During this past year, I have had some sidelines going on to make a few extra pennies over the course of the year, and they are all things that you could do too. None is complicated, and they all work....to a degree. I am not going to make my fortune at any of them, but they all contribute to the family funds in one way or another.
Every time I shop, I scan my shopping with a tiny hand-held laser barcode scanner, and then I upload them to a website, along with scans of my receipts. I have earned vouchers this year from Amazon, although it has been my choice to take the rewards as Amazon vouchers. Each week that I upload my shopping barcodes, I receive 1100 points, and each week that I upload the receipts, I get an extra 500 points. Some weeks, like those over Christmas, they have trebled the basic 1100 points in recognition of how busy folk are at this time of year, so I have benefited from the extra points. I have also answered a few surveys this year and been rewarded for those from the same organisation. Since I got a bonus amount of points when I joined, I have earned at least £100 of rewards from here to spend at Amazon this year. I used £50 towards the YFG's birthday tablet that she had, and the EFG has had £20 of vouchers too, as well as spending some on books I wanted. I still have £20 "in the bank" there to claim. If you are interested, you can fill in an online application here. There is information about the Shop and Scan scheme here. [Just so you know, neither of those links are affiliate links and I don't get a referral fee.]
I still do surveys for YouGov and after a £50 pay out in 2013, I am still creeping my way back towards another pay out. I suspect it may be 2015 before that comes to fruition though, as I don't always have time to do them as they appear!
Quidco and TopCashBack are also excellent places to make a few pounds here and there. I always go to The Book People through Quidco when I want any books from there, and there are also deals to be had on car insurance and household insurance. We always try them, but they aren't the cheapest every time, we have found, even with the cashback. Definitely worth a look though.
We also had a grand clear out of old DVDs a couple of Christmases ago and sent a box full of them to Music magpie, which brought us just over the £50 minimum payment that they offer. It was a bit of a slog to enter all the barcodes, but it was worth it in the end.
The key to all of these schemes is that none of them pay out much, but they all fit into our lives quite easily, without much bother [it is no hassle to zap the shopping as we are putting it away] and the rewards accrue over time, so when I check the account at Shop and Scan for example and see that I could claim another £10 voucher, it is a little boost! It also means that the gift budget can be less stretched!