One of my favorite kinds of Groupons is the kind that gives you discounts to food. I’ve gotten tons of them over the years and it is this fact that makes me feel that it is too bad that Groupon seems to get less and less restaurants to ante up for them as time goes by. However, a few weeks ago, I did notice one new groupon that didn’t really get advertised much but seems to be rather awesome. And that is Plated. The idea behind Plated is that they get chefs to provide them with fairly easy to cook recipes and then send those recipes to you along with everything you need to cook it. What a great idea! Continue reading
Several months ago I had an entry about other ways of making money. After that post, I kept up on trying to earn extra cash for a good month before giving up. Some of the sites netted me no money after a couple of months of effort. Some offered some money but not enough to warrant the effort. Recently though in an effort to pay for Christmas presents without going broke, I got back into a few of them and learned some tricks as well.
In my last post, I talked a lot about writing as a second job. Well the inherent problem with that is that it doesn’t exactly get me money right away. I am totally dedicated to the idea, but it is a long term method of gaining money, rather than an immediate method. I have developed a few other things where I might be able to get some extra cash here and there to supplement my income and thought I’d go through them.
Most of these ideas in reality are kind of pyramid schemes. They are rewards programs of various sorts on the internet. I don’t expect that these things make me rich or anything, but if I get $5 here and there, why not? You know? I have checked a lot of these sites out and have been trying to relegate myself to only going to services which require little work for decent rewards. I also have not been interested in scams wherein I only get rewards for signing up for things and giving out a crap ton of personal information for a few measly bucks.
I actually started using MyPoints 6 or 7 years ago now. The original idea I had with them was to get points in order to help save for a trip to Disney World. I figured that I could use the points for gift certificates to aid in hotel costs and/or car rentals while down in Flordia. I still could do that but it isn’t as much of a focus as it used to be. Over the last few years I started turning in my points for gift certificates to various places which I then gave to people as presents. It has been a life saver during some hard times because of that. They have many ways for earning points, from clicking on email offers, little lotteries, buying stuff off their site, doing polls, or signing up for stuff. I actually have waned a bit on this service in recent months but I still like their concept.
My latest emphasis on these incentive programs has been from the discovery of ebates. If I shop through ebates website, I gain cash back. This definitely beats out MyPoints points back. There are actually a few of these type pages and to a certain extent I have compared them, and for most things I side with ebates. They also give a gift card just for signing up, so overall not a bad gig. I highly suggest signing up for it.
I don’t particularly like Bing, and I don’t suggest you use them. After all, they literally just take their search results from Google so why not just use Google right? However, in order to entice people to use their site, they bribe you. And well whatever, if they want me to use their site and get free stuff then I will do so. Generally every day they have you click on something to get 3 credits, and then you can do 20 searches to get another 10. I generally search complete gibberish just to get the quick credits. They used to have some really cool rewards, but now they just give away amazon, x-box live, and groupon giftcards, plus subscriptions to hulu. I will usually take the $5 Groupon giftcard, then buy something on Groupon. For instance, I recently bought $15 worth of food for only $2.50 with the gift card, and then I did it through ebates which got me another $.23 back. Not bad really. Only takes a few minutes a day and I wager you could get a $5 gift card once every couple of months. Worth signing up for.
Another newer one for me. I don’t really use this one as much as some people do, I’ve heard of some people earning tons of cash on this. I’ve been signed up for about a month and earned $5 on amazon. They have a ton of stuff you can redeem for including gift cards, electronics, and even baseball cards. But from what I’ve heard the $5 amazon gift card is the most efficient, but you can only do like 5 of the same thing per month, which people often beat, but not me. You can earn a number of ways including using their search engine, doing their daily poll, using their toolbar, watching their videos, signing up for things, doing other polls, etc. I generally just use the toolbar, do the daily poll, and use the search engine. Sometimes I will run their videos in the background, but you only get like 3-5 points per 10 videos watched so this isn’t entirely efficient, it only works cause I’m not paying attention. It isn’t bad, I seem to be able to earn enough points to get gift cards fairly quickly and if you really use it right, you could earn a lot.
I have a love-hate relationship with ICS. It is really easy to sit and do the surveys, but it really doesn’t pay well. Each survey consists of 3 questions, you gain tickets and coins and sometimes cash for answering each. Sometimes you get modifiers which get you even more tickets and coins. Tickets automatically enter you into the daily $50 cash prize. And then you can use coins for either entering into a $2 prize that draws every 3 hours, or you can use them to buy more tickets. You can only do like 7 surveys every 3 hours, and i have entered probably around 25 on average per day every day for the last month… I have never won any of the sweepstakes and have only $3.82 to show for my work. On the bright side, I can already withdraw that money, it is cash not a gift card, and as you do more surveys, you get higher in level and get to do more surveys per 3 hours and get more tickets and coins per survey done. I also think you have a higher chance at getting a slightly higher cash prize for doing surveys (so .05 instead of .01 for a survey). It is a site I do most consistently, but one I also get most frustrated with. <sigh>
This site is done by the same guys as ICS. It is essentially the same idea but you have longer surveys to complete, get more money per survey, no sweepstakes involved, and has a big giant level instead of a bunch of shorter levels to gain. They only give you a single survey a day (and sometimes not even). But to give it a comparison, after a month of filling out surveys, I am at $5.09. It takes much less effort than ICS and has a much better payout, but obviously ICS has the upside in that you could win big…
I’ve tried a few other sites in addition to these, but have had little to no interest and or return. As I said in the beginning some seem like big scams, some don’t let you progress because they are too new, and some just don’t make sense. At best some just seem like they take too long to get any rewards.
I figure the above is enough to keep my occupied for any given amount of time. They give me the ability to get a gift card and/or cash once a month on average and the hope is that with these I can lower the cost of living and thus be able to pay off more bills faster. It isn’t much, but money is money, and this stuff is stuff that I can easily do in between tasks at work.
Hulu recently made their much awaited announcement of a subscription based plan which allows you to pay for Hulu. Why would you pay for a free service? Well that has always been the question that buggers free services. Hulu’s answer for Plus was to provide full current seasons of new shows, full seasons from old shows, higher resolution, and the ability to watch it on different platforms such as your TV if you happen to own a TV that supports it.
A few weeks ago on my way to work, again listening to NPR, I heard a report on how teenagers are moving en masse from MySpace to Facebook. This isn’t an entirely surprising trend, but towards the end of the piece, they had a teenager remarking on how he thought it was just a fad, and looking to the future they didn’t think twitter would be the next fad because it is just for old people. This got me thinking though because it wasn’t long ago that Facebook was for old people as well…
Over the last few days I have become interested in the social networking sites that are geared around books and reading. The main two in this particular genre are Shelfari and Goodreads. Both of these sites have the same basic concept, allow people to display what books they have read, their rating for those books, and what they are reading now. But both of these sites have differences in how to get to these end results. I thought I would put down my impression of the two social networking sites in particular. Continue reading
I recently have gotten into eHow. For those that don’t know, eHow is a site in which you write up an article about how to do something, and post it. But it doesn’t end there, you get a cut of all the advertising that eHow gets from your article so it becomes a potential money maker. Though this wasn’t what got me really, I mean I do want money and right now I am struggling financially, but ultimately, I am a writer and the format they have created somehow makes it akin to an internet magazine.
I recently found another little toy for my website. You may have noticed it on the right side of my posts, it is a little dragon. This is for a new website called dragonadopters.com that allows you to grow a dragon from an egg on up. Your dragon generates resources which you can then use to create items that help it gain more resources much like any RPG out there.
A couple of weeks ago Google released a browser that was to be simplified, intuitive and speedier than the competition out there. Now with two weeks under my belt of using it for both work and home use. I will share what I think of it ultimately, and whether it can really compete with the big boys out there. Speed-wise this browser is definitely up there, but does it have other features that users demand?
The new kid on the block that has been making a lot of headlines over the last week is the new search engine by some former Google employees called Cuil.com. The developers of this site are promising two main things with Cuil. They are promising more relavant searching as well as private searching. I’ve been messing with it for the last week and I thought I’d share my thoughts on this particular engine.