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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,
- Tighten your budget, or you
- 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:
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. (P.S. If you sign up, send your welcome email to jennie (at) littlegirldesigns.com, and I’ll email you a printable gift list!)
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?!
If you sign up for Ebates, forward me your welcome email or screenshot your new account and I’ll email you a copy of the printable gift list that I’m using this year. I’ll give you a full-color PDF as well as the black and white option, just in case you like to color. You can washi tape this straight into your planner. :)
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!