I have previously mentioned getting paid to take surveys and getting paid to mystery shop but did you know you can get paid to be a part of a focus group? There are many companies willing to pay individuals to be a part of focus groups which study everything from consumer products to health care. As always, you may encounter third parties wanting to charge you for a listing of these companies but you can find all of these companies on your own. I have found 2 sites though which list these companies free of charge.
Check out Volition and Paid Focus Groups and register at companies near you. They will contact you when there is a group they want you to participate in.
I have participated in 2 different groups so far. Both were fun and enlightening. We met at a location and they gave us snacks and drinks and then we gathered around a table and discussed the topics at hand. I got paid $100 for 2 hours of my time with the first one and $70 for 2 hours the second one. And, they pay in cash at the end of your time. I can't wait for the next one.