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How to get free stuff and make extra money

Updated on May 23, 2016
H Darnell profile image

I am a work from home mom of 2. Using my spare time, I find ways to save on everything in my life.

Where to start

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the websites that offer payment, you are not alone. I spent hours on several websites hoping I would make something but I just didn't pay out enough. My name is Heather and I am a work from home mom of 2. My full-time job title is Freight Biller and I have been working nights from home for 6 months. I started in office and worked for over a year before the company decided my position can be done at home. I get bored when I'm not working (kids are at school when I wake up) so I spend my time doing things online to make extra money. If your wanting a full-time job like mine visit Flexjobs.com. If you are interested in how to make extra cash on the side or get stuff for free keep reading! Follow my page on Facebook for free giveaways through Amazon, savings opportunities and offers for free money credits on websites.

Ways to earn extra cash

When my family went down to one income I had to be smarter about my spending. I decided that instead of putting a portion of my paycheck into savings, I would do online work and save the extra money.

I started by liking CouponClipinista on Facebook and started following her blog! She posts so many amazing ways to make money, win free stuff and lots of sweepstakes! I would highly recommend following this page as it will help in your journey to save!

What I recommend is combining several of the options to max out your income and savings. By no means will you get rich off of any of these websites, but you will put extra cash in your pocket. I recommended creating a separate email address to sign up for any of these websites to prevent clogging of your main email account. I haven't received too many emails yet but in the long run if you don't delete them like myself you can fill up your email capacity.

  • A website I would like to share is Ebates.com. I signed up for this website right before christmas because I knew I was going to do a lot of shopping online. After I signed up I installed the toolbar to get the most out of the website. There website will list all of the online stores participating (there are a lot) and how much cash back is offered on each purchase. You click on the store you will be purchasing from and it will redirect you to that website and you're ready to earn. I use the toolbar, when I go to a website it will popup a message to tell me how much cash back I will get if I make a purchase. If you click on the popup, it will also tell you what deals are going on at that particular store as well as coupons you can use online. This website pays out 4 times a year, and you can chose to be paid through Paypal or with a check. You can also donate the money to someone else if you are feeling generous!

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Shopping wisely

Now that I have to spend less money I've had to find ways to save on everything. The first thing cut was the cable and switched to Netflix which saves us $40.00 a month alone. We do pay for internet and home phone (which I need for my full-time job) so this was an expense I could not cut.

  • I also switched car insurance (yes this can save you a lot.) I am the only one that drives in the house and we own one vehicle. Since I now work from home I thought it was stupid to have to pay full price for car insurance when I only drive it on average 10 miles a week. After doing some research I came across a company called Metromile. It is not available in every state yet but it happens to be available in Illinois. I signed up right before my previous insurance was up for renewal, (receiving a refund for the final month!) and signed up. The estimate is based on the levels of insurance you want and it will give you a base pay + cents per mile quote.

You only pay the base pay for your initial payment and for liability only my first payment was around $20.00. With my coverage I pay 2.1cents per mile. If you drive over 150 miles in one day you only pay for 150 miles. Once you are signed up you will receive an OBD-II device that you plug in to record your miles. It is a bluetooth receiver that stays plugged in. Their website provides you access to trips taken, miles driven and if enabled the exact route driven (GPS can be turned on or off in the settings online.) I received my first monthly statement today and after driving to and from Chicago once (exactly 150 miles away) with a total of 292 miles for the billing cycle my bill came to $21.63. I was paying $64.00 a month for my previous policy for the same coverage! More money in my pocket!

I then started thinking of how I can save on the everyday items we already have to buy.

  • I'm fortunate enough to live within 5 miles of a Kmart and within 10 of a Sears. I decided to join the Shop Your Way membership which is partnered with Kmart, Sears and some other retailers. You earn points on basically everything you buy, and you can then use those points as dollars towards your purchases. There is a completely free 90 day trial and as a member you get free 2-day shipping on almost everything (this includes trial memberships!) When I signed up I got my 90 day membership then when it was close to expiring they extended it another 90 days for free! There are also always coupons you can clip and then redeem at checkout. Use Ebates when making purchases and you will get the cash back from purchases on Shopyourway.com.
  • Shop Your Way also has sweepstakes and instant wins on there website which are just amazing and today was my first day trying them. I started with 1,430 points ($1.43) on the website and started the instant win games. I won 33,000 ($33.00) in surprise points just today! There are stipulations on most of the points, i.e. $10.00 off any home purchase of $10.00 or more, $7.00 off any men's apparel of $15.00 or more, etc. Some of the time, however, you will get points that do not have restrictions and you can put them towards anything in the order.

What I did today was combined the points I had with one surprise points offer and got a $10.99 clothing item completely free! Yes I said free and its something I needed to buy for the family so its money I didn't have to spend. I received more points just for the purchase and also received cash back for enabling Ebates on that shopping trip. I made a second purchase, this time in the Home section since we needed a new bathroom curtain. I used the $10.00 home surprise points that I won and combined them with the points I earned from the first purchase. The item was $24.99 on sale for $14.99. My total combined points for the order was 11430 ($11.43) and with the free shipping I only had to pay $1.39.

  • I didn't even use my own money for the remainder. I have been using a Paypal debit card for a few years now since they offer cash back on all purchases, a few days ago I received cash back over $3.00 and decided to use that in my Paypal balance to pay the remainder. An Ebates shopping trip was also started for this order again earning me free cash back.


Like I stated above by no means will you get rich off of any of these. These are just ways to save and put some extra cash in your pocket. When combining different websites or programs like I do it allows you do continuously save without interruption. There are several other websites that pay and others that I use so I will keep blogging about savings I find, ways to get free stuff and earn money. I am not paid to advertise any of the websites stated in this blog. The screenshots are of my own taken while writing this blog. Should you have any questions or need help please leave a comment below!

© 2016 Heather Darnell

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