One way that we've been slowly earning money to use toward larger purchases is using Swagbucks as our search engine. Over the last however long it's been since I signed up, I've earned enough points to get several things free or close to, including 2 huge boxes of Splenda, my mom's 70th birthday gift (this rooster doorbell), part of my dad's gps, and my latest: a carseat for our new fosterkid!
On SwagBucks, I typically always 'buy' a $5 Amazon card whenever I've earned enough SwagBucks (I average about 2 of these a month, with no effort at all other than using Swagbucks as my search engine). I had enough credit in Amazon cards to buy this brand-new carseat, and only pay $10! Shipping was free, because the order was over their $25 minimum, and we thought it was an excellent deal. Granted, we did not get the best one possible, but the reviews were decent, and we have not figured out why we should spend several hundred dollars on a Britax if a Cosco will do the job (no, we are not being unconcerned about child safety, just trying to make the best use of our resources - we have not been convinced that the higher-priced ones are really going to keep the baby safer if we are using them correctly).
Anyway, I highly recommend SwagBucks as an easy way to earn a few extra $ with little effort (but I'll caution you about using the special offers to try to earn extras - they are notorious for not paying out and you may spend a lot of time and effort for no reward whatsoever - take it from me, I learned from experience!). Just click the link below and sign up, and I recommend downloading the toolbar to make searching even easier.
Enjoy! And go get some SwagBucks!!