Avoiding the hype and swirling chaos that is holiday time (our gas station was draped in lights and inflated Santas this morning), I’m staying in this week and not shopping. Instead, I’m taking this week to focus on making money. It can’t hurt to put a little cash in your pocket or set yourself up for a little income in early 2011, so if you’re already feeling the crunch of holiday spending, join me! This week, I’ll share a few tips on bringing in some future income, plus I’ll share ideas on how you can get some cash right away.
Spending Money to Make Money
There are several promotions running right now where you get some extra $$ when you spend money, but I consider this making money as long as you were going to make the purchase anyway:
1) At many grocery stores, there’s a Catalina promo running where you buy $150 in gift cards and you earn a $15 coupon for your next grocery trip. If you haven’t done your holiday shopping yet, you can buy cards to Target, Toys R Us, or wherever you plan to shop. Or, if you planned to give gift cards as gifts, purchase those. Here are the stores and details:
- At Safeway and partner stores (Vons, etc.), buy $150 in gift cards by December 4th, and you’ll receive a Catalina coupon at checkout for $15 off your next grocery purchase of $50 or more. Safeway GCs are not eligible for the promotion.
- At Superfresh and A&P stores, buy up to $150 in gift cards by December 9th to get the Catalina coupon at checkout. You get a $5 coupon with $50 of GCs, a $10 coupon with $100 GCs, and a $15 coupon with $150 worth of GCs. Visa, Amex, and Superfresh GCs are not eligible (read the sign in-store for fine print).
- At Meijer, when you purchase $100 of selected GCs by December 4th, you’ll receive a $10 Catalina coupon for your next purchase. Be sure and check the in-store signs to see which cards qualify.
I went to Safeway and bought $150 in GCs for the gas station near my house, and I got a $15 coupon that I’ll spend on my next grocery trip. Since I normally use that gas station AND I usually shop at Safeway, this was the same as earning $15 for me.
2) Many restaurants are offering holiday promotion on gift cards, such as buy a $25 Gift Card, get an extra $5 FREE. If it’s a restaurant that you use often, so you know you’ll use the gift card, it may be worth the purchase. Just be careful about tying up your money in gift cards that will sit around too long (or get lost!), and some of the offers have specific dates for redemption. Check out The Thrifty Mama’s Roundup of Restaurant GC Holiday Deals for a complete list.
3) You hear me talk about Ebates all the time, but if you’re doing any shopping online, you can be earning cash back every time–from 2% to 30%–just from shopping through Ebates. Any purchases you make through the end of the year will be paid out February 15th, plus any bonuses you earn from referring your friends and family to Ebates. You get a $5 bonus in your account whenever someone you refer places their first cashback order, and now there’s a special holiday promotion where you get a $50 bonus just for referring 5 new members (who then place a cashback order). You can do this! With everyone talking about their online holiday shopping, and looking for coupon codes and free shipping, just mention Ebates. You’ll find all those codes and discounts right there, and earn money back in the process.
4) Rite Aid is running their Gift of Savings Promotion from November 26- December 26th. You enter your receipts at RiteAid.com, and when your purchases total $25-100 during the promotion period, you earn a Rite Aid certificate for $5-20 back. Receipts must be submitted online by January 24th, and you’ll have until April 24th to use your certificate, which will be sent to you by email. See the details at RiteAid.com. While the cumulative purchases are calculated after coupons and Up! coupon savings, you can still earn money back if you normally do your Drugstore Game shopping at Rite Aid.
Stop by tomorrow to get ideas for earning real cash over the next week to help with the holidays.