This Making Money Super Page contains a growing list of tips from our readers on ways they make money and save money on everyday expenses!
This page includes ideas for making money such as checking contracts for things purchased or rented; selling on Swip Swap; checking household bills for accuracy & unneeded items; IRS deductions to take; employment that offers discounts, perks or free services and earning gift cards with Swagbucks!
Cans Can Make Money
I recycle aluminum soft drink cans. I mentioned this to my boss and now about every other month he and his son bring me a large trash bag full of aluminum cans. There are 28 cans in a pound and in our area I can turn them in for about $.65 per pound. So if you recycle aluminum cans for extra cash, tell your friends to save their cans for you too. Verna Enlow — Huntingburg, IN
2017 Update: Prices for recycling aluminum vary by location and from year to year. Currently, in the Phoenix area aluminum cans are fetching about $.40 per pound. But if they are labeled with a CRV (cash redemption value) they can earn as much as $.80 per pound.
Is It Deductible?
There are several ways to determine the IRS allowable value of donated items. The Salvation Army has a valuation guide online at http://www.satruck.com/donation-value-guide, I personally find it a bit vague, but somewhat useful. I currently use the ItsDeductible software that includes the valuations for thousands of household and clothing items at three different levels of condition. I’ve been using it for a few years and find the annual $20 cost more than worth in the amount of work I save (and the deduction I get on my taxes!). ItsDeductible can be found online (www.itsdeductible.com) or in retail stores. AnnMarie J. – Oshkosh, WI
Perks From Work
Consider working part- or full-time at a place that offers employee discounts on services or products that eat into your budget? I work 20 hours a week for an animal hospital. Not only do I earn some extra cash, but I receive discounts on all services, products, etc. for our three dogs. My mom is considering working part time at a home improvement store in order to cash in on product discounts and closeouts. This idea has saved us lots of money. Kelli T. – Mascoutah, IL
Paying Attention Saved Me $1100
We just moved into a new house this week and this is how I saved and also made money.
- I called Hertz to complain that my “full-sized pick up” was actually an extended cab pickup that had a VERY short bed. Well, I needed the longer bed to move household goods into storage and pick up a 168 SF carpet roll along with some drywall . . . it just wouldn’t fit. In response to my polite complaint, Hertz gave me the 2-week rental FOR FREE, saving me $450.
- I noticed an insurance claim depreciated my roof shingles for 8 years. They were only 7 years old. Scrutinizing the information saved me $350.
- When reviewing the closing papers on our house sale, I asked why I was paying a particular fee that had to do with the mortgage. The title company’s response, “Oops! That was supposed to be in the buyer’s column. “They fixed it right away after I brought it to their attention. Questioning the details saved me $140.
- The Title company asked my wife to go to the notary and Office Depot to fax documents several times in the closing process. When I asked them why all of these documents weren’t all completed at the same time, they agreed to reduce our fees by $75.
- I received a $75 discount on a one-year storage unit rental just because I asked.
- And the last savings happened when my wife received a sales flyer from the store where I recently purchased a TV . . . that had since gone on sale. I went back to the store (we were going there anyway) and they credited my card the difference. $20. Ka-ching!
Total savings? $1110. In one week. Jim Hodges – Washington, DC
I’ve earned more than $1000 in the past month selling left-over yard sale items on Facebook. My town and several surrounding towns have a Facebook group page (Princeton Yard Sale Page) and you post a picture, add a price and cha-ching, you are making money! I’ve only had three items not sell.
Once it’s sold, I drive 2 miles to town and meet the buyer in a public place and voila, money in the bank! I’ve made money on un-needed stuff that was just lying around the house. So far items usually sell within a few hours some sell in seconds. Of course, it could be different in a big city. I live in a pretty small town of 12,000. I can get to town in about three minutes. Traffic is never a problem … we only have 2 stop lights! Amy – Small Town USA
Go through your bills and identify expense charges on items that don’t make sense! I just went through three accounts and “found” what amounts to a total of $535.56 in annual “savings.” This includes eliminating a worthless insurance plan on a three-year-old cell phone and eliminating a second HD Cable Receiver Box in a spare bedroom that apparently already gets HD channels from the main box in the living room.
I really wished I looked at this last year, this money could have been put into my retirement account and have been earning interest. Well, at least it will be put there now! Helen – Eureka, CA
A Few Of My Favorite Things
There are always ways to save and make money if you are creative and you keep your eyes open. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Never grocery shop with children.
- Always buy used cars.
- Get a hobby that is fun AND pays money – I’m a Justice of the Peace.
- Always negotiate the purchase price.
- Use coupons when grocery shopping, especially if you can’t stand the store brand.
- Use your library card for museum passes (this works in our area).
Kate S. – Nashua, NH
Swagbucks is Making Our Shopping Cheaper and More Profitable
We’ve been searching, getting cash-back, doing surveys and watching videos on Swagbucks for a year and have earned more than $400 in Ebay and Amazon gift cards. It’s a great tool for Making Money. Read our extensive review of Swagbucks here, and our one year summary of Swagbucks earnings here.
Another survey site that we’re testing is Survey Junkie – they aren’t as big as Swagbucks, but they do have 4 million members. They only do surveys on their site, but the differentiator is that you can cash in your survey earnings at any time, for any amount.
Steve & Annette Economides – Scottsdale, AZ
If you have a money making tip or trick, please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.