Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Swagbucks Obsession

We are a single income family. When the company I was working for last year folded, NJhusband and I decided that it would be best for us if I stayed home, focused on some new therapies for my anxiety and took some time off. Having this time has been an absolute blessing. Our plan has always been that I would be (hopefully!) a stay at home mom, so we just started out the process a bit early. 

After I got settled into a routine at home, I started looking for ways to earn myself some "mad" money from home. Things I have tried with various results are: surveys and product testing, mystery shopping, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Jingit, Viggle and Swagbucks (that's my referral link). I'll go into more detail on some of these others later, but my biggest money maker by far has been Swagbucks. I am obsessed! I did the majority of our Christmas shopping this year using Amazon gift cards I got from Swagbucks combined with our Discover card reward points that you can use on Amazon. It REALLY kept our holiday budget down. 

Basically by using Swagbucks you earn points that translate into gift cards. You can earn points by watching videos, searching the web, participating in the daily poll, and various other ways. There are a ton of options, but the best "bang for your buck"(at least right now) is a $5 Amazon gift card worth 450 points. I earn 3 or so of these gift cards a month. You can earn more with referrals, by signing up for every offer they have (and in turn getting lots of email spam) and doing surveys, but my method is a bit more relaxed. Here is what I do:

1) my biggest point earner is by using Swagbucks as my search engine. There is a toolbar you can download so that you can search right from that (this is what I do) or you could make Swagbucks your default page. You don't earn points for every search, but by using it as you would Google, you can earn points a few times a day just for doing something you would be doing anyway! 

2) Friend Swagbucks on Facebook and put their blog in your RSS feeder. Usually once or twice a day they put out a "secret code" that is worth free points. If you can put this into your Swagbucks page before it expires you get free points. Love that! If you are on Twitter, follow them as well and sign up for alerts. My phone dings when they tweet a new code so I don't miss any! 

3) Each day Swagbucks has a poll (worth 1 point), gives you a point for using the toolbar (if you installed it) and does something called NOSO (No Obligation Special Offers) (worth 2 points). If you take a minute to scroll through the offers and just keep clicking skip, you get points. I spend maybe 5 minutes in the morning, doing these 3 offers, watching a video ad or two on their main page (2-4 points) and doing some web searches and earn 10-25 points right there. A few more web searches throughout the day and some free codes and I usually can double that. 

4) Swagbucks TV. For every 10 videos you watch in 24 hours you get 3 points. I don't do this a ton, but if I know I'm sitting in front of the computer or if I'm just in the same room as my computer, I open up Swagbucks TV and run through some videos. This option is also good when you are SOOOO close to a reward and want to push yourself over the point limit. The videos aren't too long and usually you only have to watch the first 30 seconds or so to get the points. 

5) Swagbucks inbox. I don't do these too often, but sometimes they send you ways to earn more points to your Swagbucks inbox. The video ones are the best. You get points for just watching a short video and answering a question about the ad before the video. Easy peasy. Sometimes they send surveys, but I often don't qualify so it's kind of a waste of time (BUT if you do, the payout is BIG, so sometimes it's worth the gamble if I have time and patience). 

That's it! It all sounds a bit complicated, but I swear once you get into a rhythm it is super easy. I literally could NOT have kept to my holiday budget this year without my stash of Amazon giftcards I earned (Amazon lets you use unlimited gift card codes per order, so stack those $5 ones to your hearts content! 

Anyone else Swag too and have tips I missed??

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