Here’s Exactly How to Make $51 While You’re Waiting in Line at the Grocery

Few things test my patience like a lengthy checkout line.

I’ve just trudged through endless aisles of food — usually without the grocery list I accidentally left on the kitchen counter — and am ready to hightail it home.

Then there’s the line. The endless line.

Typically, I employ my no-one-start-a-conversation-with-me strategy. I take out my phone and mindlessly scroll through Instagram.

Or, if I allow myself to think too much, I’ll remember the reason I came to the grocery store — and realize that reason is not in my shopping cart. Which then forces me to give up my spot in line.

Instead of, well, all of the above, make the best of the inevitable. Here are a few quick ways to make money while you stand in that checkout line.

Note: Depending on your grocery store’s efficiency, internet connection, the season and the time of day, these might take multiple checkout lines. Either way, it’s money.

Here’s how to make $50 fast…

1. Earn an Automatic $5 Through The Dosh App

If you were hoping to “Dosh” through that checkout line but find yourself reading this instead, we’re truly sorry.

But perk up — and download the Dosh app.

Dosh is a new cash-back app that pays you for making purchases at more than 100,000 hotels, online stores and restaurants — including Bed Bath & Beyond, Marriott, Cost Plus World Market, Nike, Target, Chuck E. Cheese’s and many more.

You can intentionally earn money back on Dosh — like this woman, who scored more than $400 back on one hotel booking — or let the cash roll in passively.

OK, so back to the checkout line. Here’s what you need to do now:

  • Click here to download the app, then sign up.
  • Connect a debit or credit card you frequently use. (This is all secure, by the way.)

Done. You’ll get a $5 bonus when you connect that first card. If you connect any others, you’ll earn a subsequent $1 bonus for each.

Once you bank $15, you can cash out.

2. Snag a $10 Bonus With a Micro-Investing Account

Ah, investing. It’s one of those things you’ve been meaning to look into, right? It’s totally intimidating, though.

But what if you could strike up an investing account while standing in a checkout line? No, we’re not crazy. Well, not totally.

Acorns is a micro-investing app that connects to your bank account and/or credit and debit cards to save your digital change. It automatically rounds up purchases with your connected accounts and invests the difference into your Acorns account.

For example, you’re about to foot a $32.19 bill at the grocery store. Acorns will round up your purchase to $33 and dump the remaining 81 cents into investments. It’s a fun and easy way to stack up some spare change.

You can download the app and sign up here. Plus, you’ll immediately score a $10 bonus when you make your first investment.

3. Earn Cash Back on Those Groceries (And Get a $10 Bonus)

Got a bit of a longer line ahead of you?


Go ahead and download Ibotta, another cash-back app. It’s partnered with more than 50 retailers, including, probably, your favorite grocery store.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Download the app here, and sign up.
  • Pick your favorite stores, and peruse cash-back offers.
  • Add the offers to your stash. (You can do this before or after you check out.)
  • Once you have your receipt, redeem your cash-back offers by taking a photo of your receipt (and sometimes scanning a few barcodes).

Done! Cash back right into your Ibotta account. Once you’ve reached $20 in earnings, you can cash out. Plus, after your first rebate, you’ll snag our $10 welcome bonus.

4. Take a 10-Minute Health-Insurance Survey for $25

This might be a task you start in the checkout line then finish up once you get home, but let’s face it, the quick $25 is totally worth it.

JOANY, a healthcare concierge service that helps people find and compare health insurance plans, is looking for your feedback.

You don’t have to be a JOANY user to take the survey, but you must meet these qualifications:

  • You purchased health insurance for 2017 through your state exchange,, a broker or a plan, such as Oscar or Aetna.
  • You don’t receive health insurance through your employer or school.
  • You aren’t on Medicaid, Medicare or VA health insurance.

If you qualify, JOANY promises fewer than 50 questions and less than 10 minutes of your time. Most questions are multiple choice, making answering easy. And do note your answers are private and protected under federal law.

Check it all out (get it?) here.

5. Start With $1 From Lucktastic

We know what you’re scheming. You’re going to stop by the scratch-off counter as soon as you check out.

Don’t do it. Instead, save your cash and download Lucktastic.

It’s a free app that offers an assortment of digital scratch-off tickets each day. Lucktastic says you can win anything from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.

Start scratchin’ before you even hit the parking lot.

Are you at the cashier yet? Good. You just earned $51. Congrats!

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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