Frugal Rock – Some Great Ways to Save and Make Money
Don’t worry, this isn’t yet another post promising to make you rich. I wish it were (but legit, obviously). No, this is just a list of some of the ways I save and make some extra cash without any catches, investment to some obscure company or any of the other bullshit.
Some of the methods you will more than likely have heard of (it’s surprising how many don’t actually take part) and some you may have stumbled upon and not really known much about and not bothered. Either way, these are handy little things to do.
For number one, it should come as no surprise – TopCashback. I use TopCashback for almost everything (provided the site I want to purchase from is listed). Aside from the cashback, you can also earn bonuses in the regular seasonal competitions (Christmas Treats, Halloween Treats, Easter Treats etc.) as well as earning money for every person you recommend – if they sign up through your link, you can get £7.50 per person (often TopCashback run promos giving double refer-a-friend bonuses and other incentives). Below is my cashback so far (correct at the time of writing this post).
I know there are plenty of folks out there who have earned a lot more cashback than myself but this just gives you an example for myself who works full-time, has a mortgage, a car and various household bills, three kids and a wife. My top retailers are The Works, Just Eat, Argos, and The Book People but I have a ton of other retailers I have had cashback through.
From bingo and betting sites, credit card applications, child trust funds and a trove of other services, there is a ton of cashback to be had. Just the other day, I had £20 cashback just for applying for an Asda credit card which I have no intention of using but just wanted the cashback!
Speaking of Asda, I think their Price Check Guarantee is an underrated gem. The amount of money we have saved as a family thanks to vouchers from our previous shops is phenomenal. We haven’t checked ALL of our receipts – often we find them after the claim window has passed or they’re in such a state that the barcode can’t be deciphered. But, since the service came about, we have saved over £300. We mainly shop at Asda and, as we are a family of five, we generally have multiple shops a week with quite substantial trolley-loads.
Basically, the day after your shop, you go to the site and input the barcode(s) from your receipt(s) and it will check if your shop could have been cheaper elsewhere. If it is, you can generate a voucher to take on your next trip – you have to have the voucher and the receipt for it to count. I normally do four at a time – I print them on the same A4 sheet – thinking of the environment, see?
To give you an example, here are my latest vouchers:
Considering you can get money off your next shop(s) at Asda for things you normally or need to buy, it makes sense to make use of this. I mean, look at that voucher for £5.15 – that’s the most I’ve had back on a receipt so far and that’s a pretty sizeable amount.
Sticking with receipts, an app I use (it’s available on Android and iOS) is Receipt Hog. Basically, you take picture of your receipt (you may need to take a couple if the receipt is a long ‘un) and you can earn coins/spins (or both). Coins add up and can be redeemed for Amazon vouchers or PayPal credit – once you have enough coins you can cash out.
Slot Spins can earn you additional coins, actual money or you can win the value of your latest shop back.
This app can be a bit of a grind. I haven’t cashed out at all yet as I’m saving up for £20 of Amazon vouchers. I’ll be honest, I do often forget to snap a pic of my receipts and by the time I realise, the receipts are too old.
A long-standing favourite of mine is Google Opinion Rewards. Available on Android and iOS, it allows you to earn credit to be used on the Play Store via surveys. The surveys are fairly quick – usually two or three questions about a place you recently went to or retailers/brands near there. I think the longest survey I had asked me three questions. The rewards aren’t huge – usually between eight and sixteen pence. Some offer a bit more. I’ve included a screenshot of part of my reward history to give you an idea.
I’ve bought a number of apps and games over the years from my credit and also removed ads from some of my favourite apps. You won’t get rich but it’s a nice little extra for very little of your time.
Next up, PopulusLive. A lot of people may not have heard of them and those that have may not have bothered because it sounded too good to be true. I didn’t believe it at first and ended up Googling it to see if it’s legit. It is. The premise is simple, you will be emailed about surveys and their rewards. I have missed out on a ton because I haven’t been quick enough in starting the survey (work and other life stuff getting in the way).
You may not be eligible for EVERY survey – it all depends on the demographic that the survey is aimed at. However, get a total of 50 points in time for the next cut-off and you will be sent a cheque for £50. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done as many surveys as I could or should – it can be pretty mind numbing and I often forget I’ve had the e-mails by the time I’ve arrived home from work or I just want to chill but, to date, I have had five cheques from them meaning I’ve had £250 over the last few years.
If you have spare time or are interested, definitely give it a look. It’s a bit of a grind – you earn a point for every five minutes the survey is estimated to take – it’s not based on how long you actually take but the expected time it is likely to take.
In the same vein as TopCashback, Quidco is another cash back site I use. I don’t use it as much but, if a retailer I want to use isn’t on TopCashback I’ll check Quidco. I do plan on using them a lot more as their cashback bonuses and offerings are definitely worthwhile and I’ve noticed a couple of retailers who are also on TopCashback but the cashback rates are different so it’s definitely worthwhile checking. Sign up via my link and get a £2.50 bonus added to your account.
Following on from Quidco, ClickSnap is another receipt app. Unlike Receipt Hog though, you have to have any of the listed items on the respective retailer’s receipt to earn money back for your purchase(s). Some items may technically be free (usually new ranges as a promo and you get the full value back as cashback). The app is available on Android and iOS.
And finally, akin to ClickSnap, CheckoutSmart is available on Android and iOS and works in the exact same way. One thing I found – I thought I’d try it – was to snap a receipt on both apps and claim the reward but if it’s accepted on one then it is declined on the other – so, in summary, you can’t double your rewards.
So, that’s it. If you have any other great money saving tips, tricks, apps, services or whatever then feel free to drop them in the comments and if you try out any of the above, let me know what bargains/savings you have picked up or made below!
To keep up to date with all the deals and frugal finds, like my Facebook Page.
—The Trying Scotsman has a ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—