How many of you like to shop online? Not only does online shopping make life easier, it can save money. After using Amazon Prime for over a year, I can honestly say that I’ve spent less on household products. One, because prices are often cheaper than at Walmart, and two, because I can get what I need without the temptation of having to walk past all the other items in the store. Unfortunately, I can’t buy everything I need at Amazon, so I do have to use other stores, brick and mortar or online. Fortunately, there are actually ways to make money while shopping.
If you are shopping online without using a cash back portal, you’re throwing money away. I don’t ever advocate buying things because of a coupon or cash back, but if you need to buy it anyway, why not take advantage?
There are several online shopping portals that offer cash back for online purchases, but I really don’t have the desire to sort through all of them to save an extra half percent. I pretty much use Ebates as my home base when I need to buy something online.
It’s really simple. Set up an account with Ebates and log in when you need to shop online. Choose the store you want and once your purchase is complete, cash back shows up in your account. Ebates sends a payment every six months either through Paypal or with a Big Fat Check. Who doesn’t want one of those?
Another way to take advantage of Ebates is with travel. Jim often has to book his own hotels for business trips and submit for reimbursement. Expedia, Travelocity, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, and Marriot are just a few of the options that offer cash back through Ebates. We use Holiday Inn quite often and Ebates often gives 10 percent or more in cash back. That’s a pretty good return on a room we’ll get reimbursed to use.
Ebates gives new users a $10 gift card after a first purchase of $25 or more. Even if you won’t use online portals regularly, it’s worth signing up for the bonus.
I’m not a huge fan of using smartphone apps for shopping. I’ll probably never jump on the Google Wallet or Apple Pay bandwagon, but there are a few apps that I do use often.
Ibotta is an app that pays cash back on certain products for registering your store loyalty card or taking a photo of your grocery receipt.
I installed Ibotta when it first came out and didn’t use it a ton because most of the rebates were for processed products I don’t usually buy. Since then, the program has vastly improved with any brand rebates for produce, general grocery, and dairy items. If you buy things like milk, cheese, orange juice, bread, bananas, tomatoes, or lettuce, you can get money back. Ibotta also offers cash back on certain restaurants or for shopping online, but I mainly use it for grocery stores.
Isn’t It a Waste To Spend Time on Saving Pennies?
If I spent hours at at time to get 50 cents in cash back, then that would be a waste of time. Time is always much better spent trying to earn money instead of worrying about a dollar here or there, but using Ebates and Ibotta take so little time that I don’t consider it a waste. You won’t get rich using either, but having an extra $100 or so a year for necessary shopping is pretty sweet.
Do you use cash back portals? Would you rather use coupons or smartphone apps?