If you don’t live in a bottle deposit state, you can still cash in on recyclables by selling scrap metal. You may not have enough soda or beer cans lying around to make this worthwhile — and steel prices are so low right now, it’s not really worth the bother to go collecting them. But if you do have a lot of aluminum cans on hand, or if you have any scrap metal with copper in it, find a local recycling center and see what you’ll get (prices vary wildly by market). Still, unless you have a lot of copper pipes lying around the garage, or bags and bags and bags of old soda cans, realistically, we’re probably talking about getting $5 to $20 back.
This may sound like a dumb idea, frankly, but a lot of banks these days are offering $200 to $300 signup bonuses to customers who open up a new checking account. The catch, though, is that you generally have to really open these accounts. You need to be willing to set up a direct deposit and put money in the account, and you often don’t receive the bonus for at least a month, sometimes even longer. On the other hand, if you were thinking of going to a new bank, anyway, it’s an easy way to make some extra cash.