Alternative Income: Be A Guinea Pig

This method of alternative income isn’t for everyone but I have made thousands of dollars from it. Pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials to determine the efficacy and safety of new medicines. The studies are generally federally regulated and follow a strict safety protocol. The companies will compensate you for participating in the clinical trial. How much you are compensated depends on a number of factors including the medicine being tested,whether the study is an inpatient or outpatient study, how complicated the study procedured is, and more.

I have made up to $11,000 in a year by doing clinical studies but that was about all I did that year. I’m currently participating in an outpatient study for a flu vaccine. I get paid $100 a visit which lasts about an 1 1/2 to 2 hours and there is a total of seven visits. Since this is an outpatient study it doesn’t interfere with my work schedule. As an added bonus I’m vaccinated against the flu and receive a thorough medical screening.

Many people have reservations about doing these but they are much safer than most people think. I’ve never experienced any adverse effects from doing a study. The main drawback is that there are sometimes a lot of blood draws. If you’re squeamish of needles than this is not for you.

If you would like to participate in a medical study check your local paper. Where I currently live there are frequently advertisements for medical studies in the paper. A couple of good sites for more information about medical studies are and

Alternative Income: GPT Sites

Using GPT(get-paid-to) sites is another way I make alternative income. The basic idea of GPT sites is that companies pay affiliates to get them customers. The affiliates bribe the customers by offering them some of this money for signing up for offers.

As an example, I signed up for a one month trial of Netflix. I paid $9.99 for the month but the GPT site paid me $23 leaving me with about $13 profit. The company hopes that enough people remain customers after the trial that the company makes a profit.

I haven’t done too many of these lately because it is somewhat of a hassle to call up the companies and cancel and make sure you keep track of when you need to cancel. My favorite GPT site is CashDuck (referral link) which is operated by fellow PF blogger Kira of PennyFoolish. She has a great guide on her site on how to make money on GPT sites. She made thousands from these sites before starting her own.

Other sites I have used are MaviShare (ref link) and InstantProfitz(ref link). MaviShare used to be good but they haven’t had many offers lately. InstantProfitz has lots of offers but it can sometimes be difficult to be properly credited. The only GPT site that I’ve had a bad experience with is DealBarbiePays. There are lots of other sites out there that I haven’t tried that might or might not be good.

If you would like to start doing GPT offers I would recommend first reading the how-to at PennyFoolish and then signing up with CashDuck(ref link). Do one or two offers at first and make sure they are properly crediting. If there are no problems with crediting then go ahead and do as many as you want. This can be a way to make decent money for those who put the time into it.

Alternative Income: Online Surveys

One of the ways I make alternative income is by doing online surveys. The only company I do surveys for is Pinecone Research. They pay $5 per survey which take about 10-15 minutes to complete. I usually only get 1 or 2 surveys a month though. They only accept signups at certain times so you have to be on the lookout for when they are accepting new members. I’ve never had any problems getting paid by Pinecone. They send out checks quickly or you can have the money deposited in your PayPal account. This isn’t much money but it is easy to make and every little bit helps.

Other companies that I haven’t used but I’ve seen recommended by other PF bloggers are SurveySavvy and Greenfield Online. Leave a comment if you know of any other good survey comments or let people know of any survey company you have had a bad experience with.

Alternative Income: Mystery Shopping

One of my alternative streams of income is mystery shopping. This is not a very lucrative job. Many of my mystery shops amount to little more than a free meal. I mainly do these mystery shops as a diversion not as a way to seriously make money.

As an example I did a mystery shop earlier this month that paid $11 but I had to pay about $7 for my meal out of the $11 leaving me with only about $4 actual profit. When you add in the time spent entering the report and faxing the receipt you’re really not making much money for the time invested. This is why I only do mystery shops at places that are close to me and where I would normally conduct business anyway. There are exceptions, I’ve been paid $100 for mystery shops but the high-paying shops are very rare.

If you are interested in doing mystery shops do not pay for information. The way I got started is by reading the mystery shop page at Look at their list of mystery shop companies and read their mystery shop forums and sign up with the companies that interest you. That is how I signed up with the 3 different mystery shopping companies that I do work for presently.

Alternative Streams of Income

Over at Lazy Man and Money he has a category on alternative income. His goal is to have his alternative streams of income match his expenses. This has also been a goal of mine for a long time so I’m going to start tracking my alternative income as well.

Since I don’t have a job right now my only sources of income are alternative streams of income. My income last month was $205.00 and my expenses were $839.12. That leaves me with a gap of $634.12 to go. Or to express it another way I’m at about 25% of my goa. I will post monthly on my progress.

My income should go up for this month but unfortunately my expenses willl probably go up as well. I plan to have several posts detailing the different things I do for alternative income.