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: 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!



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.

Side Hustle Saturday: Turning Old Clothes Into Cash

There’s money lurking in your closet, and how much you make just depends on what kind of effort you want to put in.

cash in your closetWhen clearing out old clothes, I make 3 piles: Goodwill, eBay and consignment. Here’s how I decide what goes where, what effort is involved, and what kind of payout to expect.

Goodwill – You won’t make money, but you can get a donation receipt for your taxes. If it’s unbranded, tags cut out or shows visible wear, it goes to Goodwill. (Or some similar type of donation place) It takes minimal effort to toss everything in a bag and drop it off. Even less effort if you call a place like Vietnam Veterans of America, then you leave everything on your doorstep and they pick it up.

eBay – This is where you’ll make the most money, but also have to put in the biggest effort. I only do this for new looking items with easily searchable brand names. It takes a decent amount of time to take pics and create listings, plus add in time for shipping and answering inane questions you probably already answered in your listing. You also have to be prepared for the possibility of returns. You can always stipulate “final sale” but then it won’t sell as easily. I get an average of $5-$10 an item, vs. 50 cents from the consignment shop.

Consignment – The best places to take baby clothes are the types that buy on the spot. For adult clothes, the places that pay you when the item sells are the best option. This is a good place to take items that might not photograph well or dresses, shoes, and coats that are heavy and make shipping costs too high. The downside is you make only a fraction of what your item can sell for. I took a lot of clothes in 5 months ago, sold 3 things so far and have made $12. In comparison, I put a bunch of clothes on eBay two weeks ago, sold two items and have made $37.

*There are also online consignment shops like ThredUp, but you make even less money and have to factor in the initial cost of their shipping kit

The Final Breakdown:

Let’s say you have an item you think is worth $20

On eBay it will probably sell for $15 and after subtracting fees you profit $12.

On consignment they might start at $20, then mark it down and down until they finally donate it. So depending on their cut and final sale price, you could profit anywhere from $10 to $0. The downside is you don’t get it back if it doesn’t sell. The upside is you might make a few dollars with minimal effort and at least it’s out of your closet.

Or you can donate it and get $0, but it’s easy and it’s gone

* Clothes do best on eBay or consignment, household items, furniture, appliances, toys, etc. do better on places like Craigslist or LetGo (basically, anything where the shipping would outweigh the value)