Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mystery Shopping

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know that when Brad was about six months old or so, I started mystery shopping. It's very easy, but you don't get paid a whole lot (if you wanted to support yourself by mystery shopping, you'd probably have to work 10-12 hours day, seven days a week). But the point is, you do get paid, for doing things you'd likely be doing anyway.

Brad and I went EVERYWHERE. We pretty much explored the whole DC area and went to supermarkets, banks, fast food restaurants, chain restaurants, department stores, specialty stores...you name it, we were there. I also got to take Doug to some pretty fancy restaurants in DC and Baltimore, for free. Overall, I netted $400-500 a month, on average.

But then Brad got a bit older and wanted to move around instead of sitting quietly in a stroller, listening to Mommy discuss the finer points of a super savers account. So I mainly stuck to a local supermarket chain and restaurants.

Then we moved to Annapolis, and the supermarket chain didn't have any stores in Maryland! So we just went to restaurants occasionally.

Now that we're in North Carolina, I can start shopping again! That grocery store chain has a TON of stores in the area, and I've already done five shops in April. I mean, you have to eat, right? You're going to buy groceries, right? Why not get $11.50 a shop to do it? (I told you it wasn't much.)

So if I do two a week (and believe me, I could do one very day if I wanted!), that's $23 a week or $92 a month. If I spend $400 on groceries each month, I've just cut my grocery budget by 25%! Not bad.

So if you have some free time and want to earn some money running your errands, you can start by stopping at the MSPA website. And remember, legitimate companies don't require you to pay them--they pay you! If they require a "signing fee" or anything like that, it's a scam.

Oh, and if you're in the DC area, and want to get in the grocery action, email me and I'll send you a link.

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