2016 was quite the year! Over the last 12 months, we discovered surprising new ways to save and earn money. Here are the best ones:
1. Let Paribus get you price adjustments automatically.
If the price drops online after you buy an item, you can typically contact the retailer within 7-14 days of purchase and ask for a price adjustment. The thing is, most people don’t have time for that.
This is where Paribus comes in. Paribus scans your inbox for receipt confirmations. When a receipt is found, Paribus begins to monitor the price. If the price drops, Paribus negotiates a refund on your behalf. You literally do nothing.
2. Link your Fitbit to a Walgreens Balance Rewards account and earn money for staying fit.
Yup! Now you can get paid to stay fit.
At Walgreens, Balance Rewards points are customer loyalty points good for discounts. You can earn 250 points just for signing up with your Fitbit. To put things into perspective: 5,000 points is around $5, and 40,000 points is the equivalent to $50. 40,000 points may seem like a lot, but it’s easy to earn when you’re trying to stay healthy (and when you shop at Walgreens with coupons).
If you don’t have a Fitbit, there are several health apps to choose from, and you’ll earn 20 points for every mile you bike, run, or walk!
3. Build a gift stockpile for birthdays, baby showers, and weddings.
No more scrambling to find the perfect, affordable gift.
Learn the best time of year to buy everything, and when you find a deal on a giftable item—anything from a blender to a Nerf gun—buy it. Soon you’ll have a stockpile of presents ready to choose from when needed. In the long run, it’ll save you time and money.
Follow the KCL Deals page for the best retail deals.
4. Download these 10 apps for the best fast-food savings.
- McDonald’s app scores you BOGO deals and dollar-off coupons.
- Burger King awards you Whopper BOGOs and meal deals.
- Taco Bell app gives you a coupon worth $2 off a $10 purchase.
- Dairy Queen’s app scores you a free small blizzard with your sign up.
- Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s app gives you a dollar off of menu items plus Super Star Rewards you can redeem for free food.
- Krispy Kreme app gives you a free doughnut when you sign up and rewards points to use toward free drinks or dozens.
- Sonic Drive-In app gives you $1.99 Wacky Pack meals and other ongoing deals.
- Chili’s app sends you points (and free chips) up front as a new app rewards member.
- A&W app gives you a free Papa Burger Single for texting 70626.
- Quiznos (via the Food Coupons app) gives you $1 off of a sub or large salad.
5. Or, know how to hack the menu for better-quality food or savings at McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Starbucks.
At McDonald’s, ask that your sandwich be made with a round egg that’s made right in the restaurant instead of a folded egg that’s made out of that pre-scrambled-egg-mixture stuff.
At Chipotle, you can get more meat by choosing two proteins at no extra cost.
At Starbucks, save $2.10 by sharing a French press instead of ordering two Grande drip coffees.
Hungry for more hacks? Check this out.
6. Get paid to scan the groceries in your fridge with National Consumer Panel.
National Consumer Panel wants to know what consumers like you are buying and will pay you for sharing this information with them! NCP’s parent company, Nielsen, uses the data to help manufacturers and retailers make decisions about how to improve the market.
You must apply to participate in the program. And while not every applicant will get accepted, it’s definitely worth trying! Every time you go shopping, simply scan the bar codes on the back of each product and send your data off to NCP to get paid!
7. Use Ibotta to get rebates at Express, Kohl’s, Best Buy, and Aeropostale.
Ibotta rebates aren’t just for groceries! Get cash-back offers at dozens of retailers like the ones mentioned above when you spend a certain dollar amount. For instance, find rebates like $5 off a $40 Aeropostale purchase nearly every week. Once you’ve made a purchase, just snap a photo of your receipt and get credited within 24 hours.
8. Use a Costco Cash Card to shop without a membership.
Know someone with a Costco membership? Ask them to buy you a Costco Cash Card (essentially a gift card for Costco), and gain access to all the sweet deals within the store! Just show the card to the door greeter and you’re in.
9. Buy discounted movie tickets at Costco for around $8 apiece.
Eeek! Going to the movies is freaking expensive. Before heading to the theatre, stop by Costco and buy movie tickets—it’ll save you up to 35%!
10. Save money by sharing your Netflix and Hulu accounts with extended family.
Yes, you can totally do this. Up to five profiles can share a single Netflix account for $11.99 a month. (You can only stream on four screens at a time, though.) And for less than $8 a month, up to 18 devices can stream from a single Hulu account as long as only three people stream at a time.
11. Let the Digit app analyze your spending and help you transfer money to savings.
Now you don’t even have to think about how much money to save. The Digit app analyzes both your spending habits and your income in order to decide daily if there are a few dollars you won’t miss. The genius of Digit lies in its ability to choose to either sock away a few dollars for you when you have the cash in your checking account, or skip a day if you’re a bit tight. Plus, if you need to put money from your Digit account back into checking, it’s just a text message away.
12. Earn hundreds for your old electronics with Amazon Trade-In.
Get Amazon gift cards for your old CDs, DVDs, electronics, books, and more. Simply head to Amazon.com, choose the condition of the items you’d like to trade, and print a prepaid shipping label. Once you’ve sent in your trade, Amazon will check your item and send you a gift card within 12 days. Easy-peasy!
13. Recycle your old clothes and empty product containers for store credit.
For every bag of used clothing you bring in, you’ll get 15% off your next purchase at H&M. And when you turn in your empty MAC makeup containers, you’ll get a free lipstick. You can even receive credit for sending in your used K-Cups. See the full list of stores that will reward you for taking care of the Earth and get more details here.
14. Avoid shipping costs by using free store pickup when you order online.
Many stores offer free same-day pickup (like Kohl’s), while others offer a coupon (like Macy’s) when you use their free store pickup service. Order online and pick up your order in-store at these 23 retailers:
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Foot Locker
- Best Buy
- American Eagle
- Home Depot
- Office Depot
- Verizon Wireless
- Dollar Tree
15. Make money by not rushing your Amazon Prime shipment.
Not in a big rush to get your Amazon item? Get a $5.99 Prime Pantry credit each time you pick no-rush shipping during checkout. These credits can be used toward your next Prime Pantry purchase or while browsing on your Kindle device for MP3 music, books, and Prime Videos.
16. Amazon will extend your Prime membership by one month if your package arrives late.
If your Prime delivery arrives later than promised, hit up customer service and let them know. Go here, input your number, and an Amazon rep will call you in five minutes to discuss your issue. Remember, you’re paying for a $99 subscription to get guaranteed 2-day delivery. In most cases, Amazon will extend your Prime membership by one month.
17. Price match at Target and Walmart with the Amazon app.
Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Toys”R”Us, Staples, Office Depot, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s all match Amazon prices. One way to ensure you get the best price at any of these retailers is to use the Amazon app’s cutting-edge scan technology to pull up the selling price of the item(s) you want to buy. If the Amazon price is lower, just take your item to customer service to price match!
18. Shop at retailers that let you price match their online price.
Ever walk into a store and find their prices are actually cheaper online? Its happens more often than you think. These stores will let you price match their online price in-store:
- Home Depot
- Best Buy
- ACE Hardware
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Office Depot
- Big Lots
19. Get rewarded every time you search the Internet with Bing.
Change your search engine to Bing and earn 1 credit for every 2 searches you make. When you’ve accumulated around 525 credits, you can cash out and receive a $5 gift card for Starbucks, Amazon, and more!
HINT: Use Bing as your search engine on all your devices to earn a gift card faster.
20. Save an average of 12-15% on purchases when you use discounted gift cards from Raise.com.
Raise.com buys and sells discounted gift cards, partnering not only with consumers but also with companies willing to sell their gift cards at a discount. The next time you’re in a store or shopping online, browse through Raise and buy a gift card worth—say, $100 at Macy’s—for only $90. Digital gift cards are delivered in minutes and can be used in-store and online.
21. Only sign up for store credit cards that give you at least 5% back.
If you spend over $500 a year at one retailer, it may be worth it to sign up for their credit card—but only if they give you at least 5% back. These five store credit cards are the best at doing that:
- Pottery Barn credit card gets you 10% back on every purchase.
- Target REDcard debit card gives an automatic 5% rebate on everything you buy at Target including groceries, diapers, furniture, and clothing. And debit means you don’t have the responsibility of paying off the card each month.
- Amazon card will get you 5% back on all purchases. There’s no annual fee, but you must be a Prime member.
- TJX Rewards card gives you 5% back on every dollar spent at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading post.
- Best Buy store card pays out 5% back (2.5 points per dollar/$5 reward for every 250 points).
22. Instead of taking out student loans, work for a company that will pay your tuition.
Why take out student loans when companies like Starbucks, Verizon, and UPS will help pay your tuition? See all 11 companies here.
23. Get paid to walk into stores and scan products with Shopkick.
Did you know you can get paid just by scanning product bar codes in a store? With Shopkick (iOS) (Android), earn points or “kicks” when you walk into stores and scan product bar codes, link your Visa or Mastercard, or when you submit your receipts.
250 kicks equals $1 in gift cards to places like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, T.J.Maxx, Old Navy, Best Buy, iTunes, and more.
24. Use Pinterest to watch for price drops on your favorite items.
When you save Buyable Pins on Pinterest, you’ll be alerted when an item drops in price. Just make sure to turn on your Pinterest notifications!
This article was sponsored in part by Paribus..