Welcome to my first series ever–My Favorite Websites and Apps for Saving Money. In this series, I’m detailing websites and apps that I use to save money. A few of these are actually legitimate ways to EARN money! These are all websites and apps that YOU could easily start NOW in order to save money or even EARN money! Every little bit adds up!
Thank you for joining me, and remember that you can ask me any questions in the comments and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Let’s begin!!
Website #1: Swagbucks
What is Swagbucks and how does it work?
Swagbucks is a website that started as a search engine that randomly rewards you points (or “Swagbucks”) when you’ve made several searches. You use the search feature the same way you would use Google, but Swagbucks’ search is powered by Yahoo. Personally, I’ve never felt the need to leave Swagbucks and go to Google to search for something.
The Swagbucks you earn can be traded in for a vast variety of gift cards and even free items, such as electronics. You will find gift cards for everything from restaurants (Domino’s, Starbucks, etc.) to stores of all kinds (Walmart, Amazon.com, etc.), and even gas stations and airlines. The options are endless… And simply perfect for guilt-free Christmas shopping or just treating yourself!
When I joined Swagbucks back in 2011, it had already developed past the point of just being a rewarding search engine, and it has developed even further since then to include MANY different options for earning Swagbucks. The main categories for earning as listed by Swagbucks.com are these:
- Answer Surveys: Swagbucks matches you to surveys based on your profile. The surveys vary in length of time to complete and how many Swagbucks are awarded for your effort.
- Discover Offers: Well-known brands offer exclusive deals and offers directly to Swagbucks users with the added bonus of earning Swagbucks when you check out or take advantage of these offers.
- Use the Mobile App(s): Swagbucks offers a mobile app for the website itself that enables you to earn Swagbucks on the go. Other apps are offered allowing you to exclusively watch videos to earn points on the go. (see Watch Videos below).
- Search the Web: Earn points at random intervals when you search using the Swagbucks’ Yahoo!-powered search engine.
- Shop Online: Swagbucks offers “cash back” in the form of “Swagbucks back” for purchases at participating online retailers. Percentages vary based on the retailer.
- Watch Videos: The main website has a “Watch” section where you can watch original videos and earn Swagbucks. There are also several Swagbucks mobile apps that are exclusively for watching their video content and earning Swagbucks.
- Play Games: Swagbucks offers a few free games that you can play to earn Swagbucks, and you can also earn through GSN games, but you have to pay to play those, so that’s something I’ve never looked into.
A major feature of Swagbucks that I love that is not specifically listed in Swagbucks’ official list of ways to earn (it’s technically under the “Shop” category), is that you can earn Swagbucks just by printing and using grocery coupons. The printable coupons they have are powered by coupons.com, so if you already use coupons.com, stop now and sign up for Swagbucks and print from there instead!!
Every day Swagbucks will have a “Discover” offer that awards Swagbucks for printing a certain list of grocery coupons. So you could potentially print the pre-selected coupons and never use them and still receive some Swagbucks from that. OR you can do what I do, and print all my coupons.com coupons directly from Swagbucks, and when I redeem the coupons in the store, I receive 10 Swagbucks per redeemed coupon.
I’m a big-on-coupons gal, so the fact that I can get an extra benefit from coupons I was already going to be using is a huge perk for me!
How can you get started on Swagbucks?
All you need to do is first sign up for a free Swagbucks account. Then the biggest thing I recommend you do is start to play around on the site and figure out what ways of earning are the most time-effective and enjoyable to you.
For example, the easiest ways for me to earn fairly passively is to run videos on my Swagbucks Mobile TV app throughout the day when I’m not using my phone for other things, and to have a tab open on my web browser to the “Watch” section of Swagbucks.com. Every few minutes I’ll toggle over to that tab and start a new video group.
If you feel stuck on what to do, you can also go to the bottom of the Swagbucks page and read their helpful articles and links under the “Information” tab. You’ll also find a “Ways to Earn” tab that can lead you in the right directions.
After I’ve finished this money-saving websites and apps series, I’ll write a follow-up post about different ways I earn approximately 100 Swagbucks a day in order to help you figure out how to make the site work for you without spending large chunks of time on it.
How do you redeem your Swagbucks for gift cards?
This is probably the easiest part of Swagbucks. 🙂 You simply go to the “Redeem” tab and select the gift card you have accumulated enough Swagbucks to buy, and make your purchase. You will be asked to verify your account to confirm your order, and then in 2-3 weeks, your gift card will be emailed to you.
Is Swagbucks really worth it??
Until you’ve figured out what works best for you to earn Swagbucks, it can overwhelm you and feel like too much work. But in reality, there are many fairly passive ways to earn as I mentioned in the section on getting started.
If you dedicate just 10-20 minutes a day to run a few videos and click through a few “Discover” offers, you can easily earn 50 Swagbucks a day. Add in running one of the mobile video apps on your phone during the day (or at night while you are sleeping!), and you can add another 10-20 Swagbucks to your daily total. This would give you 1,500-2,100 Swagbucks per month. 1,500 scores you a $15 gift card of your choice, and 2,100 would score you a $20 gift card with 100 Swagbucks to spare.
So you can see how just a few minutes a day easily EARNS you money that you can put aside for Christmas, birthdays, or even just to treat yourself!
I’ve been using Swagbucks since 2011, and in that time, I have been able to redeem hundreds of dollars worth in gift cards. The last time I counted, I had redeemed a little over a $1,000 in gift cards. Swagbucks has really been worth it for me–the gift cards have paid for everything from necessities to gifts to fun things I wouldn’t have let myself buy if I didn’t have the “free money” Swagbucks allowed me to have.
Would you let me know if you already use and love Swagbucks? And if you don’t, let me know if you decide to try it!! I’d love to cheer you on!
Be sure to come back on Monday (11/14) to learn about Ebates!!
(Note: The links I’ve provided to Swagbucks are my personal referral link. If you sign up for Swagbucks as well, you’ll also get a link to share with friends for the same referral bonuses. Happy Savings!)