13 Clever Ways to Make Money From Home in Your PJ’s

October 17, 2018 by Kyle
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The idea of making money from home is very appealing to many of us. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or love the idea of flexible hours, there are MANY perks. As long as you have a decent computer and a solid Internet connection you’ll qualify for many of these jobs. So without further ado, let’s break it down…

13 Clever Ways to Make Money From Home

1. Become a Product Tester

Become a Product Tester

How cool would it be to get paid to test products from home and get paid for it?

There are companies out there who will do exactly that. Plus, you get to keep most of the products you test which is a COOL bonus.

The best places to start looking for paid opportunities include ProductTestingUSA, Indeed.com and even Adidas.

Most product testing jobs pay in the $9 – $15/hour range.

2. Get Paid To Give Your Opinion

Take Surveys

Many survey websites will happily pay you for your opinion.

The best part is the only requirement is a computer or smartphone.

Surveys can take from a couple minutes up to half an hour. The longer the survey the more you’ll get paid.

Expect to get paid in the $12-15/hour range.

A few of my favorite survey sites include SwagBucks, Toluna, and Survey Junkie.

3. Sell Your Stuff

Sell Stuff on eBay

Do you have a closet full of clothing and shoes you don’t wear?

Or maybe a garage full of duplicate tools and sporting goods that you wouldn’t miss?

Consider making some extra money and sell them on popular sites like eBay and Craigslist.

Here are some unlikely items that sell really well. There’s a great chance you probably have many of these laying around gathering dust.

Time to start cashing in baby.

See Also: 11 Work From Home Jobs That Pay $12+ Per Hour

4. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Get Paid to Watch Videos

Yes, you read that correctly, some websites will actually pay you to watch videos online.

The site that I’ve had the most success with is called SwagBucks.

You sign-up for free and earn “Swagbucks” for not only watching videos but also for playing online games, shopping online, and taking surveys.

Earn enough Swags and you can redeem them for free gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks.

See Also: This Site Will Pay You $2,280/Year to Watch Videos

5. Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant

Are you a jack-of-all trades?

Maybe you’re highly organized and well versed at Outlook, Excel, Photoshop, and social media to name a few.

If you are, you stand a great chance at making good money from home as a virtual assistant.

Most successful VA’s are good at administrative tasks, including answering emails, scheduling meetings and making travel arrangements.

Check out Fiverr, Remote.co, and FlexJobs for hundreds of current job listings, many of which let you telecommute.

6. Snap a Pic of Your Receipts

Scan Receipts with Ibotta

Don’t throw away those receipts! Instead cash them in from your living room couch.

My favorite way to do this is via 2 FREE apps, Ibotta and FetchRewards.

You simply shop like you normally would, scan your receipt, and earn points on the stuff you buy.

If you want to take your game to the next level check out the apps before you buy and gear your purchases to the items that provide the most reward points.

You can then turn those points into cold hard cash or free gift cards.

If you really want to get jiggy with it and become a receipt scanning ninja, check out my article called 5 Reasons To NEVER Throw Away Your Receipt.

7. Become a Freelance Writer

Become a Freelance Writer

If you love to write and desire flexible hours, freelance writing is a great way to earn money from home.

I’ve done a lot of freelance writing over the years and it’s been a great way to supplement my income.

When I started freelancing I was earning around $40 per online article. But as my writing became higher quality, and more sought after, I was earning $200 per article (approx 750 words).

A few quality resources to get you started looking for freelance jobs include Indeed.com, Freelance Writing Gigs.com, and LinkedIn Jobs.

8. Work for Amazon

Work for Amazon

Starting in late 2018, Amazon will be paying $15/hour to all new distribution center employees. Not too shabby.

But did you know that Amazon also has work-at-home opportunities as well?

Jobs include customer service representatives as well as Mechanical Turk opportunities where you get paid to complete “simple tasks” that help out organizations.

If you’re interested in a customer service gig, and like the idea of being able to work in your pj’s, check out the Amazon Employment page and click on “Remote Career Opportunities”.

9. Sell Your Lesson Plans

Sell Your Lesson Plans

We all know that teachers are underpaid for the amount of time and passion that they put into their students.

So if you’re a teacher and have made your own creative lesson plans over the years, consider selling them for cash.

Check out the site Teachers Pay Teachers as it’s the go-to spot to sell your lesson plans and supplement your income in the process.

It’s also a great place for new teachers to go to find some inspiration.

See Also: 50+ Places Where Educators Get a Teacher Discount

10. Rent Out a Room of Your Home

Rent Out a Room

Thanks to Airbnb and VRBO, the prospect of renting out a room or guest house on your property has become an easy process.

Both sites bring a plethora of qualified renters to you and let you pick and choose who you want to rent to.

Be aware that Airbnb charges hosts a 3% processing fee and VRBO charges renters a fee in the 7-8% range.

11. Serve On an Online Jury

Serve on an Online Jury

Lawyers and trial psychology firms will actually pay you to serve on a mock jury or focus group from home.

Most pay in the $5-$10 per case range with some paying up to $50 to offer your opinion on a case.

Pretty cool way to earn some extra income as they don’t take much time to complete.

Start getting paid today at these 3 popular websites: eJury.com, JuryTest.net, and JuryTalk.com.

Also check out OnlineVerdict.com to get paid to respond to legal cases and offer your opinion.

12. Start a Blog

Start a Blog

While the idea of starting a blog might seem daunting, it’s really not as hard as you might think.

See my FULL guide here.

Once you start blogging about something you’re passionate about, the readers and clever ways to monetize will follow.

From direct adverting to affiliate marketing to brand ambassadorship, there are MANY ways to make money from a blog.

Popular blog ideas right now include Mommy blogs, finance blogs, travel blogs, how-to blogs, and DIY blogs.

Bottom-line: If you’re a semi-expert at something, there is a GREAT chance someone is gonna want to read what you have to say about the topic.

13. Become a Social Media Evaluator

If you have a computer and a high-speed Internet connection, and a “High level of cultural awareness” you stand a great chance at qualifying for a Social Media evaluator or specialist job.

Your jobs would range from rating social media ads to helping a company with their social media presence. The latter could include responding to customers on Facebook to searching for relevant content to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The best places to search for these jobs include Indeed.com, FlexJobs.com, and Retirement Jobs.com.

Ask the Reader: What clever ways have you discovered to make money from home?

If you know of any other jobs that I should add to this list, please contact me and I’ll be sure to check them out, thanks.


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Hobvias Sudoneighm.

Torchy’s Secret Menu: Taking Tacos to a Whole New Level

October 9, 2018 by Kyle
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Like the food truck turned restaurant, the Torchy’s secret menu has become quite popular in recent years. If you’re lucky enough to live in a southern state that has a Torchy’s Tacos location, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of at least one of these secret menu items.

Torchy's Secret Menu: Take Tacos to a Whole New Level

The cool thing about this “hidden” menu is that most employees know how to make these tacos by name, making them really easy to order.

Here’s how their secret menu currently breaks down, hope it helps you find your next favorite taco.

Torchy’s Secret Menu:

1. Mad Cow

Strange item given the disease with the same name. But wow, does it sounds yummy.

Order The Mad Cow and get a taco filled with fajita steak, black beans, jack cheese, grilled corn, cilantro and creamy chipotle sauce.

Throw it all on a warm flour tortilla and you’ll be one happy taco.

2. Trailer Park Hillbilly Style

Best name ever for a taco.

The Trailer Park Hillbilly Style comes with fried chicken (of course), chorizo, green chilies, chopped bacon, green chile queso, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, poblano ranch on the side for dipping.

In case you were wondering, the poblano ranch sauce is a creamy ranch dressing with serrano and grilled poblano peppers blended in.

All served on a warm tortilla base.

3. Trashy Trailer Park

Order this concoction and you’ll get the Trailer Park taco but instead of the lettuce, you’ll get queso.

Who needs roughage anyways, right?

Think of it like a deliciously beautiful sloppy taco mess, hence the name.

See Also: The Taco Bell Secret Menu Will Make You Love Life Again

4. Jack of Clubs

This is a breakfast taco that will fulfill any hunger.

Order the Jack of Clubs and get a flour tortilla filled with a fried egg, fried potatoes, black beans, corn tortilla strips, cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream and some diablo sauce.

The diablo sauce consists of fire-roasted habanero chiles mixed with vinegar, tomatoes, and spices. NOT for the timid.

Not sure why it’s called the Jack of Clubs but it sounds dang good.

5. The Hipster

Turns out Torchy’s is not a hipster-free zone but requires you like tuna.

Order The Hipster and get Panko fried tuna, green chilies, chopped bacon, black bean relish, cotija cheese, avocado sauce, cilantro, and a wedge of lime for squeezing.

Like any good hipster taco you had me at bacon.

6. Ace of Spades

Kinda buried the lead by putting the Ace of Spades down here in my list of secret menu items.

Easily one of their most popular “secret” items, this bad boy is an explosion of flavor in your mouth.

Order it and you’ll get a warm flour tortilla filled with a jalapeno sausage link split down the middle and grilled.

They’ll then throw on some grilled brisket, a fried egg, green chile queso, cilantro, cotija cheese, sour cream and diablo sauce.

Wow, a lot going on in this taco, guessing you’ll need to eat it with a knife and fork.

7. The Matador

Ole! Ole!

Order The Matador and get piled-high smoked brisket, grilled jalapenos, pickled onions, jack cheese, avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

It also comes with tomatillo sauce for pouring on top and a crisp corn tortilla inside of a flour tortilla.

Think of it like the double wrapped taco that Taco Bell made famous years ago.

8. Green Chile Pork Missionary Style

By far the longest named secret menu item ever created, this beauty has an amazing flavor profile.

Order this sucker and score green chile pork, pickled onions, jack cheese, guacamole, cilantro, and creamy chipotle to boot.

This one also come in a crisp corn tortilla inside of a flour tortilla.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever tried anything from Torchy’s secret menu? If so, how did the taco rate?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Kimberly Vardeman.

Giving Assistant Review: Cashback Site With a Charitable Twist

October 5, 2018 by Kyle
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As most of you know I’m a huge fan of cashback sites, I mean why not get paid for online shopping you’ll be doing anyways? Then combine your cashback with a coupon code and you’re clearly winning at life. So when I stumbled upon Giving Assistant I knew I needed to do a full review on their new cashback website and business model. I hope this helps you save some money.

Giving Assistant Review: Cashback Site With a Charitable Twist

How Does Giving Assistant Work?

You sign-up for free, shop through their website or browser button (more on that later) and get cashback on almost all of your online purchases.

They have partnered with over 3,000 online stores and they make a commission when you purchase via their links.

They then turn around and give a chunk of their commission back to you in the form of “cashback”.

Do The Offer a Bonus to Sign-Up?

YES, glad you asked.

Simply sign-up through the link below and they’ll add $5 to your account once you accumulate at least $0.99 in cashback.

That means you only need to make about a $30-40 purchase to score your $5 bonus. Easy money.

Click Here to Try Giving Assistant and Get Your $5 Bonus

What Makes Them Different From a Site Like Ebates?

On the face of it, Giving Assistant looks like every other cashback site in existence.

It’s not until you dig a little deeper and discover that they’re all about giving back to non-profit charities.

They actually let you pick from 1,000’s of charities to donate your cash back to.

You can also opt to keep your cashback for yourself, totally up to you.

See Also: The 11 Best Cashback Sites Worth Your Time

What Popular Non-Profits Do They Work With?

Non-Profits

They work with literally over a million non-profit organizations. 1.2 million to be exact.

Here are some you’ve probably heard of.

  • Make A Wish
  • Pencils of Promise
  • Fisher House
  • United Way
  • Hope Matters
  • Camp Kesem
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

For a full list check out their website.

Are Their Cashback Rates Comparable?

Cashback Rates

Yes, they’re definitely comparable to other cashback sites. It just depends on the store as some rates are higher and some are a little lower.

The best strategy is to sign-up with Giving Assistant and TopCashBack or Ebates and play them against each other so you always get the best cashback rate possible.

To give you a taste, here are some of their current cashback rates:

  • Amazon (4% back)
  • Urban Outfitters (3% back)
  • Macy’s (3.5% back)
  • JCPenney (3% back)
  • Movies Unlimited (10% back)
  • Modell’s (5% back)
  • Nordstrom Rack (3% back)
  • Walmart (up to 5.5% back)
  • Athleta (4% back)
  • Sam’s Club (3.5% back)
  • Lillian Vernon (3.5% back)
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods (2.5% back)
  • Old Navy (2% back)
  • Priceline (2.5% back)

I’ll be sure to keep this list updated.

Do They Have a Smartphone App?

Unfortunately, as of this writing they do NOT have an app that you can shop through and collect cashback.

But…they have the next best thing in their browser extension “Button” that notifies you when you’re shopping online at a store that offers coupon codes and cashback.

Browser Extension

Currently available for Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, the Button makes it possible to NOT have to shop directly though their website.

Just shop online like you normally would and you’ll get an alert at checkout when cash back AND a coupon code is available.

Kinda cool because with very little effort your charity will benefit and you’ll save money on your online purchase.

How Often Will I Get Paid?

Giving Assistant will pay you whenever you request it once you’ve accumulated at least $5.99 in cashback.

There is no lifetime limit to the amount of cash back you can receive.

How Does Giving Assistant Pay Me?

Payment Options

Giving Assistant currently pays their members via these 2 payment methods.

  1. PayPal – You must have at least $5.99 in your account, no fees to you.
  2. eCheck – Same as PayPal above.

Unfortunately, they don’t pay via gift cards to stores like Amazon, Walmart, and Target like many other cashback sites do. Not a big deal though.

Is Giving Assistant Only For Online Shopping?

Yes, as of this writing they only offer cashback when you shop online and not in-store.

How Do I Ensure I Get My Cashback?

There are some very important steps you need to take to make sure you ALWAYS get your cashback.

Here are the 3 steps that Giving Assistant highly recommends:

1. Completely disable AdBlocker or Privacy extensions on ALL websites.

2. Begin shopping with an EMPTY shopping cart.

3. Complete your purchase in the SAME browsing session within 24 hours.

Keep in mind that some stores take up to 7 days to credit you with your cashback.

Also, most travel sites like Expedia and Orbitz won’t give you your cashback until your travel has been completed.

What Happens If I Still Don’t Get My Cashback?

If you do the above three steps and still notice that your Giving Assistant account does NOT get credited, you have some recourse.

Specifically, you can shoot Giving Assistant an email at help[at]givingassistant.org and tell them your situation and they’ll get back you ASAP.

Make sure your email includes a copy of your order confirmation, date of purchase, order number, list of items purchased, and the subtotal prior to shipping and taxes.

They’ll reach out to the brand on your behalf to find out what went wrong and credit your account, if necessary.

Bonus Tip: Consider Upgrading Your Account

Upgrade Your Account

Giving Assistant also has a slick Upgrade program where you pay $5.99/year and get double cashback and 1st in line customer service if you encounter a problem.

It’s the only cashback site (that I’m aware of) who has a program like this.

It’s definitely worth upgrading if you shop online frequently as it will pay for itself really quickly.

I hope this Giving Assistant review helps you understand their cashback website so you can start earning some free money for a charity or your families budget.

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

Disclaimer: While I didn’t get paid a cent to write this review, and all opinions belong to my brain, I do get paid a commission if you click on my link and sign-up.

Want a Job at Amazon? Get Paid $15/Hour (No Joke!)

October 2, 2018 by Kyle
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Looking for work? Amazon may be the BEST place to check out right now as they’ll be offering $15/hr starting wage beginning on November 1st, 2018. Pretty darn solid if you ask me. Here’s everything you need to know to apply…

Want a Job at Amazon? Get Paid $15/Hour

Amazon To Offer $15/hr Starting Wage

This new pay scale will affect 250,000 current employees and 100,000 seasonal workers.

The generous wage hike makes it a great time to get your name in the hat for either holiday or full-time employment right through December and beyond.

So…How Do I Apply?

Glad you asked.

Just visit the Amazon Job website and search for employment opportunities in your local area.

Just follow the steps to apply for the job of your choice.

What Type of Jobs Does Amazon Have?

They currently have 988 open positions at fulfillment centers, 162 student program jobs, and 277 open positions that allow you to work-from-home as a customer service rep.

That’s over 1,400 open positions and that number will surely increase rapidly as we inch closer to Black Friday.

All of these jobs will start at $15/hour.

See Also: 11 Work From Home Jobs That Pay $12+ Per Hour

It’s also worth noting that this new $15/hour policy applies to employees at Whole Foods as well.

If you have any specific questions about applying for a job at Amazon, I found this Amazon Employment page very helpful.

I just happened to stumble upon it and it’s chalked full of great content and answers to frequently asked employment questions.

Ask the Reader: Are you looking for seasonal or part-time work? If so, Amazon might be an excellent choice.


By Kyle James

8 Clever Ways I Always Find Cheap Gas Near Me

October 1, 2018 by Kyle
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Back in 2017 the average U.S. consumer spent about $1,400 a year on gas. As gas prices continually rise this number stands to increase substantially in the coming years. Because of this large expense, it’s TOTALLY worth it to try and find the cheapest gas whenever possible. Here are 8 highly clever ways I always find cheap gas near me and save a bunch of money at the pump.

8 Clever Ways I Always Find Cheap Gas Near Me

8 Ways to Find Cheap Gas

Consider these apps before you fill up your tank next time.

1. Gas Buddy App

When it comes to finding cheap gas, the GasBuddy app is the “best of the best” as far as I’m concerned.

The app is simple to use and helps you quickly locate the cheapest gas no matter where you’re located or where you’re headed.

As long as you don’t run out of gas trying to save a few bucks, this free app is a beauty and a must-have for all iPhone or Android users.

GasBuddy app

Here’s how the GasBuddy app works:

  1. Download It to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device. Does anyone actually use an iPad for apps like this? The iPad always gets mentioned but I just can’t picture using it in the car unless I am sitting in the backseat with it and have a driver named Alfred. Oh, and a mini-fridge full of Grey Poupon.
  2. Update It. Loyal users then update the app with gas prices around town. There’s a small reward system and a weekly giveaway of FREE gas when you submit local gas prices into the app.
  3. Current Location. The app lets you quickly use your current location and find the nearest gas stations with the best prices.
  4. Includes All Stations. I like how the app also includes Ma & Pa stores and mini-marts and not just the Shells and Chevrons of the world.
  5. Easy Search. You can search for cheap gas by city, state, or zip code. Side-note: I had Taco Bell last night and have had cheap gas all day long. I wonder if Taco Bell comes up on the list of gas stations, if not, it should.
  6. Get Smart. Once you have a list of nearby stations, the Gas Buddy app lets you toggle between distance and price which allows you to make a smart decision about how far out of the way you want to drive to save money on gas.

How the GasBuddy app could be better:

  1. It could rate the cleanliness of the bathrooms at each gas station. When I’m on a family road trip with my wife and 3 kids, I would drive exactly 338 miles out of the way to find a clean crapper.
  2. BONUS TIP: Never use a gas station bathroom close to a Taco Bell location. (See #5 above)

Download the app and give it a try:

~ Download GasBuddy for your iPhone

~ Download GasBuddy for your Android device

2. Waze Navigation

Waze App

Most people know the Waze app as a clever way to get driving directions and traffic reports on your smartphone.

But did you know it also offers the ability to navigate you to the lowest priced gas station in your current area?

While lacking many of the same features, it works similarly to GasBuddy and counts on users reporting current gas prices.

The biggest drawback of the app is that prices are not updated as frequently as many of the other apps on this list.

But if you love Waze, and it’s your map app of choice, you’ll want to give their gas feature a look.

Download Waze and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

3. Gas Guru

Gas Guru App

For me, the Gas Guru app comes in 2nd place behind Gas Buddy.

I love the functionality of the app and the large, easy-to-read numbers it uses for the gas prices.

Comes with excellent turn-by-turn directions as well as a list of amenities at each gas stations.

For the amenities piece it shows things like ATM, store, eatery, and even if the station offers a cash discount.

The app is definitely worth a look and you might even find that you like it better than Gas Buddy.

Download Gas Guru and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

4. Gas Prices by MapQuest

MapQuest App

Similar to Waze, the MapQuest app combines local gas prices with their navigation software.

It’s a handy feature that’s a bit hidden within the app. To find it, tap Find Places and a menu pops up with Gas as one of the options.

Tap Gas and the app will show you all of the gas stations in your vicinity along with the current price for all the grades of gas and diesel that they sell.

Unfortunately the app doesn’t allow you to sort the gas stations by price per gallon.

Download MapQuest and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

5. AAA TripTik

AAA App

The cool thing about the AAA TripTik app is you don’t have to be a AAA member to use all of its functionality.

For example, you can scroll down on the app’s homepage and quickly find the Gas Nearby section.

It’ll show you the 3 closest gas stations to you along with their price for a gallon of regular.

Then tap More and you’ll get an interactive map with all of the stations in your vicinity.

The app would be more useful if it sorted gas stations by price, but if you’re a AAA member and use the app regularly, the Gas Nearby section is a handy feature to have at your fingertips.

Download AAA and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

6. Geico Mobile

Geico App

Similar to the AAA app, you DON’T need a policy with Geico to use their cheap gas finder within their mobile app.

When you first open the Geico app it’ll ask you “What brings you here today?” – tap the Find Gas icon.

You’ll then go to an interactive map which automatically displays the town you’re located in (or near).

For me it said Redding,CA (without the space after the comma) which brought back ZERO results.

I had to manually add the space after the comma to bring back all the gas stations near me. This is a bug within the app that they’ll hopefully fix soon.

Once you get to the list of gas stations, the app is HIGHLY usable.

Pretty much all of the station’s gas prices are updated within the last 24 hours and many are updated within the last 30 minutes.

You can also filter your results by fuel grade, proximity to the station, and of course price per gallon.

Download Geico and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

7. Costco, BJ’s & Sam’s Club

Costco gas

Turns our wholesale clubs are great for more than just steep discounts on 2 gallon jugs of mayo.

Many Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s locations have gas stations attached to them and the savings they provide is significant.

Yes, you’ll have to be a paying member to get the discounted gas, but if you’re going their anyways to shop you might as will fill up your tank and save some money.

See Also: Costco Gas: Insider Tips To Save BIG at the Pump

8. Dash

Dash App

The last mobile app that I want to talk about is called Dash.

The app is pretty slick and actually connects to your car giving it a voice and unlocking a bunch of cool diagnostic and maintenance features.

It also helps you save money on gas by pointing you to the stations that offer the best price.

Dash is completely free and is a must-add for those looking to save money on auto expenses.

Download Dash and give it a try:

~ Download for iPhone

~ Download for Android

Ask the Reader: I figure if I can save $4-5 on my weekly fill up, that equates to over $200 a year in gas savings. Totally worth effort in my opinion.

What say you? How do you find the cheapest gas when you’re driving around town or on a road trip away from home?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

Walmart Making Big Changes to the Savings Catcher Program

September 24, 2018 by Kyle
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The Walmart Savings Catcher program as you know it will be going away October 29th, 2018. You’ll still be able to have Walmart compare your purchases for lower prices from competitors, but how you submit your receipt and how you pay TOTALLY changes. Here’s everything you need to know…

Walmart Axing the Savings Catcher Program...Sort Of

1. Gotta Enroll in Walmart Pay

Walmart Pay

Essentially Walmart is making anyone who wants to continue using the Savings Catcher technology enroll in Walmart Pay and make all their in-store purchases using it.

You might not like being forced into this, but it’s their way of making your shopping “easier”.

Once you download the Walmart Pay app, you link your credit card to it and make all your purchases with the app when checking-out at the cash register.

See Also: The Walmart Price Match Policy: How It’s Changed and How To Take Advantage

2. So How Do I Submit My Receipt?

So after making your purchase with Walmart pay, you’ll be able to instantly submit your e-receipt to Savings Catcher via the app.

Specifically, according to Walmart, you’ll simply “tap Submit Receipt directly from your Walmart Pay confirmation page or from your Savings Catcher dashboard on the Walmart app.”

Walmart will then go out and examine local competitor’s prices and refund you the difference if it finds a lower price on anything you bought.

3. What’s the Benefit to All This?

Well, for one, you’ll never have to worry about remembering to scan your Walmart receipt after you leave the store as it’s completely automatic.

While not a huge time-saver, this will definitely save you some time over the long haul.

Also, when using the Walmart Pay app it’ll track ALL your purchases so you’ll never have to worry about losing a receipt which is great when returning stuff.

Lastly, for those that need a paper receipt for other cashback apps like Ibotta and TopCashBack, the Walmart app lets you print paper receipts from your phone or you can even email them to yourself.

See Also: The 13 Best Cashback Sites Worth Your Time

In Conclusion:

So while this is a clear ploy by Walmart to get you signed up for Walmart Pay, you really DON’T have any other option if you want to continue using Savings Catcher.

Scan Your Walmart Receipt

Like any change it’ll be met with some resistance, but in the long run I think it’s smart to join Walmart Pay as you’ll continue to reap the benefits from price protection and it’ll save you time in the process.

I plan on making the switch as my Savings Catcher balance is approaching $100 (see image above) and I’ve done VERY little to earn it.

Ask the Reader: Will you enroll in Walmart Pay and continue to reap the rewards of the Savings Catcher program or is not worth the hassle?


By Kyle James

9 Brilliant Ways to Hack the Starbucks Rewards Program

September 20, 2018 by Kyle
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Starbucks coffee is expensive. But thanks to the Starbucks Rewards program you have some options when it comes to saving money and even getting some cool freebies. Brew from home? No worries as these hacks will also help you score some free Starbucks from time to time. Let’s break it down…

9 Brilliant Ways to Hack the Starbucks Rewards Program

First Off, How Do I Sign-up?

Joining the Starbucks Rewards program is simple.

Just follow this LINK and get signed up for free.

To make it happen all you need is a Starbucks gift card which you’ll then use on all your purchases moving forward.

You’ll earn 2 stars for every dollar spent.

When you reach gold status (300 Stars in 12 months) and earn 125 stars, you’ll get your first free drink.

1. Maximize Those Free “Reward Drinks”

Speaking of free drinks at Starbucks, did you know you can order ANY beverage as your “reward drink”?

It baffles me when I see someone use their free reward on a tall cup of drip coffee.

Instead, you’d be wise to order a Venti or Trenta size of one of their specialty drinks that you enjoy.

Those easily top out in the $6 dollar range making them a great way to enjoy a drink you might not otherwise order.

Word of warning, you probably can’t order one of these ridiculously expensive drinks.

2. Only Visit “Stand Alone” Starbucks Locations

When trying to build up your stars balance, try to visit stand alone locations.

Typically, Starbucks locations located within stores like Barnes & Noble, Target, and Safeway DON’T hand out reward stars when you buy a cup of joe.

See Also: This Is How I Score Free Starbucks 3 Days Per Week

3. Beware…Stars Do Expire

Stars do Expire

Don’t hoard those stars for too long as they do indeed expire.

Specifically, they expire six months after they are earned on the first day of the month.

The Starbucks app is a great way to track your stars so you know when to use them up.

4. Use Starbucks Rewards to Score Spotify Deal

This is easily my favorite Starbucks rewards hack.

If you’re a Starbucks Rewards member you can score Spotify Premium for only $0.99 for 3-months PLUS get 125 free stars.

This is only available for new Spotify Premium members. I’m not sure how long this offer will last so jump on it.

5. Look For Specially Marked Starbucks Bags

Starbucks stars on bags

When shopping at the grocery store for Starbucks ground or whole bean coffee, keep an eye out for bags that offer free reward stars.

Many have peel off stickers with codes attached that you can enter into the Starbucks app.

Many items are worth a single free star but some are worth up to 10.

Collect enough and you can get a free drink on Starbucks.

See Also: Starbucks Gold Card: What Is It, How to Get It, and Is It Worth It?

6. Visit on “Double Up” Star Days

Double Star Days

Keep an eye out for Monthly Double Days at Starbucks where you’ll get double reward stars.

A $5 order will net you 20 stars instead of the normal 10.

They happen once a month and make for a great time to build up a ton of stars.

Keep in the know by signing up for Starbucks email alerts. More on that later.

7. Maximize the Birthday Treat

Birthday treat

Perhaps the biggest no-brainer for joining their rewards program is the free drink you get the week of your birthday.

All rewards members score this cool freebie and it’s redeemable for almost anything on the Starbucks menu.

So be sure to order the 24 oz. Venti for hot drinks and the 31 oz. Trenta for cold drinks.

I like to use the Starbucks app as it’ll notify me 2 days before my birthday that I have a free treat waiting for me.

You can also opt for a free food item, but does any caffeine junky ever actually do that? Guessing not.

8. Don’t Ignore the Email Offers

When signing up for their rewards program be sure to opt into their emails.

Starbucks will regularly email you ways to collect free stars so your balance can grow quickly.

I understand that most folks hate getting promotional emails but the ones Starbucks sends are actually worth the time.

You’ll also know about double star days this way as well.

9. Grab a Free Refill

Lastly, don’t forget about those free coffee refills before you leave.

Make your purchase with the Starbucks app or gift card and the barista will hook you up with a free refill before you exit.

Starbucks is banking on you forgetting to take them up on this, so don’t FORGET your free refill.

Only works with hot and iced brewed coffee or tea.

Ask the Reader: How do you hack the Starbucks Rewards program to earn free coffee and treats?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Starbucks and Mike Mozart.

Sam’s Club Return Policy: Your 12 Burning Questions Answered

September 18, 2018 by Kyle
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The Sam’s Club return policy is pretty darn solid. But is it as good as Costco’s? Not only will we explore that question, but we’ll answer all your other concerns about Sam’s policy. Here’s everything you need to know so you can shop smart and carry on.

Sonic Happy Hour Info & Tips (What Drinks are the Best Value)

How Many Return Days Do I Have?

Unlimited.

Similar to the Costco return policy, Sam’s allows you to return items ANY TIME after your purchase on most items.

See Also: 7 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership

Any Exceptions to the Unlimited Return Days?

Yes, there are quite a few note-worthy exceptions.

Tires and Batteries: Depends on the manufacturer’s warranty. Check it out first.

Cell Phones: 14 days from date of purchase.

Televisions: 90 days.

Computers and Tablets: 90 days.

Contact Lenses: 30 days.

Electronics: 90 days. Before you return an item you might want to call 1-877-758-4346 for free technical support from tech experts.

Games and Software: 90 days.

Movies and Music: 90 days. If you open it, they’ll only take it back if the CD or DVD is defective.

Can Items Be Opened or Used?

Yes, items can be opened and used and still be returned.

What If I Lost My Receipt?

They prefer that you hold on to your receipt to make your return a breeze.

But…if you don’t have your receipt, they’ll do their best to locate it within their computer system.

Apparently it is not a given that they’ll be able to locate your purchase history.

In any case, be prepared to show your driver’s license so they can track your return history.

This is NOT as a good as Costco as they’ll always be able to look up your purchase when sans receipt.

Can I Return Items Bought Online to a Sam’s Warehouse?

You can return 99.5% of items bought online to any Sam’s location.

A few of the notable exceptions include golf carts, vending machines, and auction purchases.

I have NO idea what a Sam’s Club “auction purchase” is. If you know, let me know in the comments, thanks.

Are Any Items Non-Returnable?

Yes, glad you asked.

You’ll have a hard time trying to bring back any of these items…

Alcohol: This one varies by state, ask at your local Sam’s if you’re not sure about your state law.

Cigarettes and Tobacco: This is not 100% true. Some Sam’s locations do allow you to return cancer sticks.

Personalized Items: Think about items like a personalized birthday cake.

Contact Lenses: This is only true if you open the box they came in.

Eyeglasses: 14 days from date of purchase.

Gift Cards: BTW, Sam’s is a great place to buy discounted gift cards for local restaurants and retailers.

Hearing Aids: Make sure they work before you leave Sam’s.

Ticket Sales.

Prescriptions: There are some exceptions, ask the pharmacist about it when you get your free consult.

Car Tires and Batteries: This one depends on the manufacturer’s warranty.

Who Pays Return Shipping Charges for Online Returns?

If you decide you simply don’t want the item then you’ll have to pay return shipping charges.

If the reason for the return is an error by Sam’s, or a defective product, then they’ll pay the return shipping fees.

Can Items Bought in a Club Be Returned Online?

Nope, bummer.

You’ll have to return them via their online return system.

Can I Return Items to a Different Club?

Yes, you can with these 3 important exceptions:

– Alcohol: If you live in a state that allows you to return alcohol you have to bring it back to the Sam’s Club that you bought it from.

Cigarettes and Tobacco Products: Same as above.

Contact Lenses: Unopened contacts must be returned within 30 days to the Sam’s where you bought them.

Can Their Return Policy be Abused?

Because their return policy is quite generous, Sam’s inevitably gets shoppers bringing back some pretty crazy items.

Many of which border on “policy abuse”.

Keep in mind that like any generous return policy, it will eventually go away if abused.

Can I Be Banned From Returning Items?

Yes, you’ll be banned if you regularly return items like brown bananas or an invisible watermelon.

Return smart and carry on.

Which Return Policy is Better: Costco or Sam’s Club?

Tough question, but I’d go with Costco for ONE reason.

Costco is better in terms of tracking your purchases so you don’t need a receipt.

If you loose your receipt with Sam’s, it appears to be a 50/50 chance that you can make the return.

Ask the Reader: What has been your experience with the Sam’s Club return policy?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to JJBers.

Clever Hack to Pay Only $26 a Year for Costco Membership

September 10, 2018 by Kyle
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Are you looking for a Costco membership discount? Maybe you’re on the fence about dropping $60 for a basic Costco membership and need some incentive to take the plunge. Well, if you live in Mexico or near the border, or are planning a vacation to Mexico in the near future, I have a great way for you to save money. All thanks on this Costco hack goes to loyal reader Dorothy. Thanks Dorothy! Now let’s break it down….

Costco Membership Discount: Clever Hack to Pay Only $26 a Year

Costco Membership Discount:

Gold Membership in Mexico Costs Only 500 Pesos

MX Costco membership

In case you don’t have a currency calculator handy, 500 pesos equates to about $26 USD.

So if it all possible consider buying a MX Costco membership to save money.

And YES you can use a Mexico Costco membership at ANY Costco location in the United States or Canada.

So if you live southern California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas this is worth knowing.

Especially if you live in a border town and can easily visit a Costco warehouse across the border.

Also, perhaps you’re actually moving to Mexico in the near future. Don’t renew your Costco membership until you get there.

See Also: 7 Ways to Essentially Get a $60 Costco Membership for Free

Is a MX Costco Membership the Same as the U.S. Version?

While the most important features are the same, there are definitely some difference worth knowing about.

Here are a few things your Costco membership from Mexico CAN’T do….

Can’t Track Purchase History – You won’t be able to track your Costco purchases with a membership from Mexico as they don’t keep track of them in their computer system.

So just be sure to hold on to those receipts and it’s a non-issue.

Can’t Get Costco Gas – You can’t buy Costco gas in the U.S. with a MX membership.

Can’t Use Costco Travel – A MX membership will also exclude you from using the Costco travel service.

Can Be a Hassle at Checkout – I was also told that when using a MX membership in the U.S. (or Canada) the cashier will have to get approval from a manager before taking your money.

Hard to Make Account Changes – This may be the biggest drawback. If you lose your card, you can only get a new one at a Costco location within Mexico.

Also, when it’s time to renew your membership you can’t do it at a U.S. Costco location, it’s gotta be done in Mexico.

In Conclusion:

While this Costco hack is not for everyone, it’s still worth sharing with y’all.

This is especially true if you’re heading to the southern border in the near future.

Ask the Reader: Do you have any experience using this hack to score a Costco membership discount? If so, was it worth the effort?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

3 Walmart Receipt Must-Do’s That’ll Earn You Free Cash

September 6, 2018 by Kyle
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(Updated 9/28/18) The next time you leave Walmart DON’T toss your receipt in the nearest garbage bin. Instead whip out your smartphone and use these 3 highly clever apps to earn some free cash from your receipt just for shopping at Walmart. Here’s everything you need to know to make it happen.

3 Walmart Receipt Must-Do's That'll Earn You Free Cash

1. First, Scan It With Savings Catcher

Walmart Savings Catcher

Once you have your Walmart receipt in-hand, be sure to download the Walmart Savings Catcher app and scan it.

The app will automatically examine your receipt (especially what you bought) and compare it to the prices at local competitors.

If it finds a lower price it’ll give you the difference and pay it directly to your Walmart account. You’ll be surprised with how many lower prices the app finds.

I’ve been scanning all of my Walmart receipts for a couple years and my balance is already up to $87.76.

Free money for just a few seconds of my time.

Just be sure you scan it shortly after your purchase as you only have 7 calendar days from date of purchase.

Download Savings Catcher here.

Note: Savings Catcher is included in the Walmart mobile app. Once you open the app, you’ll find it in the Services tab.

See Also: 24 Highly Clever Tricks to Save Money at the Grocery Store

2. Next, Scan Your Receipt With Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards

Similar to Savings Catcher, the Fetch Rewards app only requires you to scan your Walmart receipt and they do the rest of the dirty work.

In a short few months I’ve already earned over $20 in Amazon gift cards with Fetch.

From their website, “All you need to do is snap a picture of your receipt and points will be put into your account. It is that easy.”

Use those points for free gift cards to hundreds of places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, American Eagle, Bed Bath & Beyond, or even a Visa Cash Card.

Also keep in mind that Fetch works on all store receipts, not just Walmart.

Bonus: Enter our exclusive referral code RATHER when you sign-up for Fetch Rewards and get 2,000 free points after you scan your first receipt.

See Also: Fetch Rewards App: Ibotta Killer or a Nice Complimentary App?

3. Last, Scan Your Receipt With Ibotta

Scan with Ibotta

I put Ibotta as the last thing to do with your Walmart receipt because it takes a little more time than the other two apps.

But it’s still a great way to earn some free money.

Once you download Ibotta you’ll want to start activating rebate offers on all the things you plan to buy when you visit Walmart next.

Once you shop at Walmart, just scan your receipt with the app and they’ll “match the items you bought to the offers you selected and give you the cash”.

You’ll get the cash added to your Ibotta account within 48 hours which you can redeem via PayPal as soon as your balance reaches $20.

I’ve been using Ibotta for a few years and have earned well over $350 just on my Walmart purchases.

It’s also worth noting that Ibotta is NOT exclusive to Walmart and you can use it at pretty much ALL the stores you shop at, even Costco and Sam’s Club.

Love myself some Ibotta. Go check it out for yourself.

See Also: Ibotta Review: Insider Tips on Using the App to Save on Groceries

Ask the Reader: Besides using these 3 free apps to make money off your Walmart receipts, how do you save money at the retail giant?


By Kyle James