8 Simple Ways You Can Make Money Today Without Much Effort

8 simple ways to make real money without nickel and diming your way through surveys. Read how here!

I paid off $25,000+ in student loan debt in less than 4 years. Since I made $12 an hour out of college and I worked crazy hours, I knew I had to find creative ways to make money.

As a person who feels like she’s tried it all with money-making apps, side gigs, and coupon sites, I’ve narrowed down my top 8 into this post. To make it on this list, I’ve determined (by my extensive research and trial and error) that these are all simple and actually make you decent money.

Check out our 8 recommendations to see how you can start making an extra $500+ a month this year!

Make money with downloadable apps.


If you go grocery shopping at all and aren’t using Ibotta, you are seriously missing out on FREE money. This really isn’t a gimmick; it’s the truth. In the 18 months I’ve used Ibotta, I’ve received $175 from it.

How it works is you select “coupons” for various grocery items through the app, then you purchase the items, and finally, you upload a receipt to get money in your account. I’ve redeemed coupons from $0.25 to $10 on things I ALREADY BUY. After you shop, you upload your shopping receipt with the items, scan barcodes, and receive money into your account within 48 hours (oftentimes sooner).

Ibotta also had a recent update that allows you to redeem multiple items from the same “coupon” which makes us love it even more. I can get 2 large tubs of formula for my son and receive $5 for each one ($10 total) each shopping trip. This app pays me for something I already do and it’s quick.

You can redeem your money for things like Amazon gift cards or send money directly to your PayPal account after you accrue a minimum of $20 (which doesn’t take long). Download Ibotta to make money on your groceries today and you’ll receive $10 FREE in your account instantly by using our link!


Checkout51 is another grocery rebate app like Ibotta but it carries different products (anything from cheese, to dogfood, to motor oil!) Check out their current offers here!

Unlike Ibotta, Checkout51 will accept receipts from any store (some products are available only at certain stores, but not most). That means if Checkout51 has a coupon for floor cleaner and the local hardware store has it on sale, you can double your efforts by buying it on sale there and then redeeming it on Checkout51.

You must accrue $20 before you can cash out and it will pay you via check (aka, cash money!) I’ve racked up $42 in the year I’ve been using this app. Download Checkout51 to start saving on your next grocery run!


SavingStar is our third grocery rebate app recommendation (can you tell we like saving money on groceries?!) This app oftentimes contains digital coupons on items that you will find physical coupons for, so you can easily stack them to save double!

While it doesn’t as much variety as the other apps, we find this app has coupons for the bigger brands you’re more likely to buy anyway. SavingStar also has the option of linking your account with store loyalty cards so you receive the rebate without uploading a receipt (win win!) I’ve racked up $84 in the year I’ve been using SavingStar and saved an additional $84 from those identical coupons! You can, too, by downloading the app today!

Make money with legitimate websites.

Website testing with UserTesting.

UserTesting is a website testing service where you make money by testing websites. Simply put, you answer a few questions (5 tops) to see if you are qualified, then you follow on-screen instructions while testing a website. There are screen and voice recorders that record your thoughts (you must think aloud) and your actions as you test out a site.

Oh, and did we mention that you make great money doing it? Most tests take less than 15 minutes and you earn about $10 for most tests (longer tests pay more, shorter tests pay less). Either way, it’s a great bang for your buck for testing out a new website prototype (and it’s pretty fun, too!) You make money while you make difference in how websites are created, and that’s pretty cool.

Your money is directly deposited into a PayPal account within days, so the payment process is painless as well. Create your own account at UserTesting today to start making a difference in the way websites are created!


InboxDollars is the only true survey site I recommend and that’s simply because of the other features it offers besides surveys (we REALLY don’t like surveys.)

The main reason I use this site for their coupons. They offer the same coupons as Coupons.com but also pay you $0.10 per coupon you redeem. Why not double up your efforts by getting paid to use coupons you already use? Plus, you can double up these coupons with SavingStar like we mentioned above.

How that works: Print off a $1.00 off coupon from InboxDollars, $0.10 is added to your InboxDollars account, and get paid $1.00 for finding this same deal on SavingStar. If you do the math, that $1.00 off coupon turned into $2.10 by combining it with SavingStar.

Other benefits of the site are paid emails (you get $0.02 an email), checking in at certain stores ($0.05 per store), and answering the daily poll ($0.01 per day).

With all of that said, we recommend InboxDollars lightly because it takes a long time to earn a few bucks. If you’re smart about it, though, you can make a small side income without realizing it.


Ebates pays you cash back for shopping at their recommended stores. I’ve received anywhere from 1% to 40% cash back on my purchases through Ebates. The best part about Ebates? It has almost every site you probably already shop at.

I often receive Ebates for shopping online at Walgreens, Target, and Sam’s Club, to name a few. Another awesome thing about Ebates is that it also has coupon codes for the stores if any are available. That way, you don’t have to choose between cash back and using a coupon code – you can do both!

In the past 3 years, I’ve made $225 through Ebates, so it’s some serious cash. For my honeymoon alone, I received $70 back for my purchases. So, it’s not uncommon to get $5 to $10 back on a single night hotel stay just by going through Ebates first.

By following our link, you get $10 automatically in your account. Join Ebates today to start earning cash back on your online purchases!

Make money with side gigs.

Secret Shopping

Bestmark is the best secret shopping site out there. If you’ve ever considered earning some serious side income by making the customer experience for others, you should definitely try Bestmark. I’ve earned anywhere from $3 to $35 for a secret shop, plus many of them will reimburse your expenses. On average, I make an extra $175 a month by doing one secret shop a week. If you make time for more, you’ll make even more than I do!

I’ve gotten paid to test drive cars, visit banks, and eat dinner with my family. If you aren’t really into the idea of secret shopping, simply sign up to do your oil changes through Bestmark. You’ll get paid anywhere from $20 to $40 per oil change on top of the reimbursement of the cost of the oil change. By just doing oil changes through Bestmark, you can make you an extra $300+ a year!

Take a few minutes to fill out the post-shop survey and it’s well worth the effort involved. Sign up for Bestmark today to see what shops are available in your area!

Find a side job on ZipRecruiter.

I’m usually skeptical of new sites with a lot of “hype” but our last recommendation is really worth the hype. My husband found his last job on ZipRecruiter so I can’t speak highly enough about it.

It was super simple to apply and he got a call within 24 hours. Just by applying for one job, your resume is in the database to be considered for other similar jobs. You can decide how many or how few notifications you’d like on similar openings by a simple click. The best part is that it’s completely FREE. Sign up for ZipRecruiter today to find your next side gig.

What are some ways you make some side income? Share below!


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8 Simple ways to make money without much effort

Kaila is a working mom, blogger, and self-help enthusiast. In her free time, you will find her crafting or playing board games with friends. She loves spending time with her hubby, Matt, and baby boy, Cooper.
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