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Make Money While Staying Home During Social Distancing: 15 Real Ways to Earn

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15 Real Ways You Can Make Money from Home During Social Distancing: Cash In on Your Free Time

If you have to stay at home and social distance, things look very uncertain. Especially if you’re no longer working or you’re working reduced hours. And although social distancing may drag on for a while, take heart. You can still make some money online for free.

While it might not be enough to cover a paycheck, there are definitely legitimate ways to make money while at home and get some extra income. And at InboxDollars, an online rewards club that’s paid over $60 million in rewards to members, we know a thing or two about making money from home.  As a member, you can earn PayPal money online,  cash, and free gift card rewards.

While the new crop of gig jobs, like ride share or food delivery, can be a steady income stream, for many people, side hustles outside of the home aren’t always possible. Having an older vehicle, young children afoot, or limited mobility can be challenging.

InboxDollars offers online earning opportunities that anyone can take advantage of from home, including surveys for students, surveys for moms, survey opportunities for seniors, games, videos, web search, quizzes, daily polls, and cash back shopping.

If you’re got time to spare, make it more productive. Turn your free time into extra cash with a side hustle or two from any of these featured national reward companies. We’ve put together a list of the best ones on the market to help you get started.  Whether it’s on InboxDollars or with another website, we hope that one of these listed ideas inspires you, and you can make your time at home a little bit more rewarding.

1. Watch Videos and Take Surveys on InboxDollars.

You can earn cash for taking surveys and watching videos. Most surveys pay $0.50 to $5.00, some pay much more. For videos, you can usually earn an extra $0.15 to $0.50 a day. That’s up to $30 a month, or more, for something you’re already doing.

2. Earn Cash Back for Any Shopping You’re Already Doing

This includes shopping online at stores that provide daily household goods and tools like hardware stores, supermarkets, and department stores.  In some instances, you can by online and pick up in the store at a designated curbside spot.

Rakuten (formerly eBates)

Rakuten has the largest catalog of cash back retailer partners, but payment is issued once a quarter (every 3 months) by check. With the other sites featured, you can request payment once you reach a minimum earning threshold (around $10), and payment is issued digitally.

3. Print Coupons.

You can earn cash for every coupon you print, up to 25 coupons or 25-cents per day. This is an extra $7.50 a month, and you’re already home anyway! When you redeem these free grocery coupons in stores, you’ll earn an extra 10-cents for each coupon you redeem.

4. Scan Barcodes.

A number of different apps will pay you for scanning barcodes of specific items when you are in store.

Scan Sense on InboxDollars: Earn cash in-store by scanning barcodes of specific items.
Shopkick: Perhaps the largest known barcode-scanning rewards app, you earn “kicks” (points) for checking into stores, scanning barcodes of featured products, and more.

5. Scan Your Receipts.

Many different rewards sites and receipt apps will pay you for scanning your shopping receipts.

Personally, this is one of my favorite side hustles. I’m not spotty about remembering to scan my receipts. (I’ll do it for every shopping trip for several weeks in a row, then forget for a couple months. That’s the general pattern.)

Even with my forgetfulness, I earned $184 just for scanning receipts. Had I done so all of the time instead of 40% to 45% of the time, it could have been a lot more. And that was just with using a 3 receipt apps. If you use all 7, your earnings will stack up even quicker.

Fetch Rewards
Checkout 51
Receipt Hog

6. Earn Cash and Prizes Playing Trivia Apps.

You earn cash, gift cards, and other prizes for playing trivia games on your phone. I love doing trivia apps with my husband when we both have free time together.

Swagbucks Live: Play live trivia games from your smartphone  Answer 10 trivia questions correctly, and you and other winners split a prize pool.
The Q:  This app is a similar format. There are games at least twice daily during week. Make it through all of the trivia questions, and split the prize with other remaining players.
HOFr: For sports fans, this is the app for you. Earn rewards for your sports knowledge. Live, interactive games run daily.

7.  Play Games.

If you’re a gamer or just have too much free time, you can make some extra cash for playing these great games.

Lucktastic: Android users, earn gifts and prizes for playing Lucktastic.  Play virtual scratch card games and win prizes. There are new themes every day, and there are daily prizes for participation.
Mistplay: Mistplay is a social gaming platform that pays you to play games on your device. You can discover new games, play with friends, and earn rewards. You can cash out an an Amazon gift card with as little as $0.50 in earnings. Other prizes are also offered.
Big Time Cash: Make money for play free video games. Play free games, collect tickets, and enter cash prize draws. Draws happen frequently, and with lots of big and smaller prizes, your odds of winning something are good.
Lucky Day: Lucky Day is a free sweepstakes app. Free lottery, scratch-card, and raffle games, with daily opportunities to win a hefty grand prize.
Banatic: Banatic is a great app for gaming fanatics. Play and test games, give feedback, and write reviews. Collect “Bananas” as you go, and then redeem them for gift cards and prizes.

8. Earn Cash and Other Rewards for Searching the Web.

Earn cash and other rewards ditching Google and search the web with another search engine.  Most of these search reward programs will pay you a couple of cents or less per search, but if you’re already searching the web anyway, get paid for it.

Bing Rewards

9. Become a Crowd-Source Worker.

Businesses and organizations need trillions of micro-tasks completed. Labeling and categorizing images, transcribing visual images with writing into text documents, and short audio voice-overs are just some of these micro-tasks. Rather than paying one person at the company to do all of this work, it’s more efficient to farm these tasks out to many people, crowd-source workers, and get the work done in a short period of time.

Some of these crowd-source gigs can only be completed via mobile or desktop web, but there are some you do on your phone like other money making apps.

Micro-tasks can pay anywhere from a couple of cents to $10 or more, depending on complexity.  Dedicated crowdsource workers can see a nice, steady stream of extra income. If you’re interested in trying out this side hustle, check out these crowdsource sites:

Amazon Mechanical Turk
Figure Eight

10. Find a Remote Job Doing Freelance and Consulting Work.

While socially distanced, you can find remote jobs doing freelance projects or consulting work. Fields vary, some of the more popular ones include: being a virtual assistant, image and graphic design, transcription (for English and other languages), editing, writing, proofreading, marketing and PR, data entry, and call center.

Check out these job boards with remote job positions!

Virtual Vocations
Skip the Drive
Remote OK

Additionally, you can ask your friends, former coworkers, and other business contacts on LinkedIn and other social network sites.

11. Podcasting

If you’ve ever had an inkling to try doing your own podcast, you’ve got plenty of time now to give it ago. You’ve probably got loads of free time on your hands. At the most, it becomes a regular thing that pays some extra income.  At the least, you learn some new skills and entertain your friends and family.

12. Blogging

Ditto with blogging. If you’ve ever wanted to give blogging a try, there’s nothing stopping you now. There are plenty of free blogging platforms you can use. And if you’ve got writer’s block, consider the current events going on around you and any tips or observations you have. Sharing your posts on social media is a great way to start building up your following with friends and family. Make sure to ask your circle to share your posts!

13. Sell Unused Clothing and Items Online

You can sell clothing, accessories, and other household items online. The marketplace app will keep a cut as their commission, and you can mail the item to the buyer. A  mail label (with postage include) is provided for you to print off and stick on the box. And you can leave the package out for the mail carrier to pick up.

If you’ve got a stash of thrift store deals that you’ve scored, this is a great way to empty your closets and get some extra income.  And amid the COVID-10 Pandemic, many of these marketplaces are reducing their commissions, lowering cash-out thresholds, and offering other perks to both buyers and sellers.


14. QA Websites and Apps

This is another great remote side hustle. Many website and app developers will pay you to test out their websites and apps. They want to catch errors now, not after it’s released to the app store. And they want everyday users to do the testing, not just app developers and technology people. You can make a fair bit of extra cash this way. Check out some of these companies that will pay you to review their apps and websites.

What Users Do

15. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards

If you have unused gift cards sitting at home, you can turn them into cash online. There are many gift card re-seller sites that will buy your unused gift cards, or even gift cards with a remaining balance.

While this isn’t necessarily a regular side hustle, it is a good way to clean out your wallet or junk drawer and make some extra cash. Depending on the gift card retailer, you could earn up to 92-cents on the dollar for your unused gift card.

My GiftCards Plus
GiftCard Granny

In addition to selling gift cards on these sites, you can also buy discounted gift cards as well and save money on groceries, gasoline, clothing, and your other everyday online purchases.

For more ways to earn, check out these other great ways to earn a little extra cash or get free gift cards.




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