5 EASY Ways to Make Fun Money

This post contains affiliate advertising.

Mama got a new ipad!

I’ve been so excited about my easy money-making venture!  I started out thinking I would use this money as a Christmas fund hoping I would have at least $600 by the time Christmas rolled around.  I’m not even three months into it and I’ve already made $500 and Christmas is five months away!  Needless to say this is going way better than I thought!  So I’ve decided to turn this into my FUN MONEY account just for Mama (me)!  Now I can buy myself things without feeling guilty and without touching the family budget. I just used my first $500 to buy a new iPad.  My other one was 5 years old and probably close to its end.

Mama got a new ipad!

Here are my 5 sources of FUN MONEY


I’ve had this app for a while but finally decided to start paying attention to it.  It’s free and works like a rebate program and is specific to stores that take part in the Ibotta program.  You earn the money after your purchase by taking a picture of your receipt.  Once it’s approved (typically within an hour or two) it sits in your Ibotta account and once you’ve accumulated $20 you can transfer it to your Paypal or Venmo account or you can use it to buy gift cards.  I use it mainly for grocery rebates but you can also use it at pharmacies and specialty stores such as Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc…  You can even use it for clothing, beer, wine and dining out.

I check it every week right before I go to the grocery store to see what rebates I can get and the first thing I do when I get back is take a picture of the receipt and claim my rebates.  I never buy things just because I have a rebate unless I’m not too picky about the brand such as ketchup, shampoo or wine.

True story – my 12-year-old son got upset with me because there was an awesome $2.00 rebate on mayo for a new brand which I assume they were promoting through Ibotta.  He’s a Hellman’s mayonnaise freak and told me never to buy anything but Hellman’s again!  I learned my lesson on that one but he ate all the mayo and at least I got $2 off.

So far I’ve earned about $20 per month with this app – not bad!  I know someone who consistently uses it for beer and wine and earns about $30-$40 each month.  You can sign up for Ibotta and get $10 in your account once you redeem your first rebate.

Checkout 51

This one is similar to Ibotta except the rebates can be used at any store.  I’ve noticed they have a lot of GREAT rebates on personal hygiene products, toothpaste and diapers.  I can usually get toothpaste nearly free when I combine a CO51 rebate with my local grocery store coupon.

I’ve earned about $20/month with this one as well.  It also cashes out at $20 but you only have one payment choice.  They send you a check in the mail so you have to wait about a week before you get the money.

Use the following link to check out Checkout 51 🙂

Checkout 51

Receipt Hog

This is a fun app and the ONLY thing you have to do is snap pictures of your receipts.  You earn coins from your receipts from any store that sells groceries, gasoline, bulk food items, health items, beauty products, toys, liquor, clothing and even pet food.  The coins you earn depend on the dollar amount of the receipt.

You can cash out as early as $5 which is equal to 1000 coins.  However, it’s worth waiting until you reach 4500 coins because then you get $30.  You have two payment options on this one, Amazon gift cards or Paypal.


This app rewards you kicks just for walking into stores.  You have to remember to open up the app when you walk in the store.  Once you get into the habit of doing this it’s really a no brainer.  Talk about EASY money!  I make sure I do this for every store I walk in that offers the kicks which is most of the big chain grocery and department stores.  I’ve even gone to the mall (which I HATE) with my daughter just to get some kicks.  It was my reward for being patient!

You can also earn kicks by scanning products.  I try to do scans as I work my way through the store at least during my once weekly grocery trip.   I’ll open the app when I walk in and get my walk in kicks and then I’ll look through the items I can scan to get extra kicks before I make my way through the store.  I typically don’t do this during small grocery runs unless I’m not in a hurry.

A third way to get kicks is through kickbates.  Some of the scannable products will give you more kicks if you end up buying the product.  You’ll need to remember to snap a picture of your receipt to earn the kickbate.

The last way to earn kicks is to take advantage of stores offering kicks for every dollar spent.  For instance, I went to Best Buy the other day to buy my iPad case/keyboard (for my new iPad!) and noticed on my Shopkicks app an offer for 2/$1.  This means they were offering 2 kicks for every $1 spent.  I spent about $100 so got 200 kicks from it.  The cashier needs to scan the bar code that comes up on the app when you click the 2/$1 icon before they press total (so as not to capture sales tax).  You don’t have to take a picture of your receipt but it will take about a day or two to hit your account.

Kicks can be redeemed for e-gift cards and you can cash out as soon as 1250 kicks or $5.  I typically get Barnes & Noble gift cards since I’m a big reader.  I know someone who gets Starbucks and this is how she buys her coffee.

Sign up for Shopkick using your smart phone and don’t forget to open up the app in the store!

In summary

I know it can get confusing with all these apps and options so here’s a quick summary:

  1. Ibotta – rebates earned at specific stores; must snap a picture of the receipt; $20 minimum to redeem through PayPal, Venmo or gift cards
  2. Checkout 51 – rebates earned at any store; must snap a picture of the receipt; $20 minimum to redeem; checks sent via mail
  3. Receipt Hog – snap pictures of receipts to earn coins; can cash out as early as $5 for Amazon gift cards or Paypal
  4. Shopkick – to be used IN STORES so don’t forget to open the app; can redeem as early as $5 with many choices of gift cards.

For simplicity, I keep all the grocery/receipt apps in one folder so I don’t forget any of them when I get back from the grocery store.

My grocery store apps for easy tracking


I’ve saved the best for last!  This one takes a little more effort but it’s still easy and I’ve earned more money with this one than all the others (about $100/month).  Since I’m a career mom and don’t really have a ton of time I’ve developed a routine of earning my daily Swagbucks.  I know some people who earn more like $300/month.  I will tell you what I do so you can ease your way into it without being overwhelmed since there are so many ways to earn Swagbucks:

1) Run through 4 video apps daily to earn 40 SB.  These are apps that advertise upcoming movies, commercials, products, etc…  Honestly, I don’t watch them and I keep the sound off.  I wake up in the morning and start running the SBTV app while I’m doing my morning workout.  I then move on through each one throughout the day.  You can earn up to 10 SB per day per app.  Here they are (all are tied to your main Swagbucks app):

A) SBTV B) EntertaiNow C) Lifestylz D) Sportly

See the pic below of my 5 Swagbucks apps which includes the main app.

My Swagbucks apps for easy tracking!

2) Answer Daily Poll for 1 SB.  This takes 2 seconds so why not!

3) Complete a web search through the SB search engine.  This can take up to 5 minutes.  You typically get anywhere from 4 to 12 SB for every 6-7 searches though this can vary every day.

4) Enter the Swagcode in the Swagcode Box.  Swagbucks will release at least one swagcode every day.  I liked SB on Facebook so I get notified when a new code is available.  You just plug it into the box and you can get anywhere from 2-6 points.  This can also vary on the number of Swagcodes released and the SB received for each one.

5) Complete at least one survey . You can get anywhere from 50 to 200 SB per survey.  Be warned though that you will not qualify for all surveys.  You can get 1 SB for every one you don’t qualify for and up to 5 SB per day.

There are so many other ways to earn but it can get overwhelming when you’re just starting out.  If you sign up using my referral button you will automatically get 150 SB.  Just click the button below!

Give me the SB!

About Kaz

I'm a career Mom who loves to help people improve their finances and health, my two passions. I'm also an avid runner and reader. CPA and MBA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *