By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Unemployment is high and savings are low. You’re struggling to make ends meet, but what can you really do about it?

What if we told you sending texts or test driving cars might actually make you some money?

Jonathan Turner is looking at all options when it comes to making money, including checking out garage sales for used books. Not to read, but to resell.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

“I’ve got an app on my iPhone,” Turner said. “And I’m able to scan the IBN number on it and actually pull up right there and it tells me right there how much is that book worth.”

Using the smart phone app called “Bookscouter,” he knows on the spot if he’ll make a profit buying a book at the yard sale price and selling it online.

But that’s just one of many offbeat ways to make extra money these days.

Kyle Taylor with suggests starting with your fridge. The Nielsen Company, which keeps track of TV ratings, now also wants to know what you buy at the grocery store.

“They’ll send you a free bar code scanner and every time you go grocery shopping they ask that you scan the groceries that you buy and then it transmits the data to them and companies use that sort of feedback to tell them what products are popular,” Taylor said.

Do you like texting people? Answer questions for and you can make a few bucks right from your couch.

“They get questions, random questions, on their web site and via text and they need people to come up with answers and just through Google search or whatever, you get paid per text,” Taylor said.

Turner also gets extra cash with cars.

“I get paid anywhere $50 to $75 a pop to go out and test drive a vehicle, have fun in it, then be able to go back and write up a report,” Turner said.

Said Taylor: “You’re not going to get to retire by doing any of these money making things, but it’s a good way to bring in a little bit of extra cash.”

One word of caution: You shouldn’t have to pay these sites in advance for any work you do. You should also compare sites see what they pay. One site might give you 8 bucks for a used cookbook and another site only a dollar.

Comments (6)
  1. Ambuddy says:

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  2. Kathy says:

    Yes. Free is not always bad. I take online surveys for more than a year and it all started with free info website. I pay my TV, phone and internet bills with these surveys and I take them while watching my favourite shows so no time is wasted. It might be something you’ll like, you should check it out.

  3. James Jean says:

    I do a paid for surveys site and I make around $300 a month. It won’t make you rich but it covers my electric and water bill lol.It’s really not hard. Check it out:-

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