Swagbucks is a search engine that is powered by Google and Ask.com, and rewards you just for searching the internet (something nearly all of us do on a daily basis). I usually earn between 20 and 40 Swagbucks a day. On a typical day I earn Swagbucks sometime in the morning and again sometime later in the day. I've earned over $100 doing this in the past year; I cash out for a $5 Amazon gift card every 2 or 3 weeks. To sign up for Swagbucks today, click here, and you'll get 30 SB to start you off!
There are many legitimate companies that will pay you for taking consumer surveys online! I really enjoy doing this, and I have earned over $200 doing this in the past year. Read more about the companies that I recommend here.
One of the ways that I've been able to try many products for free (and sometimes even make a little money) is through rebates. There are so many places that offer rebates, including: displays in grocery and drug stores, satisfaction guaranteed rebates, Rite Aid (Single Check Rebates), manufacturer's websites, Sunday coupon inserts, and free coupon websites.
I post many of the printable rebates I see, but there are so many more opportunities for rebates out there. One of my favorites is the Try Me Free rebate, usually found on a product on the shelf in stores. These tags indicate that the company will reimburse you the full shelf price of the product via mail-in rebate. Occasionally when I am shopping I will walk a little slower down the isles, keeping my eyes peeled for Try Me Free tags.
Rebates are not going to make you rich or even cut your food or toiletry bills in half, but they are a great way to stretch your budget. I try to factor in the cost of a product without the rebate into my budget. Then, when my check arrives, it is simply extra money that can go in the bank.
A few specifics that I've found are very important to make rebates work:
Read the terms of the rebate. There is almost always a dollar value listed for the rebate, which is the most the company will pay you. If the product is more than the amount listed on the rebate, just be aware that you will not get the full price you pay. Pay careful attention to the date(s) listed in the terms. Sometimes rebates expire! Other times you must send in the recipe for the rebate within a certain time frame of purchase.
Stack with a coupon or BOGO sale. If you use a coupon, you will still be reimbursed for the shelf price! This means that if the product is $5 and you use a $1 coupon, you will be sent a check for $5. If a rebate product is on sale buy one, get one free, you could end up with 2 free instead of just one!
Be organized and prompt. Save your receipt!! I prefer to fill out rebates the day I make my purchase to stay on top of things. If it is a rebate where I must save multiple receipts, I keep an envelope on my fridge to not lose anything. You must send the original receipt with your rebate. Never send a copy; companies will not honor this. This is especially important to remember if you are thinking of buying 2 different things in the same transaction that require rebate receipts. It is better to break it up into two separate transactions.
Be honest. Only one rebate per household unless it says otherwise. This means you cannot submit for the same rebate more than once. The company will not honor your request. Some rebates will say 'limit 2 per household'; then you can submit for more than one.
Rebate checks take time to arrive. You need to allow 6-8 weeks for most rebate check to come in the mail. Make sure that you are not buying something just because its free, when it would be better to have the money during that time.