a receipt after you sign up.)
  • Ebates/Rakuten – If you’re already shopping online, you might as well earn a rebate. Here’s how it works. Go to the Rakuten website (previously Ebates) and search for your favorite store. You’ll see the rebate offer and any coupons for your store listed. Click through to your store and shop as usual. Rakuten will calculate your percent back and add it to your account. Easy! 

You don’t spend any extra money with any of these programs. You buy things you were already going to buy anyway and let your rebates add up.
As an extra bonus, most of these programs offer extra incentives like sign-on bonuses and referral rewards.

The links I’ve shared with you are my affiliate links, so you’ll be my friend forever if you use them to sign up for these money-earning programs.

Will you earn enough money to buy a new car with these programs? Probably not. Will it earn you enough money for an extra date night or a little frivolous shopping once in a while? Definitely.

How do Cashback Websites Earn Money?

If it seems to good to be true that you can actually earn money while shopping, don’t worry, it’s not. It really works. You might wonder, though, how the cashback programs make money while paying out all of those rebates.

Sites like Rakuten and Top Cash Back get paid for referring you to websites and stores. In return, they give some of that referral money back to you.

You still pay the same price for your purchases regardless of whether you visited the site on your own or through a referral site. The only difference when you go through a referral site first is that you earn cashback while you shop. It’s kind of a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to earn extra money?

Apps like Ibotta earn money by generating new customers for their merchants. The more you buy, the more these companies earn. (But you get more cashback, too, so it’s a win-win situation.)

Do I Have to Give Up My Personal Information?

You might be afraid that you have to give up too much personal information to join these referral sites. You don’t. For most of the sites, you only need to give them your name, an email address, and an address for them to send the checks. Some sites have the option to hook your payments to PayPal and Venmo, and some sites pay via gift cards. Just choose which type you like the best.

How to earn extra cash back every time you shop {} Apps and websites that put money back in your pocket #frugal #christmasshopping #savemoney

Stretch Your Holiday Budget to the Max with Cashback Websites

The holidays are right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to try one or two of these programs out. I love to shop online for Christmas gifts. It saves me time and money because I can shop in my pajamas, and great deals are only a mouse click away.

During these next few months leading up to Christmas, shoppers spend more money online than they do all year. It’s the perfect time to quickly rack up the rebates. When you chose which website is best for you, be sure to pay attention to how much you have to earn before you can cash out your earnings. (See my handy chart.) It doesn’t do you any good to earn cashback if you never earn enough to get a check.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are a lot of choices out there to help you save money while shopping. Here’s my advice to use these programs to your biggest benefit:

When shopping online, log in to Rakuten first and use their link to your preferred store. That way, if a rebate is available, you’re sure to get it.

When grocery shopping, first plan your meals and make a list. Then, check Ibotta to see if rebates are listed for any items on your list or items you know you’ll need soon. Then, log onto the Walmart Shopping app and stick with your budget! Once you pick up your groceries, scan your receipt into the Ibotta app. Finally, take a picture of your grocery receipt in the Fetch Rewards app. (You’ll earn rebates from Ibotta and points that convert to gift cards from Fetch.)

You’re going to shop no matter what, so you might as well make some extra cash while you’re doing it! I hope these programs help you stretch your budget and earn some mad money.

Happy shopping!

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to check out more great ideas while you’re here. The images below are linked to posts, so click on them to learn more.

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  1. This is so cool to know! Everyone should learn how to save a buck or two and it’s nice that you put it all together in such a convenient way :)

  2. I love cashback sites,I use honey but still hasn’t saved me money yet since I end up not finding any offers but I will look into the others.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I am ALWAYS shopping online so now that I know of these outlets I am hoping to put some pennies in the bank :)

  4. I have never tried cashback websites before or know how they work. Your article was very interesting and a great starting point for someone like me.

  5. I love doing anything that can save me a bit of money! I currently use Honey on Amazon!

  6. These sites have always intimidated me a bit, but the way you’ve compared, and listed each one’s benefits and how they work, really helps a newbie like me. I’m definitely more willing to give it a shot.

  7. I do a lot of online shopping. I need to start using some of these sites.

  8. This is such a great post, I have to admit I am awful at looking for cashback and vouchers when I am shopping online I really need to get better at it.

  9. I love shopping online! It is easy, save time and efforts, and the most I love is have a good discount or lowest price! Thank you for sharing about this! Totally great article.

  10. I enjoy using cash back websites! During the holidays I usually get a good amount back.

  11. I love cashback options when I shop. I use ebates too and it’s great!

  12. I have been shopping online either for items that are on sale or rare for years. But, I can only remember one instance when I was given a discount coupon. Well I hope that they give out more coupons for their loyal customers just like me. LOL

  13. I just don’t have the patience for any of these. I take my time and hop around sometimes. Otherwise I go with my gut if feel comfortable paying the price.

    • You should try Ebates, Stacey. That one’s no fuss. If you add their bookmarklet to your tool bar, you don’t even have to go to their website. If you are shopping from a website they work with, you’ll get a pop up telling you your cash back percentage. Just click on it, and continue shopping as usual. Cha-Ching!

  14. Each and everytime I shop online, first I check all the website those who are generating cashback codes then only I go ahead and start shopping. Read your blog and found lot of good website for cashback.

    Thanks for sharing

  15. Yay! I totally agree with you. Having such cashbacks are amazing! I know some of what you have indicated and thanks I got new ones to try out.

  16. blair villanueva says

    Shopping while earning is an awesome scheme! Here in the Philippines, we use Shopback and GCASH while both gives rebates and earn us money.

  17. I seriously need to sign up for ebates. I shop all the time and it’d be nice to make some money back

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