How to Easily Earn Money Shopping Online With Mobile Apps

I love racking up rewards using shopping apps, but no matter how fantastic it is to earn money for shopping online, I only have so much time and energy to go around (read: I have toddlers and a teenager). So, I’ve developed a helpful little equation that I use to make decisions about which apps to download and use. I figure out how much money or how many incentives I stand to gain and then divide that by the amount of energy I would be required to expend to make it happen. That way, I can easily decide if it’s worthwhile for me to pursue.

If I wrote out my little equation, it might look something like this:

Money Earned Time and Energy Required = Is it Worth it?

Now, there aren’t usually actual numbers that I jot down in a notebook or turn into a graph. It’s just a little exercise I do in my head to help me instinctively recognize if something would or wouldn’t pass my little “math” test. I mean, over the years I’ve spent all night waiting in a long line for Black Friday doorbuster sales (worth it!), I’ve driven to other cities after hearing rumors about unadvertised specials (definitely worth it and also fun!), and I’ve carefully planned when to buy certain household items so I can take advantage of bulk incentives (worth it, but less glamorous than the other two). Through it all, my instincts, with help from my equation, have rarely been wrong—until recently.

It’s not that my equation suddenly stopped working. Kind of the opposite, actually. I started to find ways to easily earn money shopping online—and they’ve been so productive that I don’t have to think about money saved versus time or energy required of me. It’s that easy.

The mobile shopping apps that I use to earn money shopping online are so effective that I wonder how I ever got by without them. Seriously, they’re that good! And, since it’s all online, the effort you have to expend to use many of them is minimal. Basically, most of these apps reward you for doing the shopping that you would have done anyway! It’s so amazing that I don’t have to do any math to calculate whether or not I should share some of my favorite apps—and fun strategies for using them—with you. I hope this little guide for using mobile apps to earn money while you shop online brings you as much joy, savings, and free time as it has me and my brood!


How to Use Coupon Cactus to Earn Money Shopping Online

Let’s keep talking about math just a little while more. I’ve never been exceptionally good at it, but I always managed to get by in algebra and geometry in school. A key piece of advice I got from Mrs. Walsh in seventh grade was to focus on what you know and then build on it. So, multiplying fractions is hard, right? Um, yes. But everyone knows how to multiply numbers. Mrs. Walsh told me that multiplying fractions is just a series of multiplying numbers, and suddenly it didn’t seem so hard anymore.

Starting with what you know is actually good advice for learning how to easily earn money shopping online with mobile apps as well. And one thing I think every shopper knows is….how to use coupons! We’ve all clipped them, we’ve all saved them, and we’ve all used them to save money on purchases. Well, this concept has now evolved to join the online shopping world. Meet: Coupon Cactus.

Coupon Cactus is only slightly different from the old, paper coupons. You still get certain discounts off certain items at certain stores, you just do it online. Your savings sometimes adds up to a percentage of the total price, generally up to 30% (there’s that math popping up again!) or as a flat discount, such as $2 off a featured product. Once your balance of savings hits $10 or more, you can choose to cash in the money you’ve earned through PayPal or have a check issued to you on a quarterly basis.

Coupon Cactus also does this cool thing where you can sort the savings offers on the site by the most popular or the newest, making it easy to find the deals that people like the most or the ones that have been added to the app since your last visit.

The Coupon Cactus Recap:

Boasts a familiar system reminiscent of clipping coupons

Lets you sort the best coupons by newest or most popular

Their little Coupon Cactus mascot is soooo cute!

How Pennyful Makes it Easy to Earn Money for Your Online Shopping

I shop… a lot. Between getting things for the kids, my husband, and, sometimes, myself, I’m out shopping quite a bit. Plus, I have to admit, I never shy away from a sale. So, when a shopping rewards app tells me I have to accumulate a certain amount of money spent shopping online before I can cash my rewards out, that’s not really a problem—I know I’ll hit the mark eventually. But, I’m also well aware that not everyone shops as much as I do.

For those who don’t hit the webshops on the daily, it’s possible to earn money shopping online with mobile apps that let you cash your total out without meeting a certain minimum threshold. If that sounds like something that would work well for you, I’d like you to meet my friend, Pennyful.

If you started with Coupon Cactus as I suggested, and you got really good at saving money online with that app, well then, Pennyful should make you happy as well since it actually functions in a pretty similar way. Like Coupon Cactus, you just go online, make purchases at certain stores that are offering coupons for online shopping through the app, and then you start to accumulate savings in an account that you can later cash in. And, they make it easy and fun to discover new products by dividing their offerings up into categories!

The Pennyful Recap:

Allows you to cash in savings at any time rather than wait until meeting a certain minimum

Offers links to promo codes and sales

Divides savings offers by type, like flowers & gifts or food & wine

How to Easily Earn Online Shopping Rewards with Ebates

Sometimes activities that used to pass my equation change over time. When I was in college, selling my old clothes and textbooks on eBay used to be worth the amount of energy it took me to take a picture, post an item, run an auction, and eventually send out the purchase to the buyer. As I’ve gotten older, it started to take too much of my time to really feel worth it. No big deal. It happens. People change and we move on to new websites (anyone else remember having an old MySpace profile!?!).

I think of eBay everytime I open up one of the shopping rewards apps that pays me for making purchases online: Ebates.

I really do enjoy using Ebates. It has a user-friendly design that makes everything on the page clear and easy to find. It also works a lot like Coupon Cactus and Pennyful, giving you a certain amount of money back on the purchases that you make online, like 6% cash back at Macy’s or 3% cash back for certain categories on Amazon.

One of my favorite things about Ebates is how fast you get your earnings. In fact, Ebates can give you money back within 48 hours. I know, super fast! Or, you can get your earnings back each quarter in the form of a paper check. It’s your choice with Ebates.

One other thing I really think helps Ebates stand out is that it offers seasonal pages that list the best deals for two of my favorite days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These pages are great references for some of the best shopping deals offered online!

The Ebates Recap:

Offers quick cash out options

Features seasonal pages for big shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Offers referral bonuses for encouraging your friends to sign up

Shopkick: The Best Way to Earn Money Shopping, Online and In-Store

I love love love online shopping and that it lets me buy my favorite items from anywhere at any time, like via my computer, tablet, or phone. If I run out of my facial cream (eek!), I don’t have to write it down on a list on the fridge anymore. No, I can just take out my phone and, with a few clicks, have a new bottle on its way to my bathroom cabinet.

As convenient as online shopping is, I don’t get everything I need online. In fact, far from it. I like to mix things up, using online shopping when it’s necessary while also sticking with one of my all-time favorite pastimes: going out to actual stores, browsing, talking to salespeople, and making purchases. You know, shopping shopping.

What I like about the last entry on my list of favorites—Shopkick—is that I can use it to get rewards for both shopping online and in person. I can even pair it with some of the other apps on my list, especially the ones that use promo codes, because how Shopkick rewards you for shopping is, rather than saving me on the price of the item up front, it gives me points (called kicks) for making purchases—or even watching product videos online. When I save up enough of these points, I can cash them in for gift cards.

Shopkick even pays you to grocery shop, which is something I’m yet to figure out how to do online (although now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, my guess is that will only be a matter of time). Of all the mobile apps that earn money shopping online, in my opinion, Shopkick is the one you must have to really up your shopping game to new levels.

The Shopkick Recap:

Works online AND in-store

Can be combined with other apps to multiply your savings and rewards

Is engaging and interactive

You don’t have to make a purchase to earn, but you earn faster when you do

As you can tell, I’m a big believer in all of these apps because the amount of time and energy you have to spend to use them is well worth the savings you get in return. I, of course, like some more than others, and maybe you’ll have your favorites, too. I encourage you to download some or all of them, play around, and pick your favorites. Just don’t overlook combining Shopkick with some of the more traditional coupons and savings apps. Imagine what it would do to my equation if you doubled your savings. You would pass my little test with flying colors!

Get one of the best free smartphone apps that pay you money in 2018. Download Shopkick’s free app today and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered how fun it is to shop with us!

And, if you love social media as much as you love shopping online, join Shopkick on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a little daily shopping inspiration.