I love to shop online so this is perfect for me! I didn't realize I could actually earn money back by doing this.

How I Earn Money Online (Buying Stuff We Need & Want)

When I decided to stay home with our daughter after she was born, I knew I needed to figure out some ways to earn money online that would help our bottom line. I read a lot of books and online articles about how we could continue paying off our debt aggressively with me home. And I kept on coming across the same two principles. Either you,

  1. Tighten your budget, or you
  2. Bring in more income.

Our budget at that point was so tight that the first option wouldn’t work, so I started researching ways to earn money online. I’m not going to jump into every single way you can earn money online, but one of the things I discovered early on was so easy to implement, I have to share it with you.


Now we weren’t spending exorbitant amounts of money online in those days, but we did purchase all of our baby items  and many household items online. It was way cheaper, and I didn’t have to cart around a tiny baby in the winter air. Win-win. That was my initial discovery of Ebates.

Flash forward to today.  We’re still paying off student loan debt, but thanks to me starting this blog, our budget isn’t as stringent anymore. We’ve used Ebates when we’ve made major purchases like a computer as well as for clothing items.

(By the way, you can get $10 added to your account when you open an account today. You should click here to sign up!) AND, I use it to get cash back on craft items which is pretty much the best thing in the whole world. (Have you ever tried to take a toddler into a craft store?) If you’re curious about the ins and outs of Ebates, here are some answers to common questions: Answers to common questions about Ebates

How much does it cost?

Ebates is free to join. You just click over to their site, fill out your info, and you’ll have an account immediately. It’s kind of like signing up for any account online, with the exception that you now have access to a lot of opportunities to get rebates for products you’re already buying.

I’m not techy so could you explain how to use the Ebates’ site?

Believe me, I’m not techy either. When I first learned about Ebates, I heard that it was a portal of some sort that you used to make online purchases from places like Old Navy, Macy’s, or Amazon. And then my head went blurry. So, I’ll explain this to you in a way that makes sense to me.

If you’re going to make an online purchase, go to the Ebates.com site first. Sign into your account, and use their search bar on the top of the site to search for the store you were going to buy from. If they work directly with that store or company (most likely they do), you’ll notice a red “Shop Now” button. When you click that button, you’ll be automatically redirected to the store you want AND your account will track whether or not you make a purchase. That’s it. If you make a purchase, your account will be credited.

Is Ebates only for online purchases?

Not anymore. Search for in-store offers on the Ebates site to see if your store qualifies and follow the steps to load the offers to your smartphone. You’ll automatically receive the rebate when you make the purchase.

Is Ebates only for things like clothes and ink cartridges?

No. Though you can definitely stock up on Old Navy and Athletica gear when they have their awesome sales, you can also purchase . . .

  • Electronics (We got a great rebate after purchasing our computer!)
  • Hotel and airfare (You’re paying for your vacation already; might as well get a rebate.)
  • Books and music
  • Flowers and gifts
  • Food and restaurants

There are more categories, but you get the idea. The site is pretty comprehensive.

How do I get the $10 gift card?

Just sign up for your free account here, and you’ll get to choose whether you want a $10 Walmart gift card or $10 credited to your account.

Are there arts and crafts sites that Ebates supports?

Yes! JoAnn Fabric, Michaels, Etsy, Cricut, and Hobby Lobby are just a few of the stores that offer rebates. Can I tell you how happy this makes me?!

One Last Tip to Get the Most Out of Ebates

I literally have a Post-it note next to our computer to remind us to go through Ebates FIRST if we’re going to make an online purchase because all of those rebates add up. Have a great day, friends!






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10 responses to “How I Earn Money Online (Buying Stuff We Need & Want)”

  1. Foirell Avatar

    I have heard so much about Ebates I really do need to sign up now! I havent made that many online purchases lately but I am sure it will come in handy!

    Foirell | http://www.citygirlrell.com

  2. Gail M Akeman Avatar

    I really need to start shopping on Ebates

  3. Robin Avatar

    I love ebates! I always love getting a check. Thanks for sharing your experience at the Creative Muster. PINNED
    Robin | Fluster Buster

    1. Jennie Avatar

      Isn’t Ebates the best? Sometimes I forget it’s coming in the mail and then, whoohoo! 🙂 Hope you have a great day!

  4. Jess Avatar

    Here’s a tip- the wikibuy add-on for Chrome (if you use it, I’m sure there’s a firefox version too) will automatically remind you to use your ebates and will also find coupons, the cheapest prices on amazon, and a few other things for you to help save money.

    1. Jennie Avatar

      Great tip, Jess! Thanks! 🙂

  5. Nicole Avatar

    I love shopping through eBates. I downloaded the app to my phone, too.
    Thank you for linking up with us at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope you will join us again on Friday.

    1. Jennie Avatar

      Isn’t it the best? Great idea about downloading the app. Thank you!

  6. Mother of 3 Avatar

    The post it note is a great idea! I often forget to check ebates first before making my purchases and then kick myself for it afterwards.

  7. Michelle Avatar

    I’d love to be able to join ebates, but it’s not available in South Africa booooohooooo. Maybe one day though. Thanks for the tips Jennie, if ever we move to the States, I’ll be sure to sign up

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