Is there really no such thing as a free lunch? Well, I suppose it depends how you look at it. We all value our time and understand the idea that time is money. But if you can use a little of your time to earn “free” money for that free lunch, is it worth it? For me, it is because I’m often multitasking to do it. There are several things you can do to earn free money.
If you find you have some downtime to fill on occasion (like sitting in school pick-up lines), consider joining a survey site. You can spend a little time answering questions on a wide range of topics to earn a little extra money. Do a little research to ensure the sites are legitimate and never pay to join. Some pay in cash with Paypal deposits, while others you can earn gift cards to places like Amazon. A couple of good sites are Ipsos i-Say, Opinion Outpost and Pinecone Research (though this last one is hard to get into). None of these pay huge bucks, and the downside can be answering several minutes of questions and being disqualified, but they can often be fun and interesting. It’s a very easy way to earn a little when you have time to kill, or even while you watch TV.
Rewards and cashback
Remember to use sites to earn cash back from any online shopping you do on sites like Ebates or Ibotta, because that literally takes seconds to earn cash back from something you were going to buy anyway. Another way to earn some free “money” is through rewards with companies. Usually you can’t get actual cash rewards from companies, but you can often earn gift cards, which of course is basically money for select places. Some companies that offer rewards are Kellogg’s, Coke, Disney, Pampers, and Huggies. The way all of these companies take rewards varies, as some require entering points online, while others require taking a picture of the receipt or linking a store card, so be sure to look into what you’ll have to do. But you can earn some gift cards or products from items you’re already buying.
If you combine all these things and more together, you have Swagbucks. I actually joined Swagbucks a few years ago, and did it for a bit, and then stopped. Now that I continued again in January, and I understand what to do a little better, I’m really kicking myself for not sticking with it. Swagbucks is a site that allows you to earn rewards from doing all kinds of things: taking surveys, shopping, playing games, watching videos and discovering new products. I’ve started to dedicate a little more time to this to get cash or gift cards to save for vacation. There are lots of special activities and bonus offers as well. For example, I discovered my love for Home Chef through Swagbucks because they had an offer to try it with a $30 discount, and then you also got 2000 Swagbucks back, which is the equivalent of $20. So, yes, for this I spent money to earn money, but I would have spent that money on groceries anyway, and I actually discovered a service that I really enjoy. I have done a couple things like this, but mostly I’ve just earned money on things like watching videos while I grade papers or taking surveys while I wait for my kids during dance class. There are plenty of users who never spend any money and still make a lot in a month. Some things credit immediately, while others, like cash back from shopping take about a month to get. I’ve made $250 since starting back up again three months ago with another $40 pending.
I read a lot to learn about how to effectively earn cash, rewards or Swagbucks, which is really the way to go with any money saving activity. If you take the time to learn how to do it best, then it won’t really take as much time and you can get essentially free money pretty easily to save for whatever you need or want, like a free lunch.