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Getting paid to shop

We all shop at stores, but who says your money has to stay at each store. Some of us get paid to shop. It’s easy, free and it can be fun, too.

Here are my favorite ways to earn some cash while you shop.

Shopkick:
This phone app makes shopping fun. It recognizes stores near your location and gives you incentives to walk in. When you walk in to a listed store you collect points called “kicks.” The more kicks you collect, the more savings you get. You can also get kicks by scanning products around the store and by browsing ads for each store on your phone. You can also link your debit or credit card to your account and every time you use it at any of the stores that qualify, you get even more points.

In the end, you can cash in your points to gift cards that you can automatically show the cashier to pay for your items. Shopkick also gives you mobile coupons to use instantly at some stores.

SavingStar:
Get rewarded for groceries you already plan to buy. Much like using coupons, SavingStar lets you save on things you buy, but instead of subtracting your total at the register, it pays when you buy the item. You first have to create a free account that lets you add your loyalty card numbers. That way, each time you swipe your loyalty card and you buy any of the items available for savings, that amount can be added to your account, in dollars. At the end, you can cash out by choosing a PayPal deposit or a check.

Ibotta:
Here’s another one that gives you money back for every day items from food, to personal care, to household products.

You first select a product listed on the mobile app. Then you complete a super short task, like take a poll, learn a fact or watch a short video of the product. The more tasks you complete for each item, the bigger the potential of earning.

So for example, if you learn a fact about a specific shampoo, you may be able to get twenty-five cents, but if you also take a poll on the same product it could be fifty cents and so on.

After that, when you go shopping and you buy that item, all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt and of the barcode on the product, all through your phone and through the app. Then you wait up to 24 hours to get the money deposited to your account. You can then cash out by a PayPal transfer.

Swagbucks:
Swagbucks is a site meant to keep you engaged and be rewarded for doing a lot of things online, like online searching or by taking surveys. But my favorite is shopping.

If you already plan on buying a new TV for example, you can get rewarded when you buy it through Swagbucks in the form of a cashback check.

It has a long list of participating retailers across the country. You pick a store, then you browse for your item, make the purchase and the percent back that store gives you gets deposited onto your account. That check gets sent to your home. It’s great to use around the holidays when you already plan on shopping online.