Make Money

This Free App Pays You up to $83 Every Time You Win a Game of Solitaire

You can have your Angry Birds and your Candy Crushes. I don’t need ‘em.

I’ve got Solitaire Cash.

The game is a great time-killer and stress-reliever. And — the best thing about Solitaire — you can play it all by your lonesome. It’s solitary in nature.

Do you play Solitaire on your iPhone? Are you any good?

Want to see if you can win money?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash  that lets you play for money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

Playing Solitaire for Money: How to Win up to $83/Game

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch.

When we say Solitaire Cash is free, it really is free. Sure, you can pay to play some higher-stakes games (starting at 30 cents), but there’s no pressure.

Here’s an overview of how it works: You’re dealt a deck and compete against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck. This is totally skills-based, so no luck is required. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

The app is free to download , and it’s a game you already know and love. Plus there’s no risk, so it’s worth a shot, right? Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

What You Need to Know Before You Start Playing

The game is pretty simple and straightforward — you’ll pick it up quickly — but we’ll give you some tips.

After downloading the app, you’ll start playing free games. Once you collect 120 “gems,” you can start competing in the “Freeroll” tournament, where you can win real cash.

You can speed up the process by depositing small amounts of money to compete for larger winnings — and you get extra bonus cash for each deposit. But that’s totally optional.

If you win a tournament, you can cash out through PayPal or Apple Pay.

Oh, and we almost forgot the best part: This app doesn’t have any annoying ads, so you don’t have to worry about your games getting interrupted.

Solitaire Cash already has more than a million downloads and has paid out more than $1.5 million. To get started, just download the free app  and start playing your first game immediately.

Cash tournaments aren’t available in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, South Carolina and South Dakota.

Mike Brassfield ( is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s a recovering Solitaire addict.

Make Money

This Company Will Give You $100 for Opening a Free Account

Sure, many banks offer sign-up bonuses throughout the year, but they often require you to jump through hoops with minimum requirements that feel impossible to hit.

Oh, and if you don’t meet another set of requirements? You’ll get slapped with a monthly maintenance fee. Honestly, at that point? Forget the cash bonus.

Instead of getting wrapped up into that mess, we found an account that makes snagging a $100  bonus super easy.

Here’s how you can be $100 richer this summer just for opening an Aspiration Spend and Save account .

How to Get a $100 Bonus When You Open This Account

We love this account because of the perks, including up to 1.00% annual percentage yield (APY) on your savings, up to 5% cash back on purchases with your debit card and reimbursement for up to 5 ATM fees.

Plus, Aspiration works on a pay-what-is-fair model. You choose to set a monthly tip up to $20 or as low as $0, and you can change it anytime, so you don’t have to worry about those sneaky fees. (Additional services are provided at cost.**)

Follow these simple steps to add a $100 bonus to your new account:

1. Open your Aspiration Spend & Save Account and fund your account with at least $10 by April 30, 2020.

2. Use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 of cumulative transactions by July 15, 2020. There’s no need to spend extra money — just use your card to buy groceries and pay your utilities.

3. You’re good to go! Keep your eyes peeled for that $100, which will appear in your account by July 31, 2020.

Note: This bonus is not advertised on Aspiration’s website but available to Minting Nickels readers who use this special link .

Now, happy spending — or saving! Luckily, it’s easy to do both with your new account.

Make Money

10 Ways to Make Extra Money This Month

If you needed extra money, like, yesterday, you’ve come to the right spot.

Our team has compiled a list of creative ways you can fatten your bank account this month. Certainly, there’s something here that fits your needs.

10 Easy Ways to Make Money

Feeling pumped? Feeling ready? Feeling like a million bucks (or like you need a million bucks)?

Without further delay, here are 11 ways to make money:

1. Get Paid to Drink Beer

Neil Callaghan, an advanced level cicerone, currently working at Cigar City Brewing. 
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

The craft beer industry is hoppin’, so take advantage of it by, well, getting paid to visit breweries.

When you sign up as a mystery shopper, it’s your job to go to a grocery store, gas station, restaurant or, in this case, a breweries, and provide anonymous feedback.

Now, you can get paid to mystery shop — and drink — at breweries in your area through Secret Hopper. (Clever, right?)

The company is looking for detail-oriented beer-drinkers to hop around to different breweries and objectively rate and review their experiences. One Penny Hoarder gave the gig a try. He paid $16 on his visit to a local brewery. Secret Hopper paid him $20 via PayPal within a few days.

So, no, you’re not going to get rich, but you will get free beer, and that makes us hoppy.

All you have to do is sign up, then it’ll contact you when you’re needed.

2. Earn Cash While Watching Cooking Videos Online

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh. 

It’s too good to be true, right? 

But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month.

Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

3. Get Paid up to $600/Week to Drop off Starbucks

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash , you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners. 

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week.

4. Earn up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper

Neustockimages/Getty Images

Can you open an excel spreadsheet? Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed?

Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson , a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.

You don’t have to be an accountant or even really good at math to be successful in this business. In fact, all you need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

The ability to stay moderately organized is helpful too.

Median pay is around $19 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and you have no commute. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want a part time job, recent college grads and anyone who wants to bring in real money working from home.

Robinson shares what it takes to be a virtual bookkeeper, plus tips for making this career work for you in his free class at Bookkeeper Business Launch

5. Become a Mermaid

Three mermaids are underwater, and they form a circle with their arms and tails.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Do you want to be part of their world?

We went for a swim with the real-life mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida to find out how they get paid to slip into fins and perform for kids (and kids at heart).

From mastering underwater routines to learning how to use buoyancy to your advantage, this job isn’t exactly a day at the beach. But if you can keep up, it’s every bit as magical as you’d imagine.

To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old and be able to swim 400 yards in less than 15 minutes. Mermaids’ pay starts around $10 an hour.

6. Get Paid to Deliver Groceries This Weekend

The Penny Hoarder

You’ve probably heard you can make money picking up other people’s groceries. But doing your own shopping is stressful enough. You just learned where everything is — now you’re supposed to learn the aisles of a different store?

But an app called Shipt  will pay you up to $22 an hour to pick up a few extra groceries while you’re already picking up your own.

We talked to one shopper, Destiny Frith, from Nashville, who says the flexibility and high hourly pay makes this a great way to make extra money.

She takes home close to $600 a week — working completely on her own schedule.

Just sign up online  (the application is pretty simple). Once you’re approved, pick which jobs you want to take, and Shipt will send you a prepaid card to buy the groceries and deliver them to customers.

Suddenly grocery shopping isn’t so bad, is it?

7. Get Paid for Your Screen Time

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing? 

But there’s a company that will pay you for all that screen time. 

Yep. Mypoints  is a reader favorite, because it pays you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone.

You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and take you first five surveys. 

8. Copy This Strategy to Get Checks in the Mail Totaling $526

Walmart store sign
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Remember when getting the mail was fun? Now it’s just bills. And Valpak envelopes.

But for Colleen Rice, checking the mail meant finding checks. For doing nothing. Seriously. Since she started using a free website called Rakuten , she’s received $526.44.

Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy toilet paper on Amazon — even book that flight home for Thanksgiving.

Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. She even used the money she earned to help her pay for her recent cross-country move.

It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.

Plus, if you use Rakuten to earn money back within the first 90 days of signing up, it’ll give you an extra $10 on the first check it sends you.

Talk about money for nothing.

9. Make up to $15/Hour to Pick up Milk for Your Neighbors

A woman takes groceries to her car.
William DeShazer for The Penny Hoarder

The grocery store is a surprisingly zen place. Somewhere between the soothing elevator music, the free samples and the wafting aroma of rotisserie chicken, you settle into a peaceful groove. 

None of the stress of work or home — it’s just you and the aisles.

Some people, for some reason, don’t feel the same. They’d rather avoid it altogether. And with an app called Postmates , you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them. 

Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.

Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she makes an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she says it’s been much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs.

Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes. The hardest part will be choosing which selfie you want to use as a profile pic.

10. Get a $5 Amazon Gift Card For Playing Words With Friends

cash back apps
anyaberkut/Getty Images

Get paid to play games on your phone? Yeah, right. We’ve all heard that before. 

Here’s what that usually means: Logging dozens of hours on games you’ve never heard of, just for a few cents.

Gee, thanks. 

But a free Android app called Mistplay actually pays you for playing popular games like Words With Friends 2, Yahtzee, Clash Royale, Star Wars and more. 

As you play, Mistplay rewards you in points, which you can exchange for gift cards for brands like Visa, Amazon and more. 

You’ll get 200 points just to sign up, plus an extra 100 points when you enter the code penny100 after sign up . Those easy 300 points are already worth $1, and once you earn $5, you can cash out.

The more you play, the more you’ll earn. Plus, Mistplay offers some bigger in-game rewards — up to $20.  

It takes just a few minutes to sign up and start getting paid to play games.

Make Money

Free $20: This App Will Pay You Cash to Buy Beer or Wine This Week

I didn’t realize this until I moved out of my home state of Wisconsin — but alcohol is expensive.

Unless you’re a pro at finding nightly specials, know a lot of bartenders, or are willing to choke down well cocktails all night, an evening out is going to be hard on your wallet.

Until now… We’ve found a way to actually save money on drinks at bars, restaurants, grocery stores and liquor stores.

Ibotta  is a fun rebate app that lets you get cash back on drink deals. It’s available all over the country, and you’ll get a $20 bonus after uploading your first 10 receipts.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the app  and start a free account to browse drink deals in your area.
  1. Choose the deals you want, and buy the items.
  1. Click “Redeem” on the offer in the app, and take a picture of your itemized receipt.
  1. Cash will be deposited into your PayPal account within 48 hours. You can also redeem for gift cards.

What Kinds of Deals Will You Find?

Ibotta  is always updating with new deals, so check back before you go out.

For example when I checked, some of the latest liquor store deals included:

  • New Belgium Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale: $2 back on 12-pack bottles
  • Shiner Bock beer: $5 back on 12-pack bottles
  • Absolut vodka: $5 back on 750-milliliter or 1-liter bottles
  • 1800 tequila: $3 back on 750-milliliter bottles or larger
  • Sutter Home: $1 back on 750-milliliter or 1-liter bottles
  • Eppa SupraFruta sangria: $1.50 back on 750-milliliter

Ibotta also features deals for any restaurant or bar. Here are some deals I found:

  • 1800 tequila: $3 back on any mixed drink or cocktail
  • Budweiser or Bud Light: $3 back on any pitcher or bucket
  • New Belgium beer: $1 back on any bottle or draft

There was even a deal for $2 back on the purchase of a Budweiser beer and any sandwich.

Redeem these anywhere — you’re not restricted to specific locations. However, you do have to be 21 or older to take advantage of these deals !

Originally posted at The Penny Hoarder.

Make Money

We Asked 3 People What Teaching Yoga is Really Like. Here’s What They Said

Whether we’re talking hatha or Ashtanga, yoga is hot.

More than 20 million Americans practice this ancient fusion of exercise and spirituality, fueling a multi-billion-dollar industry.

For many new yogis, falling in love with yoga is quickly followed by the thought of becoming a yoga instructor. And that thought is then quickly followed by many questions.

Like… Do I have the right body? How much does training cost? Will I make money? How do I actually become a yoga instructor?

The answers are “yes,” “it depends” and “maybe,” according to Taya Smythe.

I asked her and two others for their advice on how to become a yoga instructor— as well as the inside scoop on what this career is really like.

So if you’ve ever daydreamed about downward dog-ing for a living, keep reading.

Do You Have the Right Body?

Truth time: to become a yoga instructor, do you have to be a size zero who can turn yourself into a pretzel upon command?

The answer is an unequivocal “no,” according to the teachers I spoke to.

“There is absolutely nothing physical or body-related to being a yoga teacher,” says Dave Ursillo.

“Great yoga teachers excel at holding space for students, creating nurturing environments for one and all, and sharing the gift of yoga with presence and humility.”

Lindsay Hogg, who teaches yoga in Canada, agrees: “I am not a typical [yoga] body type at all… I’m sure some people judge me sometimes, but then they take my class and it rocks.”

How Much Does Yoga Teacher Training Cost?

If you’d like to become an official yoga teacher, you should complete a certification course —  preferably one recognized by Yoga Alliance, a nonprofit organization that certifies Registered Yoga Schools.

The most basic level is the RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) 200-hour course, which involves classroom training, hands-on instruction and a final exam.

The timeline and costs of these courses vary widely: Ursillo’s course lasted six months and cost $2,000, while Hogg’s intensive course lasted two weeks and cost CA$5,000 (approximately US$4,000).


Some teachers choose to attend yoga school in India or other foreign countries, where courses (and cost of living) are much cheaper.

Training is available in many different styles of yoga, from hatha to Bikram to vinyasa, so it’s wise to try as many as you can before committing to a course.

“Find a style that complements what you enjoy and what feels good and natural in your body,” recommends Ursillo.

And wherever you go, consider your decision carefully.

“Training can vary so much in type, destination and cost,” explains Hogg. “Make sure you talk to some other teachers that have completed the training, so you can have a game plan on how to start teaching right after.”

Smythe trained in Indiana in 2009; her course lasted six months and cost approximately $3,000.

She emphasizes the importance of interviewing your potential teacher(s) before committing to a course. Specifically, she recommends you ask these questions:

  • What their outline looks like IN DETAIL so they cannot trail off about how “I see how the energy of the group is” — that means they have nothing planned, and that’s not acceptable when you’re paying thousands of dollars.
  • What will happen weekly during the training, so you have clear expectations if you sign up, and you get a feel for the pace and workload that will occur.
  • Their personal experience with yoga, [to help you] get a feel for if you resonate with this person before you.

How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make?

With an influx of yoga teachers in the past several years, yoga teaching jobs are becoming more competitive.

The majority of teachers I talked to found their first jobs at the studios where they did their training — another reason to choose your course wisely.

That’s how Ursillo found his first job; he now teaches yoga one to five times per week.

“I am grateful for the income and treat it like a little bonus to doing something I love (teaching people, sharing, serving) while developing key skill sets and experience that money can’t buy.”

Dave Ursillo

Hogg, the Canadian yogi, also earns a part-time income from her work as a teacher, making up the rest through website and social media work.

Like Ursillo, she teaches at the studio where she trained — and had to “put in a lot of volunteer/trial hours” before earning her first paycheck.

She teaches a handful of classes each month, earning CA$40 CAD (approximately $32 US) per class.

That seems to be a fairly standard rate, though Ursillo notes some studios pay up to $60-$100 per class if they include bonuses for student turnout.

Keep in mind that although your actual teaching time may only be one hour, most studios require you to be there 30 minutes before class to sign students in, as well as 30 minutes afterwards to close up shop.

If you make an average of $30 per class, that works out to around $15 an hour.

See how one woman made $6,000 in one year with her yoga instructor side gig.

Should You Become a Yoga Teacher?

As you can see, becoming a yoga teacher is not a path to monetary riches (though spiritual and physical wealth are different).

The industry may be booming right now — and you may enjoy yoga — but that still doesn’t mean teaching yoga is a fit for you.

“Maybe it seems like the ‘right path’ because it’s established rather than it being what is really calling you,” Smythe warns.

“Following your highest excitement is what will ground you and support you. Check in with that often.”

For example, let’s say your training costs $3,000, and you earn $15 an hour and teach two classes per week. Although it might be a fun side gig, it’ll still take you more than two years to recoup the cost of your investment.

In other words, don’t become a yoga teacher if you’re in it for the money.

Only do it if you’re committed to bettering the lives of your students.

“The most important thing is realizing you’re stepping into that yoga room for others,” says Hogg. “The class is not about you; it’s about your students.”

“Being a great teacher is remembering and continually renewing your commitment to students,” Ursillo adds.

“In the end, [it’s] about leading by example as you strive to be the best soul that you can be.”

Originally posted on The Penny Hoarder.

Make Money

5 Sites That Can Turn Your Ugly Bridesmaid Dress into Cash

I have been a bridesmaid not one, not two, but seven times.

Words can’t describe how incredible it felt to stand next to my best friends on their wedding days. The only thing that kept me from completely enjoying each experience was the cost.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive: the bachelorette party, bridal showers, lingerie shower, transportation to and from each event. And, oh yes, the bridesmaid dress.

Most of the dresses I bought for these occasions set me back at least $100.As a woman in my early 20s, still in college on a couple of occasions, those dresses hurt my bank account big time.

Thankfully, dresses are one aspect of being a bridesmaid where it’s possible to earn some of our money back! It didn’t occur to me until recently that I could have lessened the pain of those purchases if only I had planned ahead of time to sell my dresses.

It’s never too late. After doing a little research, I’ve narrowed down my selling options to five websites.

1.   Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses

PreOwned Wedding Dresses is great for both bridal and bridesmaid dresses.  The website is also a good match for brides wanting to sell their wedding dresses.

My favorite part is the Wedding Dress Value Calculator. This tool helps you determine how much your dress is worth, which may be helpful if you bought the dress a while back or if the dress has some wear and tear.

For each bridesmaid dress you post for sale, you pay a $5 listing fee. While this is lower than the commission fee of other sites, you do have to pay it whether your dress sells or not.

2.   Bridesmaid Trade

Bridesmaid Trade has very comprehensible user guidelines, so this website is arguably the easiest to use. (All of them are pretty user-friendly, but that’s just the opinion of this technologically un-savvy gal.)

There is no listing fee, but if your dress does sell, Bridesmaid Trade charges a $15 fee. So, for example, if you want to pocket $75 for your dress, list it at $90.

3.   Etsy

I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Etsy?

As of September 2017, Etsy boasted 30.6 million active shoppers, so there may be a better chance your dress will be seen. I’ve had several friends shop for wedding and bridesmaid dresses on Etsy. They fell in love with their purchases and sing Etsy’s praises.

Etsy charges 20 cents per item that you list, a 3.5% transaction fee, and a 3% + 25-cent fee for processing the payment. Broken down, that means that if you listed a dress for $100, you would end up paying Etsy $6.95.

That equation seems unnecessarily complicated, but it still works out to be quite affordable. So it’s okay, Etsy, we still love you!

4.   Forever the Bridesmaid

Forever the Bridesmaid is for bridesmaid dresses only. My favorite part is its Tips for Sellers section. This page gives advice regarding dress upkeep, photos, descriptions and pricing to increase the likelihood of selling your dress.

Rather than charging a specific dollar amount, Forever the Bridesmaid takes a 15% commission fee for each dress you sell.

5.   Tradesy

Although Tradesy has a lot of high-quality bridesmaid dresses listed, the website sells much more than just wedding-related items. The potential downside of this feature is that people wanting to buy bridesmaid dresses might not think of searching Tradesy first.

However, I must say that Tradesy seems mighty convenient. The site has representatives available 24/7 to answer your questions. Their team also sends you, the seller, a free shipping kit and even handles returns if your buyer changes her mind!

If your dress sells for under $50, Tradesy takes $7.50. If your dress sells for more than $50, Tradesy switches from dollars to percentages, taking 14.9%.

Hopefully you feel a little less anxious about being a bridesmaid now that you have options for selling your dress. Just focus on being there for the bride and thinking of the perfect wedding hashtag.

Originally posted on The Penny Hoarder.

Make Money

Amazon Might Owe You: Here’s How to Find out How Much

You mean well, but sometimes you forget that wedding, baby shower or birthday is coming up until it’s three days away. So you order the perfect gift on Amazon and fork over a week’s salary for expedited shipping.

But here you are, ready to leave for the party (dressed spectacularly, we might add) — and the package hasn’t arrived. Ever had that happen?

Amazon Will Give You a Partial Refund

You could call Amazon and negotiate a refund. But that involves a whole set of #FirstWorldProblems, like waiting on hold and talking on the phone.

With a new delivery monitoring system from Paribus , you could get a refund with no extra work.

We’ve talked about Paribus before. It’s the tool that scans your online shopping receipts  and monitors major retailers for price drops. If the price goes down on something you bought, Paribus gets the retailer to pay you the difference.

Its new delivery monitoring service has a similar mission: Save you time and effort getting refunds you deserve. Here’s how it works:

  1. It checks your email for receipts to find guaranteed delivery dates.
  2. It tracks the package using UPS or the retailer’s shipping tracking.
  3. If the delivery is later than guaranteed, Paribus  will send you an email with instructions on how to file a claim with the retailer to get you compensation.

How Much Money Can You Get Back?

Paribus monitors dozens of retailers — including Amazon, Best Buy and more — so your refund will depend on the store’s shipping policy.

With Amazon, for example, a late delivery means you’re eligible for “a refund of any shipping fees associated with the order in question,” according to its policy. Prime members (who get free two-day shipping) may also be eligible for additional compensation.

Paribus has negotiated everything from full or partial cost-of-shipping refunds and store credit to one-month extensions of memberships in rush-shipping programs like Prime.

Paribus’ price-match and delivery monitoring services  are totally free. That means all that shipping cost goes back in your pocket.

Disclosure: Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

This was originally posted on The Penny Hoarder.

Make Money

If You’ve Paid a Utility Bill in California This Year, This Might Get You a Check for $300

Let’s get straight to the point: We found a program that will pay you $300 a year (or more!)for turning out the lights, shutting off your energy-consuming appliances and going outside for an hour.

Do we have your attention? We thought so.

If you have a utility account with PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison, which cover nearly every single county in California, listen up.

OhmConnect is a free tool that will pay you to help save energy when the grid gets stretched. These earning periods are called “OhmHours” and  during this time, your job is to simply use less power.

Go outside. Take the dog for a walk. Or take the kids to the park. If you can successfully reduce your energy usage, OhmConnect will send you a check!

Here’s how to get a check from OhmConnect:

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect  account here.
  2. Sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison. You must have an online account with one of these electric companies to qualify for OhmConnect.
  3. Receive energy usage notifications during “#OhmHours” — high-energy-consumption hours that trigger non-green power plants to activate in order to support the overtaxed grid.
  4. Head outside or at least turn the TV off until the #OhmHour is up. Heck, you can even play games on your phone during this hour — just resist plugging in any electronics.
  5. Profit! OhmConnect rewards you with cash.

This all works because the California electricity market (or California ISO) pays OhmConnect to help them avoid turning on an expensive, dirty power plant. The company then passes the savings on to you.

#OhmHours only occur a couple of times a week, and in addition to earning money, you might see a reduction in your power bill each month, too — not to mention the benefits of getting some sunshine!

How to Maximize Your Earnings

Your earnings are based on how much power you save. The more you save, the higher your “status,” which helps you earn even more.

For example:

  • Platinum status requires an average savings of 40% or more beneath your forecasts for at least 10 OhmHours. You’ll receive the 2x multiplier on your payout.
  • Gold status requires an average savings of 15% or more for the past 10 OhmHours. You’ll receive the 1.5x multiplier on your payout.

Once you’ve earned rewards, you can choose to cash out or donate directly to your favorite charity.

The downside?

Like we mentioned, this cool program only works for Californians for now, and you have to have an online account with one of the electric companies mentioned above.

Before you leave, be sure to read about how one San Diego resident made up to $487 a month by saving energy through OhmConnect.

Originally posted on The Penny Hoarder.

Make Money

Illinoisans Are Getting Free $25 Target Gift Cards When They Alter Their Utility Bill

Did you know that you could get paid to use more wind energy?

With renewable energy company Arcadia Power , you can offset up to 100% of your monthly energy consumption with 100% renewable sources in about two minutes.

Arcadia Power matches each kilowatt-hour of power you use with a kilowatt-hour of wind energy. Basically, the company purchases certified renewable energy certificates in your name, so others can take advantage of clean energy in their area.

And, because you’re such a good person, the company will throw in a free $25 Target GiftCard™

Why you should connect your online electric utility account to Arcadia Power :

  1. It’s free, and only takes a few minutes.
  2. Arcadia Power matches your usage to clean energy sources and automatically gets you lower energy prices when they become available in your area, while your utility continues to deliver reliable electricity.
  3. You rest easy knowing you’re being green while helping your wallet — all without having to install or commit to anything.

Eric Hanson wanted a cleaner energy source, but didn’t have the option in his area — and didn’t want to install pricy solar panels.

So he went with Arcadia Power , which offers him a way to drive the demand for sustainably sourced electricity, even though it’s not available in his area yet.

“On a fundamental level, the power that I use in my house is coming from renewable sources,” Hanson says. “By providing financial support for renewable energy sites, I can disrupt the market. I’m willing to support green growth.”

Bonus: Arcadia lets you see an online dashboard to track your power usage  — and Illinoisans can sign up for price alerts to find the cheapest energy rates available.

You can sign up to qualify for your free Target GiftCard™  in about two minutes.

Make Money

6 Legitimate Ways to Get Free Target & Walmart Gift Cards This Week

You know it’s going to be a good day when you have a gift card burning a hole in your wallet.

It’s like your personal free admission pass to all your favorite stores — Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Walmart… you name it. Instead of holding your breath at checkout, you can let out a sigh of relief. That little piece of plastic just freed up room in your monthly budget for other expenses.

Sadly, you might think you can only land gift cards around your birthday or the holidays. But we’re going to show you how to get free gift cards online — it’s basically free money!

6 Easy Ways to Get Free Gift Cards

If you’re looking to pocket some free gift cards, we’ve got your guide right here. We’ve searched the internet high and low and have tested each of these strategies. No need to worry about internet scams; we’ve battled all those for you.

Without further ado, here’s how to score free gift cards today:

1. Get a Free $25 Target GiftCard™ When Your Home Goes “Green”

Most of us can’t afford to install pricy solar panels, so that’s why Arcadia Power  will offset your energy consumption with 100% renewable sources.

When you sign up your home or apartment (yup, renters are eligible, too!) with Arcadia, you’ll get a free $25 Target gift card .

It takes about two minutes to sign up, so this is about as easy as it gets.

2. Get Free Gift Cards for Completing Mini-Tasks

Have you heard of Mypoints?

It’s a long-time reader favorite around here. It’s basically an online money-making portal. You’ll complete tasks on the site — watch videos, shop at your favorite stores, take surveys, participate in polls and peruse the web with its search engine— to earn extra money.

Mypoints rewards you in points which you can exchange for Amazon, Walmart and even Visa gift cards.

Mypoints is easy to get the hang of — and even kind of fun!

3. Watch Movie Previews for Free Gift Cards

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Most of you already know about InboxDollars , but did you know that it will pay you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news and dozens of other videos? Plus, you’ll get a bonus $5 just for signing up .

You need to watch all of the shows in a specific playlist to earn your bucks, so be prepared. InboxDollars lets you know how long the playlist runs before you start watching, and playlists range from a few minutes to about a half hour.

4. Snap Photos of Any Receipt to Start Earning a $10 Gift Card

Blue selective focus image of till receipts.
peepo/Getty Images

Yes, cash-back apps are an awesome way to make moneyand pocket free gift cards, but it can take time claiming those offers, uploading photos of your receipts and scanning barcodes.

If you don’t have time for that, then you’ll want to download the Fetch Rewards app .

Here’s what to do:

  1. Once you download the app and create an account, enter the code PENNY to earn 2,000 free points.
  2. Now, take a photo of any of your grocery receipts (must be from the past 14 days) to start earning rewards. It’s that simple.

Every time you scan a receipt that includes one of more than 250 participating brands, you’ll earn points — without worrying about matching specific product offers.

If the app does find a match, you’ll earn even more. For example, we recently saw an offer of 2,000 points when you purchase a Suave female hair product. And another for 2,000 points for a 12-pack of Blue Moon.

Once you collect enough points, cash out for a gift card to any of a number of retailers. For example, 10,000 points will get you a $10 Sephora gift card. Or 3,000 points will get you a $3 Panera Bread card.

5. Get a Free $10 Walmart Gift Card

One of our favorite ways to save moneyis with Ebates , a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you up to 10% cash back on online purchasesat Walmart.

Plus, you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

To earn your gift card:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.

Your account will automatically be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.

6. Exchange Your Grocery Receipts for Gift Cards

After elbowing your way through grocery store aisles, you deserve a gift card, right?

Before your next grocery haul, download the free Ibotta app .

Before you shop, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.

Bam. Cash back.

Ibotta is free to download . Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Download the Ibotta app.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Shop, and take a photo of your grocery receipt.
  4. Redeem 10 offers within 14 days, and you’ll get that $20 bonus.

Every time you scan a receipt that includes a participating brand, you’ll earn cash back.

For example, we recently saw an offer of $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Once you earn at least $20, cash out via PayPal.

Go ahead, and start earning cash by downloading Ibotta .