Invest in bonds. When you purchase a bond, you are purchasing a loan taken out by a company or a government. The bond issuer holds your money (the price you paid for the bond) for a defined period of time. You receive fixed interest payments, usually twice per year until the term of the bond expires. When the bond expires, the bond issuer pays you back the principal.
If you put $500,000 into a candy store with the agreement that the owners would pay you a percentage of earnings, that would be considered passive income as long as you do not participate in the operation of the business in any meaningful way other than placing the investment. The IRS states, however, that if you did help manage the company with the owners, your income could be seen as active, because you provided “material participation."
I don’t look at Checkout 51 before I go grocery shopping. I just do it after I grocery shop so that I don’t get influenced by their product coupons. A lot of the coupons are for non-produce goods, but for certain things like diapers, it really saves money because I can stack my coupons (e.g. $2.00 print out coupon, and then another $3.00 from Checkout 51 for a total of $5 off the economy box of diapers).
There are dozens of ways to generate passive income. However, the option you select has to do with two metrics: time and money. Either you have a lot of time or a lot of money. Most people usually don't have both. But, if you have a lot of money, generating passive income almost instantly is easy. You can buy up some real estate and begin enjoying rental income. Or, you can invest in a dividend fund or some other investment vehicle that will begin generating a steady income for you.