Hi, I’m Lucy. I’ve been married to Ryan for 16 years, and we all agreed I’m the writer in this unusual group of misfits. If you’ve listened to this week’s Budget Bros podcast, then you know that I totally overpaid for something and got drop-shipped (is that a thing?). If you haven’t heard the podcast yet, click here.
The most frustrating part is that I know better. I usually check Walmart and a few other places before I buy on Amazon, but I fell victim to the feeling we all get; that I didn’t have enough time! Every day we try to balance how much money we’re willing to spend to save ourselves time and how much time we’re willing to spend to save ourselves money.
That’s why I liked this week’s podcast on web browser extensions so much. Effortless money saving. Isn’t that what we all want? Something that saves us money without costing any time and, preferably, for free. Too good to be true? We think not.
I won’t repeat any of the browser extensions they mentioned because, well, you have to listen to the podcast. I will say they were both good ones, and I’m now wondering how many browser extensions I can add before my Google Chrome implodes. But, I was a little miffed that I didn’t get to partake in the Battle of the Web Browser Extensions, so I wanted to throw my candidate into the ring. Swagbucks.
Swagbucks didn’t really start out as a web browser extension. I started using it years ago when it was mostly about taking surveys and watching videos for points. Now you can shop the web for points or sign up for new products and get points. Points are then traded in for gift cards with a point for penny ratio, although sometimes gift cards go on sale. (For example, 100 points is essentially $1.00 cash back.)
Here are a few things I got money back for recently: Swagbucks is currently offering 3 months of Pandora Premium for free for new users and you get $1.50 back. Which may not sound like a lot, but if you’re like me, and you love Pandora, it’s a good deal. I signed up for Disney+ and got $10 back. I signed up for DoorDash, placed my first order and got something like $22 back, but that ship has sailed so don’t try to find that deal anymore.
That brings me to their shopping and web browser extension. They offer points back for each dollar you spend at certain online retailers. As of this writing, they’re offering 4% back on Amazon, 8% back on Best Buy and Home Depot, and so on. The problem I always have is I forget to go through their website first to get the points. That’s where the web browser comes in. Whenever I’m on a website that Swagbucks offers points back on, the little browser pops up and tells me and offers me to activate the points. At many websites it also has coupon codes it can try for you at checkout to see if it can get you a better deal. Using the web browser extension rather than going through the website prevents me from buying something just because there’s a sale. This way I just get money back on the things I’m already buying and it doesn’t interfere with any cash back or bonuses I may have on my credit card, so I get to double dip on cash back.
A word of caution. I’ve used Swagbucks for years and many of their partners are legit, but don’t sign up for anything you don’t recognize without doing your research. Some things are too good to be true. I steer clear of anything where the reviewers said they signed up and then had trouble canceling. Also, when I first started, I signed up for some sort of third party free sample thing and they sold my email address. I got so much junk email for a year I had to open another email address.
There are tons of web extensions out there that do all kinds of things, from saving your passwords to acting like your mother and telling you when to get off social media sites and get back to work. Our intent was not to give you an exhaustive list, but to highlight the ones that help save you money. And as you heard in the Budget Bros podcast this week, if I had been using one of Joe or Ryan’s extensions, I would not be currently feeling the shame of getting drop-shipped on (is it catching on?). And sure there might be more, but these are our faves, our tried and tested. Enjoy!