Hi everyone thought I would start this blog to keep track of the bits & bobs I get up to each day. I am a stay at home mum with 3 children who are in their teens & twenties. I have had Chronic Lyme Disease for at least 14 years if not more. I am constantly trying to improve my condition. I am a great fan of moneysavingexpert.com and have discovered a few ways of upping my income without too much effort

Upping Your Income

 Times are hard for many of us and my family are no exception.   Due to a drop in our household income this year I thought I would look to see if there was anyway I could contribute without it affecting the Lyme Disease.   

I found several ways to increase my income thanks to a thread on www.moneysavingexpert.com called 'How to make £10 per day in June'.   You can make your goal per day as much or as little as you like.   It has lots of ideas on how to make a little extra, I am just a beginner and am managing to earn/save at least £100 per month.  For example my DD1 is a medical student and next year has the opportunity of taking an elective somewhere abroad.   Since starting this challenge  in October last year I have saved over £300 towards her costs, that is half the cost of a plane ticket!

Much of my earnings come from doing surveys, I have signed up to several sites.   I joined a scheme where I earn £10 every 4-6 weeks just for scanning my shopping and sending in till receipts.  One of the easiest types of sites to earn from  are sites like www.swagbucks.com.   Here I hope to list a few sites that I earn from in the hope it may help someone else, along with tips on how to get the most from them.

Search & Win  


Gifthulk -


Gifthulk and Zoombucks work in a very similar way to Swagbucks. 
If you would like a referral for Gifthulk please click HERE 

Earn points by watching videos.  Videos can be left  to play in one window whilst you get on with something else in another, just popping back every now and then to change video.  After video has played you are asked to vote/rate it, after which you will be awarded points.  Points are collected and can be exchanged for gift cards.  I have exchanged mine for a £20 M & S gift card, there are quite a lot of gift cards to choose from, alternatively you can exchange them for items such as DVD's.

Other Money Making Ideas

Here's some ideas for making extra cash

 Sell your old books/DVDs/CDs/games here: Amazon, play.com, Green Metropolis is for books only. Amazon Trade-In, trade in your old books.   I was disappointed to find that Amazon trade-in is more worthwhile if you have lots of text books to sell.  I have lots of paperbacks and children's books so this was no help to me but if you  have just finished your studies it may help you.   Also many books & cd's on Amazon start at 1p so I don't think this is an effective place to make a profit on books.  They would be better sold at a carboot sale.


I have sold quite a bit on here this last year.  If you have items in your home you no longer use and are just taking up room then put them on ebay.  It is a great way to declutter and make money.  I ran out of my own items to sell but a friend asked if  I would sell some of her stuff as she didn't have time.  My friend lets me have half the profit from the sales.  To get the most from ebay wait for the free listing days which occur once or twice a month, this way you avoid paying listing fees.  Of course if you start your listing at 99p then there are no listing fees so you can list anytime.

 Etsy and Folksy - If you enjoy making crafts why not have a go at selling them on Etsy or Folksy.

I have in the past made my own candles and done a lot of knitting but as yet I have not tried selling any of the items.  Will let you know if I try out any of these sites.

Other places to sell include: Gumtree, netmums, trade-it,


There are local selling groups on Facebook which  can be a great place to sell (and grab some bargains) as there is no P&P costs to take into account. Just enter 'buy, sell + your area into the search bar on Facebook and it should come up with a list of pages.   If there isn't a local group near you - start your own!  I am just dipping my toe in the water here and have posted on a couple of selling pages but have not sold anything yet.  When I get more time I intend to join other selling pages (there seem to be lots in my area) and list a few more items. 

Topcashback & Quidco:  If you're buying anything online always check whether you could get some cash back from it.   Both TopCashBack and Quidco offer a Refer A Friend scheme, so if you want to sign up, please email me at lindapgraham47@gmail.com I personally prefer Topcashback as the site loads quicker and the cashback seems to track quicker.  Quidco charge a one off £5 administration fee, so you have to get more than £5 cashback to make it worthwhile.

Shop and Scan

Shop & Scan send you a small hand held scanner called a 'clicker' with which you scan everything that is bought for your home & family during a week.  At the end of the week the bar codes are transmitted to Shop & Scan via the internet.

 1100 points per week for scanning your shopping and transmitting your bar codes.
500 points per week for sending in copies of your till receipts.
Bonus points are given out for the odd survey or at Christmas & Easter.

10,000 points can be exchanged for various gift vouchers.  I usually get a Amazon UK Gift Voucher which I add to my Amazon account and use to buy gifts.  I have used the gift vouchers to buy clothing which is also sold on Amazon.

I find shop & scan pages work best  in IE.

 www.volunteer4panels.com have other schemes which you may be invited to join so more earning potential.   My son (15) was recently invited to join

Webview -  Software is downloaded and installed into your browser which monitors your internet usage.  You are awarded extra points per month for having this installed.

Consumer Pulse -  My son (age 15) was invited to join this.  He can earn up to 12000 points a month + extras! He gets 500 points a week just for logging in plus 500 per purchase details entered.  He has only been going a few months and should be able to claim a £10 gift voucher this week.  Great way to boost his pocket money.

 Nielsen Homescan

Works very similar to Shop & Scan except the bar codes are sent via a phone line.  The Nielsen scanner works much better than the Shop & Scan one which can be temperamental.   Again you earn points but this time they can only be exchanged for goods.  Goods include small electrical items, jewellery, perfume, mp3's, spa days, other days out.  I think I much prefer Shop & Scan's gift cards as it gives you more choice on what to spend your rewards on.

Loyalty Cards

Collect points with Nectar card, Tesco Clubcard, or Boots Advantage.  In May this year I exchanged my Tesco clubcard points for Spa vouchers, a lovely treat for myself and my daughters.


Use Money off coupons to save on your shopping - I started doing this in October 2011 and I'm saving on average between £10-20 per week off my grocery bill.  Without using coupons I would be  struggling to buy everything the family needs each week.   An up to date list of coupons can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3840565  You will also find tips on the best way to use the coupons to get maximum savings.

Surveys  There are many different survey sites and all have different payment methods.  I go into this in more detail on the Surveys page.


About 3 years ago I joined my local LETS scheme called Durham Exchange.   The way it works is:  Each member has an account.  The currency for my group is Time.   A person can earn or spend time.   Time earned can be banked and used at a later stage.  For example: I make jam.  Another member gets a jar of jam off me and I charge 30 mins.  The 30 mins is taken from the buyers account and placed into my account (the receiver)   I currently have at least 13 hours in time to spend.   In the past I have spent this time by getting someone to build a wood store for our new log burner, 2 people have come and done cleaning for me.  Lots of services are on offer from tutoring for various lessons, gardening, babysitting, giving lifts.  Each local group will differ in the services offered.   I also earn time by giving people lifts to the monthly meetings or by taking notes of the meetings and typing them up.   It is a great way to get things done without the use of money.  Admittedly I have to pay a £10 yearly fee (was £5 but has just gone up) but you can more than get your moneys worth in terms of services. You can find your local LETS group by clicking the link above or by just googling LETS SCHEME (which is how I found mine).

Sell Your Old Clothes

Perhaps you have clothes that are not good enough to sell on Ebay, if so you could 'weigh them in'  There are places that will buy your clothes per kilo.   The clothes are weighed and then you are paid so much per kilo for them.   I use Enviroclothes they have collection cabins all over the North East.   They take old clothes, bedding, soft toys, soft furnishings such as curtains & towels, as well as bags, belts & shoes.  I take mine to  a collection cabin near Sainsbury's.  They pay 40p per kilo not bad for something you would just throw out.  If you are unable to get to a collection cabin then you can arrange a home collection.  Check out their website.


If you have a blog you can place adverts within it so that when a visitor clicks on them you get paid a small amount.  If you use Blogger you can sign up to Google Adsense but your blog needs to have quite a bit of content before you will be accepted for their programme.  As you can see I have signed up to Amazon Associates which seems fairly straight forward.


Get paid just for receiving emails. Inbox Pounds pay you 1p to click on a link in an email.  They send you a few emails a day but its up to you whether you click on them or not.  Often I don't I have time to do these everyday, I let them accumulate and then when I've time I go through them all clicking on the links.  Once you reach £20.00 you can cash out. You can also earn extra cash by watching videos, doing surveys and signing up to offers.    Mailpay work in a similar way except all you have to do here is open the email, there is no link to click.  However there are quite a few profile 'mini' surveys to complete before they begin sending you emails.    If you would like a referral for Mailpay or InBox Pounds please email me at lindapgraham47@gmail.co.uk I would love you to be on my 'buddy' list.

Sell Your Old Mobile Phone

I used a comparison site which showed me which recycling firm would give me the most for my mobile.  I then went on Topcashback and sold my phone via them so not only did I get money from the recycling company but I also got cashback for being a first time user.


Earn points by opening emails, or signing up to offers.  Once you reach 2,000 points you can claim a £5 Amazon UK giftcard.


Complete short surveys, do mystery shops, take part in the forum and earn cash.  You can cash out once you have earned £6 and can be paid either by Paypal or by BACS.  If you would like to join please click HERE 

Become a Mystery Shopper

I put off doing this for a long time as I thought it would be too difficult, especially with the Lyme Disease.  I finally plucked up the courage to join two agencies a few months ago.    My first job was nerve racking, but I got through it and I must confess I'm enjoying it.   It's great to earn and know I'm contributing to the household income.   I'm not earning a lot maybe £10-£20 per month but that is my personal preference.  Due to the Lyme Disease I don't have the energy to cope with more, however, if I'm going through a good spell I can do more and if things are tough then I can do less, so its ideal.  If you opt for this route it is important to register as self employed as soon as possible.  You can download the form Here  To be a mystery shopper you will need: a stop watch (or time on your mobile phone), a scanner or digital camera, pocket sized notebook & pen and a printer.  More info can be found on the Mystery Shopping Thread at MSE

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