Side Hustle Saturday: The Chick-Fil-A App

chick_fil_a_logo_0_1433512890I’m pretty late to the Chick-Fil-A game. My husband has been a fan for years, but I only caught on once a fellow mom told me about their indoor playground. This is what I look for now in my fast-food options. If there is a playground to keep the crazy toddler occupied so I can actually chew my food instead of just stuffing my face, I’m down.

Chick-Fil-A is like a mecca for moms. They have the playground, decently priced kid’s meals, free Wi-Fi and an app that makes it easy to order from your table so you don’t have to hold a wiggly kid in line. Genius!

I love the Chick-Fil-A One app and always keep it loaded with cash to make my purchases easier. This isn’t a requirement to use it – you can also pay at the register and scan your phone there to get your points. But it is WAY easier to just order from my seat, get alerted when it’s ready and snatch it up from the pick-up counter.

And the points I mentioned add up fast! You earn points from your purchases toward free treats like fries, ice cream and sandwiches. And sometimes they just send you free stuff for no reason! I got a free chicken sandwich bonus this week, just because CFA is awesome I guess.

So if you go to Chick-Fil-A, I totally recommend this app! It saves time and gets you free stuff every few visits.

Side Hustle Saturday: Trade-in Your Used Items for Amazon Gift Cards

I recently learned about the Amazon Trade-in Program where you can send your used items in to Amazon in exchange for Amazon gift cards. It’s really easy!

earn money amazon trade in program

After clicking through to Amazon, you just search for the items you want to trade in, which can be books, phones, e-readers, games and game consoles, and even Bluetooth speakers.

You will see the price they offer and then you can add it to your cart. I checked out several things and their prices are pretty good! And so much easier and faster than listing things on eBay. You have to answer a few questions about your item and then you get to choose the option to have it returned to you for free or accept a lower offer if they get it and it doesn’t fit the criteria for the quoted price.

Once all agreed and accepted, you print a shipping label and send it for free! Then you will get an Amazon gift card deposited in your account once the items have been received and inspected.

Clear out old junk, get money, easy peasy!

* Article contains Amazon affiliate links *

 

 

Side Hustle Saturday: Making Money with Fitness Apps

I recently learned about fitness apps that not only track your activity, but reward you with money for being active. I decided to jump in and give three of them a try. Here’s my experience over the past six weeks with StepBet, Sweatcoin and Achievement.

I started my fitness research journey with the requisite “toes and scale” photo to record a starting point. It was less intimidating than the bikini/sports bra “before” type shot. So I started at 135.2 lbs, averaged 12,000 steps a day and invested a total of $40.

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StepBet – If you’ve read my “I’m squishy” post then you’ll recall I’m working on that last five to ten pounds of baby weight. This isnt totally about losing weight though, it’s about getting fit and toning up. I do a better job when I’m held accountable, so I decided to take it a step beyond my usual FitBit challenges and put some money on the line with StepBet.

It costs me $40 to join a six week challenge. I synced the app to my FitBit Charge 2 and they set my daily step goal at 15,664, so about 5,000 more steps than my usual goal. I had to also hit two “stretch” days at almost 19,000 steps and then I was allowed one “rest day.” Everyone’s money goes into the pot, and then at the end those who won split it after StepBet takes their 15% cut. You are guaranteed to get your $40 back if you succeed, and hopefully a few dollars extra for your effort.

step bet review

Did it motivate me to get up and move? Yes! I was doing good and got into the habit of doing nearly twice my usual daily steps. And then I got sick. Miserably sick with some kind of cold/flu that made me want to hide in bed and definitely NOT walk 19,000 steps in a day. But I trudged on. I had made it to five weeks and absolutely refused to give up my $40! Especially since I had been checking in daily and gleefully watching the numbers of those still in the game slowly drop. That would not be me!

In the end, I did win my game and got my $40 back plus an extra $7.08 for my efforts. I chose to take a break and not enter a new game right away. To be honest, it was a little stressful to be so obsessed with my steps every day. I’m thinking I’ll probably try it again next month, after I’ve had a little break and need some more motivation.

stepbet winner

Achievement – With the Achievement app, you earn points for steps, tracking heart rate and even sleeping. You can also answer health related surveys and click through offers to earn more points. Once your points reach 10,000 you can trade them in for $10, payable through PayPal.

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I answered all the surveys right away and earned 2,000 and then it was pretty uneventful. You slowly rack up points without really doing anything. There aren’t a ton of offers, but you can snag a good deal of points if you do a survey. I’ve been earning an average of 50 points a day just by having it connected to my FitBit. I currently have 4,209 points, so nearly the equivalent of $5. I’m going to just let this one ride and see how long it takes to get my $10.

Sweatcoin – I signed up for Sweatcoin but ended up deleting it after three weeks. You have to have your phone on you all the time and it only counts your steps when you are outside. On a nice walk outside, the last thing I want is my phone flopping in my pocket.

I also found it a little invasive the way it had to be running all the time and when I cleared up my apps, which I do on occasion, I got a notice on my phone saying “You killed me!” It was creepy. Sweatcoin does not like to be force quit. I finally decided it was just taking up space and deleted it since I don’t carry my phone around enough to add up points. Also it seemed the only prizes I was ever going to earn were discounts or free trials on things I didn’t want.

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After six weeks of trying out fitness apps, I was down 2 lbs and up $7. I also adjusted my regular Fitbit daily goal to 15,000 steps. Not bad! I may actually look into joining StepBet as a member before I do the next challenge. Then it allows you to do more than one game at a time and they don’t take the 15% cut.

Anyone else try a similar type app? I’d be interested to hear about it!

Side Hustle Saturday: Make Money off Your Receipts with Ibotta

Last Saturday I wrote about checking your receipts for surveys and coupons, and this is yet another thing you can do with those receipts- scan them for cash back.

The app I use most often for this is Ibotta. You can even dip your toe in the extreme couponing world by planning ahead and combining your rebates with coupons and sales to get free or nearly free items, but that takes a lot of time and is sometimes just more trouble than its worth (for me at least.) Ibotta is currently offering a $10 welcome bonus, so that helps your first check add up faster! You can cash out when your total reaches $20.

Once you sign up and download the app, you can filter offers by store and type. They change every week so you have to scan your receipt within the offer time limit. You can almost always find something on there, and there’s usually a few random “any brand” type products. For example, last week it was pretzels, protein powder and cake mix.

The one problem I have is remembering to scan barcodes. Sometimes you have to scan the barcode so if you wait to scan the receipt, you may have already thrown away your evidence!

There’s actually a lot more to the program and more ways to save, but I just wanted to do a quick easy overview. I’m not really using the app to its full potential, but have gotten nearly $100 back just by haphazardly remembering to do it. So it’s worth at least investing a few minutes each grocery trip, for a few dollars back every time. It eventually adds up!

ibotta

 

Side Hustle Saturday: Check Your Receipts for Free Stuff

img_9072If you just toss your receipts in the trash without looking at them closely, you could be tossing out free stuff and discounts!

A trend I’ve taken full advantage of is the receipt survey. Usually printed at the bottom of your receipt is a claim code and offer, and all you need to do is go to a website and answer some questions about your visit.

Examples of recent receipt bonuses I’ve claimed: $5 off groceries at Winn-Dixie, Free Chick-fil-A sandwich, Free Whopper at Burger King.

It takes less than 5 minutes and earns you an average of $5-$10 either in discounts or free stuff. It’s totally worth it if you go to that particular place all the time anyway.

So check those receipts! They aren’t always printed on every one. I get one maybe every other visit though, so the odds are pretty good!

* As a side note, I know barely anybody looks at the backs of their receipts because I once tried advertising my boutique on the receipts at Winn-Dixie. I did it for 3 months, with a full color photo and 15% discount on any item in the store. I had one person come in and they didn’t even buy anything! So unfortunately it was a total waste, but it did get me looking at my own receipts at least.