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Are You Throwing Money Away When Shopping Online?

You know that I’m a frugal momma, right? That was one of the reasons that I started this site – to share some of the cool tips and tricks I had learned. Long story short – a month after becoming a new mom, I lost my job, including the other two months of paid maternity leave I was expecting. There was a glitch with unemployment, and it took months before they figured it out and accepted my claim. I was a full-time student, overwhelmed mom of an infant, in a really bad economy. First was panic – then I got resourceful! I started looking at all of the ways I could cut expenses, and took out things like restaurant meals, coffee shop drinks, and vacations. Little by little I learned to coupon, build a frugal pantry, and started to live by the phrase, “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without.” But cutting expenses isn’t always enough, right?

How to get free cash back online

I also needed to find ways to earn more income, while staying at home with Abby. I shared a lot of my tips here: 10 Ways to Earn Money from Home, which is my most popular post on this site, of all time, ever. And since that post has been so popular, I’m guessing that there are a lot of moms out there like me, trying to bring in extra money to boost a slim budget. Even now that I’ve built my business well, I still follow all of my frugal habits – there’s no reason to throw money away! So, today is the first in a series, showing you some new ways to earn more money right from your own home too.

How to Earn Free Cash from Shopping Online

I find that shopping online saves me tons of money – in lots of different ways. One, there are less impulse buys. Sure, I might find an extra item or two while browsing for what I really need, but it’s easier to remove things from my online shopping cart before check out than it is in a regular store. Two, I can price check across multiple sites and stores. Three, I save money on gas, since I get to shop from my desk. And four – my favorite! – I earn totally free cash-back from almost all of my purchases. How it works:

  • When I need to make a purchase somewhere, I pull up a few windows on my computer, and go to some of my favorite cash back sites {I have a list below – keep reading!} to see who is offering the highest cash back for that purchase. Most of the sites also post any current coupon codes for that site as well – saving you even more.
  • I then click through on the site that is offering the most cash back, and make my purchase at whatever store I’m shopping at that day.
  • Soon, my cash back magically appears in my account!
  • All of the sites are different – most pay by check, and there’s a certain threshold of earnings you have to reach before they send it out. But they’re never too high, usually around $30 bucks. Some send checks out at set times, automatically. Some sites you have to request your earnings manually.

And that’s it! A few extra minutes of work and you can find the best price, a matching coupon code, and get free cash back too. I’ve had SO many friends who don’t believe these sites are legit until they see my accounts or actual checks, and then try it for themselves and love it. And if you do a lot of online shopping like I do, this can add up quick. As an example, check out my Ebates account:

Do you really earn money with cash back sites?

That’s all totally free money with very little effort. And, it’s just ONE of the sites that I use. There are lots of ways to build up your earnings too, depending on the sites –  some pay you for filling out surveys or printing and redeeming coupons, some have double cash back days, and most offer you some type of incentive when you share the site with your friends. Ready to check some of them out? :) These are all sites that I’ve used and gotten payments from, so I can vouch for them that they’re legit. If you have any that work great for you that aren’t on the list, be sure to leave me a comment so I can check them out too.

Cash Back Sites I Use:

Hope this helps you ladies! I recommend signing up for at least 2 or 3, so that you’ll have more chances of finding your favorite stores listed – and more options to check out their cash back percentages. If you have any other online shopping tips to share, I’d love to hear them. Tweet me at @sunandsipcups, chat with me on Facebook, or leave me a comment below. And be sure to follow my Frugal Tips for Moms board on Pinterest, my Frugal Living column on, and sign up for my daily newsletter {box up in the top right} for fun tips each morning – delivered right to your inbox, easy peasy :) Thanks for reading!



  1. I use swagbucks and Ebates quite often. This weekend I tried something a little different. Ebates offeres cashback for I bought two gift cards, that were around what the price was for a few purchases I was making. I went back and used them through Ebates (at the time Ebates had a better percentage back than swagbucks) and I ended up saving about 20% more by just purchasing the gift cards through raise. It was well work the few extra minutes to do the research!!

  2. Thanks for this post – what a great resource!! :)

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