{Part 3} “How to Get FREE Stuff”

Welcome to {Part 3} of the series, “How to Get FREE Stuff”…

Cash Back Shopping Sites!

You can see my most recent check from Ebates in the picture above; I posted it so you can see that yes, these sites are legit, and you DO get real rewards!

I will admit that Ebates is my VERY favorite cash back shopping site, and I can’t believe that it took me so long to start using it! I do most of my shopping online since it is easier than going out with the kiddo’s, I find better deals, and especially- because I can earn rewards for my purchases!

Why would I use a cash back shopping site?

Well, if you’re going to shop online, and you’re going to buy it anyway, why not use one of these sites to get a reward back as a bonus? It’s like free money!

Now that I have been using some of these sites, I have started to buy some of our basics online too… I can stock up on shampoo, detergent, paper towels, etc, at a place like Walgreens, Right Aid, or Drugstore.com, and get cash back rewards on my purchase. This saves me time since I don’t have to get to the store in town, and gives me free cash. Awesome, right?

How do these type of sites work?

There are several different types of shopping sites: some give you cash back in the form of a check, and some reward you with gift cards.

When you get online to make a purchase somewhere, you just take a quick second to go to a site like Ebates FIRST. You type the store into the search box to see if it is a partner, if it is you click the link to visit the site, and you do your shopping just like usual! The site will track your purchase and calculate your rewards. Simple, right?

Plus, some of these sites, such as Ebates, will also post exclusive coupon codes that you can use on your purchase too!

Shopscotch (say the name, it makes you smile, love it!) is a really fun new one that I’ve just started using. It makes shopping and getting deals into a game almost :) It is built on the idea that all of the users are a community, and it lets you share deals and best practices with others, so you can all benefit! Plus, you earn badges and rewards for your activity. Very fun site.

What are some things to be aware of when using these sites?

I learned the hard way that you need to carefully read the rules on these sites, to make sure that you don’t miss out on rewards.

For Christmas, I ordered about $150 worth of merchandise from Shutterfly. Since Ebates had a promotion, and Shutterfly was earning you 12% cash back, I thought this would be a great way to save on such a big purchase.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that you cannot use a “non-Ebates” coupon code on your purchase. This means that you can use any of the great coupon codes that they provide on their site, but not a coupon code that you have found on your own. This is because the partner companies will only provide cash back with APPROVED discounts. But it makes sense… I was using a photo book Buy 1 Get 1 FREE deal, and saved over $100 already, so it seems fair that I couldn’t earn cash back TOO. Just wish I’d known that at the time!

What tips do you suggest for using these reward sites?

I’ll explain how I use these sites, and what works best for me, just as an example. You’ll figure out what works best for you, based on what type of purchases you make, but this will give you a basic idea…

I always go to Ebates first, since most of the companies that I order from are partners there. I search out the company, check out the available coupon codes, and keep that in my mind. If I’m not too excited by the coupon code or the cash back percentage, sometimes I’ll also take a minute to check out ShopAtHome and Shopscotch and see what they offer. Then I make my decision on where to link up for my purchase.

If I have a coupon code of my own, (this usually happens with Shutterfly or Snapfish) then I’ll head over to MyPoints to do my shopping. MyPoints rewards you with points for your purchase, no matter what code you use! Those points are then redeemable for FREE gift cards, and I get a lot of these.

Another option that works great when you are using your own coupon code is Inbox Dollars. Inbox Dollars you earn cash back too. MyPoints and Inbox Dollars are similar in that they reward you for lots of different activities, not just shopping. So you can earn rewards pretty quickly. Check them out to learn more!

Now that you know how it works, I’m sure you’re ready to get started! (And, if you’re like me, this just gives you another reason to go shopping, lol.)

Here are links to the sites that I mentioned:

MyPoints

  • MyPoints: Earn points for shopping, surveys, offers, and ads. Points are traded for FREE gift cards to tons of great stores!
  • Ebates: ´╗┐Shop at 1200 Top Online Merchants and Get Up To 25% Cash Back! Click Here.
  • Shopscotch: Earn $5 today for signing up! Shopscotch is a “social” cash back site, and lets members share what they’re buying, and learn about great deals from each other! Lots of other fun stuff too. Click Here.
  • Inbox Dollars: Featured on the Good Morning America TV Show.InboxDollars pays members to read e-mail, take surveys, play games, shop online, and more! As a special bonus, anyone that joins NOW will receive a quick $5 in their account just by filling out their user profile, so signup right now for FREE. Click Here.
  • ShopAtHome: This site offers tons of other great features like giveaways, coupons, and more. Click Here.

I’d LOVE for you guys to share any cash back/reward sites that you are using to get bonus stuff back on your purchases. There are so many of them out there, and these are just the sites that I personally use…. So I’d love to hear your experiences with other sites too! Leave some comments and share your tips.

If you missed {Part 1} about Survey Sites or {Part 2} about Newsletter Freebies, make sure to check them out and leave some thoughts! And I always LOVE it when you guys shae my post on Facebook and Twitter! (Check out the new little Twitter box my the GFC!).

And don’t forget, there is a new giveaway, where you can win a swag bag just like the one that my guests took home from the Dinnertime Dillema House Party! Win it… Enter the giveaway HERE!

Groupon.com

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Comments

  1. I used Ebates for the first time about a month ago…(hadn’t heard of b/4 then!)…for shopping I was going to do anyway…I have already gotten a check! So cool!

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