How I made $1300 Grocery Shopping Last Month

update: BlueBird has shut down many accounts of people who have used them to Manufacture Money Spent as in this article and others. While not all have been shut down and it is still possible to open accounts and do a bit of MMSing, it is dying and should not be seen as a guaranteed option.

Ever felt like you needed a bit of extra cash? Ever been unemployed and unsure of where your income will come from?

Travel Hacking is not only good for earning points and miles toward travel. It can be used to create a decent source of income, enough to mimic a $20,000 job after taxes at least.

I’m currently living in Las Vegas for a few months before my upcoming trip to Europe in February. I’m sharing a house with a resident teacher while I explore a new relationship.

My plan before coming was to become a substitute teacher as soon as I got here, but it took longer than expected, leaving me unemployed. However, thanks to Travel Hacking, that doesn’t mean I’ve been without income.

Wells Fargo Rewards

I created over $1,300 in September from Wells Fargo Cash Back Rewards by shopping at grocery stores. Of that, only $300 was expenses, leaving a profit of $1000, non-taxable income.

How do I do this? I recently wrote about a Manufacturing Money Spent (MMS) strategy that I use to make it look I’m spending up to $35,000/month. I actually only take a max of about $400 out of the profits. I do this at grocery stores such as Smith’s, Albertson’s, and Wynn Dixie.

With the Wells Fargo Cash Back Rewards Card new card holders earn unlimited 5% cash back at grocery stores, gas stations, and drug stores the first 6 months. When applied to the MMS strategy, the only limit to how much can be earned is how many like you.

Things to consider:

  • Currently, there is no sign up bonus, although if you are a WF account holder, there may be a offer of up to $100 cash back.


  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 12.15% – 25.99% variable APR. It’s always best to pay off credit cards in full each month, but it’s nice knowing that for the first 15 months, it’s not necessary, just remember to pay the minimum.


  • No annual fee. This makes this card great for the first 6 months and then forget about while it slowly boosts your credit score.
Wells Fargo Cash Back
Ask not what you can do for it, but what it can do for you!

I have run into some issues with Wells Fargo that has caused me to lose out on quite a bit of cash back, but I have solved the problems so you don’t have to.

First, when going to buy gift cards or make a large purchase, call WF and have them put a pre-authorization on the account. After a while, WF will notice the pattern and large purchases can be made without pre-authorizations.

Second, when paying off the card, instead of sending money from BlueBird straight to the card account like normal, withdraw the money to a checking account using BB’s settings page (preferably a WF checking so payments will apply instantly,) and then pay the credit card.

This is a bit more of a hassle, but since BB isn’t a checking account, WF says they can’t verify that the money is there. They will hold payments for up to 15 days before allowing it to effect available credit.

A bank account can only be added to 2 BB accounts, so I send the money from my other accounts to the 2 that are linked to make the withdraw. BB states that accounts are limited to sending up to $2,500 per month and receiving up to $10,000, including the $5,000 load limit.

This means that $20,000 can be withdrawn to one checking account each month. If you plan to MMS more than that, then have a second bank account ready or plan to send some money straight to the card and be prepared for a possible hold on the credit limit.

I recently wrote about how to earn up to $3,000 per Discover Card account.

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8 thoughts on “How I made $1300 Grocery Shopping Last Month

    • At the end of each billing cycle, Wells Fargo, or whichever bank your card is issued by, totals up how much you’ve spent and applies the cash back to your loyalty account. At WellsFargo, every month on the 9th, I would log in and there’s my Cash Account, Credit Card Account, and Rewards Account section. I’d go to my rewards, go to use rewards and have it deposited into my checking account.

      Hope this helps, thanks for the question:)

  1. Okay, thank you. That does help. I am going to try for the WF card and see if I can get it. I’m currently a student, so I don’t know what income requirements they have, but I have really good, established credit.

  2. So I just noticed that you had added an update about Amex shutting down Bluebird for MMS. Did that happen to you while you were doing this?

  3. Yea, I was actually helping my sister meet the Chase Ink Plus business card spending requirement of 5k for the $600 spending bonus and I had bought $1,500 in gift cards on my Discover card for 3% back (my WF just endedicated at the beginning of the month.) We ended up with $6,500 in gift cards when they shut all my cards down. Luckily a friend had an inactivated BB card that he let us use to get rid of 5k, we still have about $800 to use or load at the beginning of the month before our Europe trip.

  4. Oh gosh, that’s not good. Thank you for being honest about it. I’m thinking it might not work, or at least on the scale you were attempting. Best wishes for fun on your Euro trip.

  5. No it’s not, and I try to be an open book. And you’re right, on the scale I was doing it, it’s definitely a lot harder and I’m trying to figure out a replacement option, but it is still possible to buy the gift cards at grocery stores and use them to get the higher cash back rate for all of your purchases and most bills and if you have family or friends who will buy them for $495 then you can still get a $15 profit per card. Thanks:) watch out for my posts about it.

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