I’m not going to lie — there was a time when I ordered chinese food at least three nights a week and only visited the grocery store once a month.
Gross, I know. Laziness and convenience are appealing sins. However, I recently discovered something that has changed that completely:
There are companies that will pay you to go the grocery store. Seriously.
These are a little bizarre, but I’ve tried them all and they do work…
1.Take a Picture of Your Receipt
I know this sounds strange, but there’s actually a company that will pay you to take a picture of your grocery store receipts.
The company is called ReceiptPal and at the moment, they’re only paying male shoppers for their receipts. Here’s how it works:
- Download the free ReceiptPal app here. At the moment this app is only accepting male participants, so when you open the app for the first time, they will ask you to verify your gender.
- Every time you take a picture of a receipt, ReceiptPal will reward you with points that can be redeemed for gift cards. The more receipts you submit, the more you earn.
- The ReceiptPal team aggregates your receipt data anonymously with those of other ReceiptPal members, and develops market research to help brands create better products.
You’re not going to get rich doing this, but it’s an easy to way to make some pocket cash each month.
2. Scan Your Groceries When You Get Home
Did you know that the Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries each week? Crazy, right?
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family, the company will send you a free scanner (like the one pictured to the left) or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to NCP. Pretty easy, huh?
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes.
You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles. This is a great way to make your consumer voice count and be rewarded handsomely for recording your purchases. You’re already going to the grocery store anyway, right?
3. Get a Free $10 From Walmart With This Trick
Have you heard of MyPoints before? They are a cash-back site that pays you to print coupons and shop online. We use them all the time at our house, because it’s instant way to save on everything you buy.
This month they’re offering a pretty sweet deal — spend $20 at Walmart and they’ll send you a free $10 gift card! It’s like getting an instant 50% off!
Here’s how it works…
- Sign up for MyPoints here (you just need to give them a name and email address)
- Mypoints will instantly send you an email to confirm your email address. You need to click that in order to get the free gift card.
- Lastly, you’ll need to purchase $20 worth of products on Walmart.com (you can buy groceries too!). Mypoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus bonus which you can then redeem for a $10 Walmart gift card. Easy peasy.
4. Tell the Packaged Food Companies What You Think of Them
Did you know that the packaged food companies will pay you for your thoughts? These companies are hungry for data on what shoppers think of their products, so paid food panels are becoming more and more common.
Some of these panels are hosted online — sign up for sites like Ipsos Panel & MySurvey to participate. If you sign up for both, you should easily make an extra $15-$30/month (most surveys pay between $3-$4 each for 20 minutes of your time). Heck, sometimes I fill them out while I’m watching TV.
Larger panels are hosted locally — these usually require 2-4 hours of your time, but they pay up to $75. Here’s how to participate in a local panel.
5. Get Paid Extra to Use Your Coupons
Did you know that InboxDollars will actually pay you to print and use the coupons they offer on their website? Here’s how it works…
- Sign up for a free account with InboxDollars (just need a name & email address). Plus, they give you $5 free since I referred you.
- Navigate to the “Coupons” section. There you will find dozens of high-value coupons for everyday items like cereal and toilet paper. Select the ones you want, print them out, and use them in your store like a regular coupon. But here’s the kicker —- InboxDollars will pay you ten cents for every coupon you use.
Now, that might not sound like a lot of money, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most of the coupons that you can print on their site are the same coupons you find in your Sunday newspaper or on Coupons.com. They’re actually put out by the same people. So, it’s free cash for coupons you’re probably already clipping. And all those dimes start to add up after awhile…
6. Get 2% Back on All of Your Grocery Store Purchases
If you’re not using a rewards card for your grocery purchases, you’re really just leaving free money on the table. One of my favorite reward cards is the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® – Average Credit. They give you a whopping 2 points for every dollar worth of groceries, gas and utilities you put on the card each month!
Plus, they give you 1 point for every other dollar you spend. And there’s no annual fee with this card, meaning if you paying off it in full each month, it really will cost you nothing to have this card. And the points can be converted to cash (1000 points = $10)
Consider this – the average family spends $1024.70/month on groceries, $368/month on gasoline and $163/month on utilities. If you can commit to just putting those purchases on your card, you could pocket an extra $31.11 every month.
Also, this is a pretty easy card to qualify for (it’s marked as average credit).
Your Turn: Would you use any of these unusual ways to save a little extra on your groceries?