With all of the house reno stuff in our lives right now (are you tired of hearing about it yet!?), Sarah and I are really trying to prioritize and manage our income and expenses. It’s a hard balance sometimes, especially when it comes to things like date nights, hanging out with friends and new experiences. Above all, we hate our budget to getting in the way of good community, so sometimes date nights are sacrificed. We try to be intentional about our marriage in other ways, but it’s hard to beat a nice, relaxing dinner with your spouse. All of that in mind, one of our favorite money-saving, marriage-maximizing finds has been… drumroll… mystery shopping!
Mystery shopping allows us to get out on date nights and try out new restaurants without even having to look at our budget because it is all paid for. It’s kind of a sweet deal. And these aren’t just random fast food restaurants, we’ve done shops that have given us over $100 to spend at fancy restaurants – steak on steak on steak plus dessert. Sarah and I leave those shops with some insight into what the 1% feel like – ordering whatever and whenever with no cares about money. They are always fun nights, and all because of mystery shopping. However, we don’t just get reimbursed to eat food; there is also a decent workload that goes along with it. I’ll outline how this works and if you want in, just send me a message with your name and email or leave a comment on this post with that info.
But first – what is mystery shopping? Mystery shopping, or eating – as is mostly the case for us – works like this. A mystery shopping company is hired by a third party organization – restaurant or retail store, because the third party company wants to see how well their processes are working, if anything is broken, what the guest experience looks like, etc. The mystery shopping company contracts me and other mystery shoppers, to be the feet on the ground and actually go and complete these shops, record info and submit back a record of the shop. This is prettied up and eventually submitted to the third party organization and they can use it to fix or re-examine their internal processes. That’s how it works on a basic level behind the scenes, but now I’m going to take a look at how this process looks for actual shoppers, and how it could look for you! Let’s dive in….