Grocery shopping is one of those frustrating tasks that most of us hate. Yet, the potential to make money while grocery shopping is also desirable since we have to do it every week. Making money while doing everyday chores would be really awesome, right?
Plus, wouldn’t it be great if you could actually earn money at the same time as spending it? Alternatively, what about making money while shopping for other people? Both options are entirely feasible and some people do actually make money this way.
So, are they viable options in your situation? In this post, I take a look at exactly what’s involved in earning while you grocery shop, along with whether the process is worth the effort.
Right now, there are many different websites and apps that give you the chance to earn some money back when you shop. This includes options that are dedicated to this idea, as well as ones that offer cash back as an option on the side.
In many ways, this is the most common way to earn money as you shop – although it’s debatable whether you are actually earning money or just spending less. Either way, it is an interesting idea and is also fairly popular.
For example, some survey companies also have cash back programs. Swagbucks is one such site and there are many others that operate in a similar way.
With this type of company, you’ll typically earn some credits for each dollar that you spend at a specific store. So, in the case of Swagbucks, you earn their currency, which is abbreviated to SB.
Once you reach a certain number of points, you are then able to cash out what you earn. Sometimes you can get your money in the form of a PayPal transaction or a check. But, in other cases, you may be limited to a gift card.
Individual sites will also vary in which companies they have relationships with. So, if you want cashback from a specific store, you may have to shop around to find a rewards site that offers this.
In some cases, companies themselves may have a cashback program. Often this operates through the company’s credit card or debit card. So, if you buy your groceries through credit and then pay it back, you can potentially earn some money (depending on the company). One example is Target, which has their Red Card, and you can earn 5% cash back on all purchases.
However, you need to consider this idea carefully. After all, there is some risk associated with buying on credit, especially if you don’t pay it back immediately. If you pay off your credit card each month, the risk is minimal but it is still worth thinking about any potential issues first. One time forgetting to pay it may result in fees that could outweigh any money you earned.
The other pattern is sites and apps that are dedicated to the idea of getting some money back. For example, one fairly popular app is called Ibotta and the app is associated with a range of popular stores and brands.
With this app, you earn rebates on specific products, including some that you would buy regularly anyway. In many ways, the process works just like having coupons, except everything is digital, so it is much easier.
To actually make money with the app, you unlock the rebates/coupons before you go shopping and then photograph your receipt when you are done. The idea is simple enough and the app does receive overwhelmingly positive ratings.
Another example of this idea is Receipt Hog. Here, the emphasis is just on scanning receipts to receive some cash back. This means there is less emphasis on specifically what you buy and that may be appealing for some.
Receipt Hog also tries to make the process entertaining! Sure, it's a silly app but it's better than boring black and white text, right?
There are many other examples of similar apps and some website-based options as well. But, regardless of what company you go with, the general pattern is the same. Basically, you can earn some money but it typically won’t be much.
Still, the process may still be worth doing, simply because you are earning money for shopping that you had to do anyway. For some people, this alone may be reason enough to give the idea a go. You could try a few out and see which ones you get you results you feel are worth your time. You won't be able to do all of them, but could pick 3-4 favorites to juggle.
Be Aware Of Your Spending
In many cases, this type of app or website can feel like free money. After all, you have to shop for food regardless, so why not make some money while you are doing so?
The idea is certainly appealing but you do have to be very careful with it. In particular, many of these services act to encourage spending. For example, you might be more likely to buy something if you know you get some cash back from it.
Additionally, you might spend more because that will push you over a specific threshold. For that matter, the fact that you are earning money can make you more likely to treat yourself.
All of these patterns mean that these sites can make you spend more money and you may not even realize that it’s happening. Because you’re not earning much anyway, it’s easy to end up losing money instead of gaining it.
As such, the process is only worth it if you are acutely aware of your spending patterns and your decisions. Otherwise, you may find you save money by avoiding this type of app or site altogether.
Grocery Shopping As A Service
Getting some money back from shopping is appealing but it’s not quite the same thing as actually earning money. Nevertheless, there are some alternatives if you want to directly earn money doing grocery shopping. The catch is that you won’t be shopping for your own food.
In particular, grocery shopping can be a pretty valuable service. There are many people out there that don’t have the physical ability to shop for themselves. Others may lack the time, energy or inclination to do so.
There are various options for making money this way. The first of these is to actually start your own business. So, you might advertise a shopping service in your local area, relying on word of mouth, local newspaper and even places like Craigslist.
You could even target specific groups that you know are likely to need shopping. For example, many seniors struggle to shop for themselves and may like the interaction that comes with someone delivering their groceries. Alternatively, you could target students, although you might find yourself shopping for snacks at 1AM a lot of the time.
There are also some apps that facilitate the idea of shopping for others. One such app is Instacart, which is designed for precisely this purpose. The app is only available in a select few areas – but if you are in the right place, it can be a great option.
In this case, you basically act as an employee and the company behind the app even advertises for positions online.
For that matter, you may find that some local stores are also looking for employees for similar roles, especially if they give customers the ability to shop through their website.
There are also task-based apps, such as TaskRabbit. In this case, the app isn’t specifically designed for shopping. Instead, you can make money doing different types of tasks, with grocery shopping being one option.
There are many other specific sites, apps and companies that you can use to help you make money grocery shopping. Some of these may be better than others but they do have potential. At the same time, there is certainly demand for this type of service.
Should You Even Try To Make Real Money While Grocery Shopping?
Grocery shopping is a viable way to make money, especially if you are shopping for other people. But, there are some disadvantages. For one thing, you would be on your feet a lot. Additionally, you’d probably face challenges with customers, as people are often difficult to please.
At the same time, most options for making money in this field rely on apps and/or on gig-based work. This results in a fairly unreliable source of income. You could easily find yourself waiting days or weeks between jobs.
Because of this, the approach might work best if you already have a job. But, in that situation, you may struggle to time the gigs around your current work. The end result is that you can make money with grocery shopping, but it's not really the same as what you were probably hoping for. Unfortunately, no one is just going to pay you good money to shop for your own family.
With that in mind, I want to propose an alternative that is likely more what you were looking for: making money doing something in your spare time that's also enjoyable. You probably are not looking for a second job, right?
The concept I'm talking about is making money online with a website. As a general rule, working online gives you much more flexibility than any other kind of work since you can do it from home, and according to your own schedule. You have the chance to develop and grow a real business from the comfort of your own home.
There are various ways to do this but one of the easiest way in my opinion affiliate marketing. This method involves building a website and using that site as a way to promote products from other companies. You then earn commissions on any sales that you make from clicks on your website.
It's “easy” because you get to choose the topic of your website, promote products you personally believe in, and do not have to create a product or store inventory in your home. Of course, making money in a business venture is not a cakewalk, but I find affiliate websites easier to do for newbies than other things like paid ads or sending emails.
The potential for income here is high because you can promote products that are interesting and currently in demand. For that matter, you could even promote some grocery items if you wanted to, although there are more interesting and profitable product selections out there.
Basically, you start off with a small website and over time you grow it by adding articles about the topic of your website. You could be writing about new smartphones apps, scrapbooking, cooking, or tech-centered toys for kids. As you do so, you’re also increasing your income potential. It’s even possible to end up with a full-time income if you work long enough at it.
This isn’t even the main reason that I promote affiliate marketing. Instead, I focus on this area because it is easy to get started in. You can create this type of business without the benefit of previous experience and you don’t need any special skills.