Stretch Your Household Budget With Mystery Shopping (Grocery, Gas, and Clothing Shops)

People across the country are being affected by the deepening recession. If you haven’t already been laid off or had a salary reduction, you likely know someone who has been affected. You may be saving your pennies for what may happen in the coming months, or you are scrimping just to make ends meet. In whatever ways the recession may be affecting  you, you can use the right combination of mystery shopping assignments to help stretch your household budget to make ends meet or save some extra cash.

The key to making a real impact to your household budget is spending your valuable time doing the “right” shops. Mystery shopping gives you a certain amount of pay for doing the assignment, plus (possibly) an expense reimbursement. Think of things that are a necessity for your family, such as food, gas, clothing, and so forth. These are things you will be purchasing whether you are mystery shopping or not, and things that you will be spending your hard earned cash on regularly.

Grocery Stores. Think about the food you buy for your family every week, as , well as toiletries, cleaning supplies, and so forth. You can certainly stretch your dollars by buying generic items and using coupons. When you combine these cost saving measures with a mystery shopping, you can really get more bang for your grocery buck. A typical grocery store assignment may pay you approximately $10-20 for completing the assignment, and you may get additional cash as an expense reimbursement of perhaps $5-10. This amount varies greatly by your location, but on average you can expect perhaps $15 total pay and reimbursement from a mystery shopping assignment. There are grocery stores on almost every major corner in metro areas, so if you live in a city, you can likely find a grocery store assignment fairly easily. It may mean shopping at a different store each week, but you can definitely trim down your total grocery bill if you can pick up a grocery store assignment for each trip you make to the grocery store.

Gas Stations. Gas prices are down one day, then up the next. Whether you are paying $2 per gallon or $4, filling up your gas tank is something that takes up a considerable amount of your household income each month. Gas station mystery shop assignments are also fairly prevalent. These assignments may be a little more complicated, often requiring photos of the interior and exterior of the property. Yet whether you are filling up your tank for $30 or $60, getting a paycheck and reimbursement of $10-20 for your time and efforts can considerably cut down your total fill-up cost each month.

Clothing Stores. In these hard economic times, more and more people are getting by with clothes they already have in their closets and foregoing the latest styles. Yet even if you aren’t rushing out to buy the next trendy fashion statement, you likely will need to get a new pair of pants or shoes when you wear out your favorite pair, or perhaps the kids will need new clothes for the summer. Use some strategy in which clothing store assignments you sign up for. When possible, pick up an assignment or two at stores that carry items you actually need, and at prices you normally would pay. If you don’t normally purchase items at a high end jewelery store and don’t need a new pair of 2-carat earrings today, you may want to skip over that assignment and grab the assignment for the discount clothing or shoe store to get some items you or your family really need. Then you will get paid for your time shopping at a store you would be shopping at anyway, plus you will may be getting reimbursed for items you really need.

Before you accept an assignment in this tough economy, spend some time considering if you really need to purchase something at that location. If you are not planning on purchasing an item in that location within the next month or two, you may want to pass over that assignment and pick up assignments that will make a real impact to your household budget.