I’m not waiting for January 1st this year as I have decided to start on my New Year’s resolution a bit early. It may be a bit cliché, but I’d like to get back into shape after a few months of laziness and holiday overeating. It’s gorgeous down here in Florida, so I have been taking advantage of the weather by taking a daily walk.
Now, since I am a self-described “Penny Hoarder”, I decided to have a little fun with my walks to see if I could integrate earning money into my exercise. I’ve found a few ways that I wanted to share that have allowed me to have fun on my walks and earn a few extra bucks at the same time.
1. Look for Coca-Cola Bottle Caps
Coca-Cola has been running a promotion for years where they put a code on the inside of every 20 oz. bottle cap. In fact, you can actually find these codes on all Coke products, but it’s usually the 20 oz. bottles I see laying around the park. Those codes have value, so picking them up is not only good for the environment, it could be good for your pocketbook. The codes can be redeemed on the Coke website for gift certificates to places like Blockbuster, but it’s also possible to make actual cash by selling the codes on Ebay.
Every 20 oz. bottle cap code is worth 3 “coke points”. A quick check on Ebay shows a few auctions where the coke caps were sold in lots of 40 for $10-$12. So every cap you find is essentially worth 25-30 cents. That’s not a lot of money, but would you keep passing up quarters if they were laying all over the street? It’s free money! (Update September 9, 2013 : A reader emails in to tell us that Ebay no longer allows these to be auctioned off. However, you can still trade them in for gift certificates and prizes on Mycokerewards.com)
2. Get a Gig Delivery Flyers
For those of you looking to get a bit more out of your walks, you should consider become a flyer distributor. Businesses are always looking for someone to distribute their takeout menu or advertisements to the local neighborhoods. You can find gigs like this on Craigslist and I’ve also had success just visiting my local pizza shop and asking if they needed any help with door-to-door flyering.
This kind of job is great because your only task is to leave a flyer on the doorknob. I love to jam out to my iPod while I deliver and I always get a great workout. Try working out a deal with a local restaurant by agreeing to deliver 100 flyers each day on your afternoon walk. Each day you can pick a different part of the neighborhood until you have finished the entire subdivision. Delivering 100 flyers should take about an hour and the standard rate is $10 per 100 delivered.
3. Keep a look out for spare change
I don’t think I’ve ever taken a walk around the neighborhood and not found some change on the ground. Sometimes I come home with a few cents, but one time I found $60 in the middle of the street! The key is to keep your eyes peeled and don’t be embarrassed to pick up a penny off the pavement.
We’ve started a change jar at our house for any found money and it has quickly grown to $30 in 6 short weeks. A few more months of this and I can get the new, flat-screen TV I have been wanting.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!