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Earn money while you spend….

To me, being frugal isn’t all about saving money (although that’s a definite plus ;-)), it’s about maximising what we already have and increasing our income by making a bit of extra money wherever we can.  There are lots of ways to do this but one of my favourite ways, and quite possibly the easiest is by earning cashback on a website called Quidco.

Quidco is an online company who work with over 3000 retailers to give you the opportunity to earn cashback on your spending.  It works because when you click through to a retailers website from Quidco, they earn a commission, based on the amount you spend and what you purchase.  They then pass this commission on to you in exchange for a £5 annual membership fee which you don’t even need to pay up front because it’s simply deducted from your first payout when you earn more than £5 in cashback.

I’ve just had a quick look on there today and I won’t name all the individual providers as offers change quite often, I can tell you that if you take out a new iPhone 4s contract you can earn up to £140.  Taking out a new life insurance policy can earn you up to £120, a new home insurance policy will earn up to £85 and car insurance up to £85.  There are offers on there for taking out a new broadband contract which can earn you up to £120, along with cashback for swapping your utility providers of up to £80 and many more.

For the big things like insurance and utility providers, I use a comparison website  like Moneysupermarket.com and work out who the cheapest three providers will be for me and then clear the cookies on my computer before I log in to Quidco.  I only clear the cookies as a precaution because I know that Quidco are paid if it is clear that you have accessed the merchant’s site directly from and if the merchant’s website has cookies stored showing you visited before you came through Quidco it may affect the cashback from tracking correctly – best to be on the safe side!  Anyway, when I know the best three providers for me will be, I search for them on Quidco and see which one works out best for me.  For example, last year when I renewed my car insurance I found three quotes on Moneysupermarket.com that were cheaper than I was already paying, I looked up the providers on Quidco and the cheapest quote was only offering £70 cashback whereas the second cheapest quote was offering £120 cashback, making this a better deal for me.

In the first few months after I found out about Quidco, I changed my home and car insurance, my telephone and internet provider and switched utility companies which might seem like a lot to do all at once but not only did I earn cashback from each change, I also swapped to better deals.  Prior to that I had been with the same companies for years and unfortunately, loyalty doesn’t really pay when you’re trying to be frugal as you need to make sure you’re on the best deals possible for everything.

It’s not just about the big transactions though, companies like eBay are currently showing and Tesco and Asda are both there as well offering a variety of different offers.  In fact, most of the merchants you use for your online shopping are on there which gives you a massive opportunity to earn while you spend.

Even if you’re not doing any online shopping (although who wants to battle the shops coming up to Christmas). there are plenty of offers on there where you don’t even need to make a purchase to get cashback.  There are things like payment for completing surveys, free trials to view your credit file and receiving a graze box that’ll earn you cashback – just remember to write down the last date to cancel your free trials to make sure you aren’t charged the full amount.

This is how easy it is:

  • Register for a free account at http://www.quidco.co.uk/
  • When you find something that you want to buy online, go to Quidco and search through the merchant directory to find the merchant you want to use, then click the link through to your selected site.
  • You will then be taken to the merchant’s website, everything will look exactly the same but the merchant will know that you have been sent to them by Quidco and will arrange to pay them the relevant amount of cashback following your purchase.
  • You can then go back to Quidco and track your cashback, you can do this on the ‘Earnings’ page. It can take up to 7 days for any cashback to show in your Quidco account as tracked and it can take up to 3 months for the money to be paid to your bank account.

If anyone else has used Quidco, I’d be really grateful if you could let us know in the comments as it’s easy for people to think that it’s too good to be true and I’d really like to show that there really isn’t any catch to it – it’s just a way to earn money while you buy things that you would normally buy anyway.  I’ve been using it for a ages now and am really pleased with the extra money that I’ve earned and to show how easy it is, I’ll spend the next month using Quidco for everything I can and at the end of that time I’ll do a screenshot of my earnings to show you just how easy it is ;-)

Why don’t you do the same?

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