The first thing I want to recommend is Inbox Dollars:
This is a company that I really like because there are so many ways to both earn money and save money. I signed up for Inbox Dollars earlier this year, and I have gotten one check from them. Basically, the way it works is that once you sign up, they start sending you e-mails with advertising in them. All you have to do is to click the link in the e-mail that says, "Click here to confirm reading this paid e-mail", and you receive a few cents for each e-mail you read. I'm always checking my e-mail throughout the day anyway, and it only takes a few seconds for each one, so I don't mind doing it and getting paid.
Every now and then you'll get an e-mail that will contain a special offer by a company, and if you take advantage of the offer and sign up with the company or purchase the product, Inbox Dollars will reward you with more cash. For example, I purchased some business cards through one of the e-mails I got, and only paid a few dollars for a few hundred business cards and got $4 through Inbox Dollars for doing it. So really, with the promotion, the cards cost me very little (I wish I could remember the exact numbers, but I can't). Right now there is a deal for Snapfish that is a good example of the type of thing I'm talking about- sign up and get $4 from Inbox Dollars plus 50 free prints. Not bad!
Another cool thing about Inbox Dollars is that if you do your online shopping through their site you can earn a percentage back on everything you spend. You can shop at all your usual spots- for me it's eBay, Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart- but you get back anywhere from 1% to 15%, depending on the store.
The other two ways to save with Inbox Dollars are cash surveys ($0.50-$1 apiece) and cash games (I have never done those). I like the surveys because sometimes I have a few minutes to kill (on hold, watching tv, etc.) and you might as well make a little money while you're not otherwise occupied.
Like I said, I signed up earlier this year, and I reached the point where I could request a check- I think it was $30- and I had to pay a "processing fee" of $5, which wasn't a big deal because I was still getting $25. But it's just a nice way to "unconsciously" make a few extra bucks without a lot of work and hassle. And, as with most of these kinds of companies, you can increase your earnings by getting your friends to sign up.
If it sounds like something you'd be interested in, you can sign up here. It's free to sign up, and you can start making money and shopping right away. It works for me!
My second recommendation would have to be the Entertainment Book (this is a great deal they're offering now, by the way):
It's a coupon book, and the name of it is somewhat misleading because it has coupons for everything from restaurants to movies to all the major retail stores. This year is the second year in a row I've purchased one (last year was when I discovered it- through Inbox Dollars, actually!) and it has already paid for itself and I've only had it for a month.
Just for fun, I decided to make a brief list of some of the great places other than restaurants (because I think they have nearly every restaurant in here- from McDonald's to a Japanese Steakhouse) included in my Entertainment Book this year:
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Shoe Carnival
- Wet Seal
- Sharper Image
- Radio Shack
- Barnes & Noble
- Florists of every kind
- Car & Truck rental
- Automotive services
- Movie Theater
- Theme Parks
- Lawn Care
And the list goes on and on! I don't know about you, but chances are I'll be going to at least two restaurants this year, and if the restaurant coupons are Buy One Entree, Get One Free (most of them are) then I've just paid for my book.
Another great feature of the Entertainment Book is that you get an online membership as well, which allows you to access additional savings through the website.
You can order the book today (order today and get Free Shipping!) and have it in time for some last-minute Christmas shopping, not to mention that they also make great gifts for your money-saving family and friends. Why pay full price for anything ever again?? ;-)
And of course, this post would not be complete without a brief reminder about Swag Bucks (I just love Swag Bucks!). To read more about my budding Swag Bucks success, click here. :-)
I wish you all the best bargain hunting this Christmas, and I encourage you to expand your money-saving minds and try something new. You never know- you might just hit a gold mine!