One Way To Earn Extra Money For Holiday Shopping

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

The holiday season is quickly approaching and we all know what that means… extra expenses! Between gifts, donating to charity, food, entertaining friends & family, and decorations this is, by far, the most expensive season of the year. No matter how many times you convince yourself to try to put money aside for the holiday budget, life gets in the way and that doesn’t always happen. If you are looking for ways to increase your holiday budget I have a simple and fun idea to earn some extra cash!

We all love to share our opinions, so why not get paid while doing it? Focus Pointe Global is a National Marketing Research Company with 18 facilities, with two located here in Chicago! They host paid focus groups, in-person interviews, taste tests, online communities and more for companies to better understand their target customers. By participating in these opportunities, you are able to share your opinions and experiences to improve products and even try new products before they are on the market. The best part is that you get paid for participating! Signing up for a focus group is quick and simple at Here, you can register and fill out details for your profile. The information from your profile will be used to help match you to a study on a topic that’s relevant to you.

Since many of you live in the Chicago area, I wanted to share some that are coming up soon. See what works for you and click the links below to apply!

Week of November 14th in Chicago:

  • It may be the season of giving, but don’t forget to take a minute to put yourself first! With this study on Health & Beauty they are looking for people ages 25-60 for a Paid Focus Group on Skin Health. You can earn $75 for 1 hour of your time, and if selected for a 90-minute breakout session, you can earn an additional $70. Find out if you qualify here:
  • With this study on Caffeinated Beverages, you can earn $75 for only 1 hour of your time and an additional $70 if you are chosen for a 90-minute breakout session. If you are between the ages of 25-54, sign up here:
  • Grocery shopping is definitely a big part of the holidays. If you are between the ages of 25-59, come and participate in this study! You can earn $75 for 1 hour, and if selected for a 90-minute breakout session, you can earn an additional $70! Apply here:

Week of November 28th in Chicago:

  • Focus Pointe Chicago is also looking for Moms ages 18-34, of babies ages 4-24 months, for a Paid Focus Group on Baby Food.  You could earn $75 for 1 hour of your time. Some participants may be asked to stay an additional 90 minutes and get compensated an extra $70.  Sign up here:

Have you ever participated in a focus group before? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

Stretch Your Holiday Budget

I am excited to be working with Coinstar this holiday season to share how you can stretch your budget without having to sell anything or get a second job. Wondering what it is? Search your home for coins! I couldn’t believe the change I found in the washing machine, on my closet floor, and under the couch!

In a recent survey, Coinstar found that, on average, consumers estimate they have a little more than $26 in spare change, but according to Coinstar’s nationwide kiosk data, the average amount that customers convert to a NO FEE eCertificate and/or gift card when they cash in their coins is $56 – more than double what survey respondents thought. Check out some of the other findings of the survey:

My family and I recently went to try out the Coinstar machine to see how easy it was to convert the change we’d found to usable money (because, really, who wants to hand a cashier a baggie of coins at the register with a line of people behind you?)

I love the Coinstar offers so many options for what we can do with our coins. We had the choice to turn them into cash, deposit them directly to our Paypal account, donate them to charity with their Coins that Count™ program, reload a prepaid debit card, or turn them into a gift card or e-certificate. I was surprised to find out that some of the options were even free to do!

We decided to turn our change into a Starbucks e-certificate because I love my Iced Caramel Macchiatos. I was worried at how the e-certificate worked because it was just a receipt with a card number and barcode but when I handed it over in the drive-thru the barista knew just what to do with it.

Want to find a Coinstar near you? Find the Kiosk locator here. How much money do you have lying around your home?

(Disclosure: As stated above, this is a sponsored post. I received compensation but all thoughts are my own.)