How to make $5 every day while you exercise. Or, how to eat when you’re flat broke.
All you need is a (cheap) smart phone and an app.
My neighbor Greg is broke. The kind that includes no job, no health care, no car, no gas, no teeth, and no hope -the wait to die kind of broke in which many of us find ourselves drowning.
But, he still manages to eat. He’s actually overweight; thanks to cheap calorie dense food, cigarettes and sodas; he survives without money in a way only a close relationship with a higher power could allow.
We speak to him, the wife and I, and, whenever we see him - we give him odd jobs and the occasional meal. When I ask him how he survives, he told me there’s an app for that. 😮
Seriously. It’s called Shopkick.
(disclaimer, I’m not affiliated or being rewarded by shopkick in any way, it’s just a great app)
Greg has an old android phone without a data plan. It does have working wifi and Shopkick installed. Apparently retailers allow app users to cruise around participating stores and simply find items the stores wish to move off their shelves.
Once you find items, you scan their bar-codes using the camera on the phone. Every item gives a predetermined number of ‘kicks’. These are points that sellers assign to items. Collect 500 kicks, you get $2.00, redeemable as a gift card on the app. 1250 kicks is worth $5.00.
All you have to do is get to the participating store, fire up the app and start looking through their promotions. You don’t have to purchase a thing. When I looked through the list of possible gift cards anyone could ‘earn’ I was actually surprised.
I scratched my head. “So Greg, all I have to do is walk around participating stores, find the items they’re promoting, scan the barcodes on the items and I can make money?”
Greg smiled. “How else do you think I’ve been eating? I take my phone,” (he pulls out a battered cell phone circa 2007) and I go treasure huntin’. In one hour I can make five dollars. Sometimes I can even make ten if I go to more than one store. Enough for a loaf of bread, some lunch meat and a soda. That’ll keep me for a couple days easy.”
“More than one store?” I look at Greg’s phone suspiciously. Some kind of voodoo magic was going on.
“Sure, a bunch of stores give kicks away every week. You get kicks for just walking in some of ’em like Walmart and Publix. And If you buy the items they promote, once you scan the receipt, you can get hundreds more kicks quick. Shooting fish in a barrel.” Greg laughs. “You should try it.”
I gave it some thought, how best could I combine free money with walking? Easy right?
Here’s what I came up with. I need to make 10000 steps per day or my doctor insists she will sew my mouth shut. She’s 5 foot tall and as fierce as a tiny Italian woman can be. Scares me silly. I’m already a good 50 pounds overweight and my cholesterol is a number between 300 and 500. Pick a number, you won’t be far off.
My phone tells me it’s 3200 steps to Publix one way and if I take my wife, she can scan items on her phone as well.
Together we’ll make up most of our steps for the day. Once at the store, we can do the treasure hunt thing, collect kicks and the next day hit another participating store, say Walmart or Target.
In two days, my wife and I already racked up 2000 points each, not to mention we made our step quotas each day.
I don’t know if you think this is useful or not, but my wife and I quite enjoy the gaming aspect of our daily walks. Most times we reward ourselves with some nice fruit after a long thirsty walk.
Only in America, can you wander around stores, exercise in air conditioned comfort, don’t buy a thing and get paid to do it.
Gotta love this country.