I am always on the lookout for neat side hustles and opportunities to earn money or free gift cards. What I have found is most side hustles all suffer from one fatal flaw; they require a lot of “Hustle.”
If you are busy working a 9-5 or building a successful career, the last thing you want to do is return home and work a second lower-paying job.
If you can turn something you are passionate about into a side gig, then you are all set. However, if you are looking for some ways to make extra money and don’t want to commit to launching a full side business, you are in luck. Here are the top ways to make extra money by watching TV.
Six Ways to Make Extra Money While Watching TV
Couponing won't make you any money. However, it can save you tons of cash. Unless of course, you pull off the unicorn where you stack coupons and reward apps and walk away from the drugstore with three sticks of deodorant, a bottle of Scope, and extra $1.12 to your name.
Getting paid to shop usually only happens on sit-coms and reality TV shows. Most couponers most likely won't receive free products; however, it is still a great way to save money.
Couponing doesn’t need to be intimidating or particularly time-consuming; it is the perfect activity to do while binge-watching Netflix. All you need to do is grab the weekly coupon inserts from your local paper.
If you do not subscribe to a weekly paper, you can often get copies for free. Ask your local gas stations or coffee shops if you may have the inserts or any unsold papers from the weekend. You can also use a service like Sunday Coupon Inserts and have the weekly inserts mailed to you for a small fee.
Does Couponing Pay?
Studies on the matter seem mixed, and many people seem to think couponing doesn’t save money when you factor in your time costs. The key seems to be not to take couponing to the extreme. If you are devoting three hours a day camped out in your coupon clipping fortress of solitude the time value associated with couponing probably won't look so hot.
A typical Sunday insert has over 50 dollars of manufacturer coupons, and most of these coupons stack with store coupons, reward apps, and cash back credit cards. So, if you are already using reward apps such as Ibotta to save money grocery shopping, spending a few extra minutes a week collecting coupons could pay huge dividends.
You could cut 20% to 30% of your grocery shopping bill and who knows, you may find it fun.
Put Your Washing Machine to Work
Think of it as Uber Eats for your washing machine, you can actually make money washing other people’s clothes.
The Lode app is an on-demand washing and ironing service, powered by a community of local handlers that will pick up and deliver laundry within 24 hours. If you own a washing machine and an ironing board, then you could become a handler with Lode. The signing up process takes less than a minute, and you are ready to work.
This option is a little more involved since you will need to pick up and deliver the laundry. However, you can catch up on reruns of Friends, while ironing or while the clothes are in the dryer.
You are not going to get rich quick entering sweepstakes. However, you can win some cool prizes, books, and gift cards. The nice thing is entering only takes a few seconds, and you can enter sweepstakes from your phone while watching TV.
Many brands, websites, and blogs use sweepstakes to grow their brand and social media following, and they are willing to give away some great prizes to do so. Many sweepstakes will give you one entry for signing up, as well as bonus entries for completing additional tasks.
You can often earn extra entries for sharing the giveaway on Pinterest or Twitter, referring your friends, or even following the brand's social media profiles.
The key to making sweepstakes a profitable side gig is learning how to get as many bonus entries as possible with the least amount of work. It is merely a numbers game, the more sweepstakes you enter, and the more entries you earn, the higher your odds of winning are.
To make money entering sweepstakes, you need to follow a few simple steps;
- Enter the sweepstakes that interest you
- Share your referral link on Reddit, Contest Girl, and contest listing sites
- Watch those sweet prizes start rolling in
Take Online Surveys
Taking online surveys is an excellent way to make some spare money while watching TV. You are not going to quit your day job and live a life of luxury off of survey loot. However, if you are good at multitasking, clicking away at surveys while binge-watch Lost in Space on Netflix can be an excellent way to earn some play money.
Some survey sites pay as much as 3 dollars per survey. If you get the hang of filling them out quickly, you can complete multiple surveys in an hour or less. The challenge with most survey sites is not that the surveys don't pay well. Instead, it is that you get disqualified from completing the survey because you don’t fit into the intended demographic.
This is also why results will vary significantly between users. If you are part of a demographic that’s in high demand; you will be able to complete a lot more surveys. If you have tried surveys before and haven’t had much luck, try some of the less-publicized survey sites such as Springboard America or Travel Tails.
Install Solar for Passive Income
How would you like to help the environment, same money in taxes, and create passive income?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Installing solar PV panels is the ultimate way to make money way watching TV, or even make money when you’re at your day job. The economic case for installing solar is better than it ever has been. Solar panel prices are at record lows. The federal government and states are offering great invectives, and state-mandated renewable energy requirements have created opportunities for solar PV owners to monetize their system.
Today, you can often install a solar PV system, and recoup your investment in less than five years. While your friends are out driving for Uber, your rooftop could be producing passive income. Imagine saving money on electricity while you are watching movies with your family and helping the environment.
Start a Hobby Farm or Become a Gentlemen Farmer
When you think of easy ways to make money around the house, what comes to mind?
Chances are you don’t think of farming.
However, the hobby farm is the unsung hero of side hustles. Set up correctly, a hobby farm does not require lots of labor, nor do you need to hustle to find customers. If you have, co-workers, family, and friends, and if your family and friends buy produce, then you already know all your future customers.
The great thing about the hobby farm side hustle is it doesn’t need tons of supervision. Once you plant your garden, all that is necessary is a little bit of weeding and watering. In the case of the latter, the labor of watering can be cut down by setting up irrigation.
Even if you decide to raise a backyard flock of chickens, it only takes a few minutes each day to ensure they fed and watered. Unlike other side hustles that tend to be a solo pursuit, you can recruit your family to pitch in with some of the work.
The hobby farm is unprecedented in its ability to turn a few hours a week into thousands of dollars of fresh produce and meat for you and your family, and a handsome profit for you and your family. With proper planning, a hobby farm can be minimal work.
Making Extra Money
Likely, you can think of numerous ways to make extra money on the side or to work at home. I can think of at least 23 ways to make money just of the top of my head. These options certainly won't make you rich. However, they are not intended to; they are simply a few mindless ways you can earn some fun money while doing other things. If you enjoy poking around on your phone of love the thrill of the hunt trying to find the best deal ever, give some of these side gigs a try.
If you manage to pull off a unicorn and can get the drug store to pay you a buck twelve to take three sticks of deodorant off their hands, let us know. Leave your comments below to let us know how you make extra money now!
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.