Thursday, November 29, 2012

How to Make Money with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a rewards program that offers virtual currency that can be exchanged for gift cards, merchandise, and even cash.  I've been a member for a couple of years now and can vouch that it's not a scam.  It did take me a while to figure out the best way to get earnings, but now that I have, I'm making about $500 a year with only a few minutes of work each day.  There are people out there who spend all day on Swagbucks and make thousands of dollars a year, but I'm not one of them.  I don't have that kind of time, and I'm way too lazy. 

So, I'm going to outline what I do to maximize my earnings with minimum time.


1.  First, sign up for Swagbucks.  (That is my referral link.  Basically, if you sign up through me, I get matching Swagbucks up to a certain amount.)  When you sign up, if you upload a photo, you get Swagbucks.

2.  Install the toolbar.  You get 1 SB each day for it. 

3.  Use the Swagbucks search engine, either on your toolbar or on the homepage.  Every time you search, you have the chance to earn Swagbucks.  I've earned between 7 and 54 SBs from a single search.  I try to do enough searches to get at least 3 rewards a day, but usually I get more.  Just by searching, you can earn 21+ SBs a day.

4.  Take the daily poll and complete the No Obligations Special Offers (NOSO).  Just keep clicking skip on the NOSO and enter the captcha at the end.  Takes about a minute and you get 3 SB.

5.  Watch Swagbucks TV.  You get 3 SBs for every 10 videos you watch, up to 75 SBs a day.  I work on my computer, so I tend to have a tab open with Swagbucks TV and just let it play in the background.  This requires very little effort on my part; I just click a new video every couple of minutes.

6.  Install Swagbucks TV Mobile (Android or iPhone) on your phone.  You get 2 SBs for every 5 videos you watch, up to 50 SBs a day.  I usually just have them playing on my phone while I work or watch TV.  Sometimes you'll have to close out ads to start the next video, but most of the time, the videos play on their own.  Again, very little effort.

7.  Use Swagcodes.  Almost every day, Swagbucks releases codes that you enter to get extra Swagbucks.  These codes can be on Facebook, Twitter, the Swagbucks blog, or even hidden in the Swagstore.  I'd highly recommend signing up at Swagbucks Code Spoilers to get text messages or emails whenever there is a new code.

This is what I do every day because it really doesn't take any time at all and I'm usually already on my computer.  Just with these step, I get at least 150 SBs.  Now, there are a few more things I do on occasion to up my earnings.

8.  Print coupons.  These are the same printable coupons that you find at other sites, but you get 10 SBs for each coupon you redeem.

9.  Take surveys.  I hate surveys.  I almost never qualify for them and they can be time-intensive, so I only do them when I'm bored or I need the SBs.  Most surveys give 24, 60, or 72 SBs, but you also get 1 SB if you are disqualified from a survey.  I know tons of people who use surveys almost exclusively to earn Swagbucks, but it's really hit or miss.

10.  Take advantage of Special Offers.  These are offers like "Sign up for Netflix, get 1000 SBs" or "Order $20 from The Disney Store, get 1500 SBs."  If you buy your Groupons through here, you can get Swagbucks.

11.  Shop online.  If you do any online shopping, check here first to see if you can get Swagbucks for your purchase.  I was able to get several hundred Swagbucks while doing my Christmas shopping at Walmart, Old Navy, and Target. 

That's it!  Those are the things that I, personally, do to get Swagbucks.  But just to complete my list, I'm going to add a few more things that you can do (even though I don't.)

12.  Play games.  You can earn a couple of Swagbucks for each game you play.  Or, you can enter a tournament and earn a whole bunch if you win.  I've played a few games, but I don't do it often because I don't have the time.  But, if you're going to play Angry Birds-type games anyways, you might want to look here and see if anything is appealing.

13.  Do tasks.  Pick a task listed, do it, and earn Swagbucks.  I've never done this, but from what I've heard, they can take a lot of time. 

14.  Trade-ins.  Send Swagbucks your old video games, books, etc. and they'll give you Swagbucks.  I've never done this and I have no clue how much they reward you.  But it's there if you're interested. 


Well, now that you have all these Swagbucks saved up, how exactly do you make money? 

1.  Buy stuff through the Swag Store.  The most efficient way of converting Swagbucks to money is by purchasing $5 Amazon gift cards.  This is because most gift cards are 100 SB -> $1.00, but these are 90 SB -> $1.00.  Unfortunately, you can only get 5 of them a month.  If you'd rather have the cold, hard cash instead of gift cards, you can transfer your SBs into your Paypal account.  There's also merchandise that you can purchase, although unless you can find something on clearance, it's usually not worth it. 

2.  Enter Swagstakes.  If you like to play the lotto, you can use your Swagbucks to enter for a chance to win larger prizes.

3.  Buy discounts for local businesses.  For instance, I can print a $1.00 coupon for my grocery store for 35 SBs.  Or, I can spend 35 SBs for a coupon for a massage that costs $89.00. 

I just buy Amazon gift cards.  I get my 5 $5 cards each month and then with my leftover SBs, I'll get a $15 or $25 card.  Then, I save all the cards for Christmas when I have about $500 or so saved up.  This year, I did about 95% of my Christmas shopping though Amazon.  Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and gift cards, I got about $1200 worth of gifts and only paid $74 out of pocket.  Not too bad since I only spend a few minutes a day on Swagbucks. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Best Pumpkin Roll Ever

Every year since I was 18, I've been tasked with making pumpkin roll for our family dinners, and each year I try a different recipe to find the "perfect" one. 

This year, I did it.  
The Best Pumpkin Roll Ever (makes 10 1-inch slices)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (about 1/2 15 oz can) Libby's 100% pure pumpkin

8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Line a 15 x 10 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle a kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
2.  Beat eggs and granulated sugar in a large bowl until thick.  Beat in pumpkin.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.  Beat until thoroughly mixed.  
3.  Spread into cookie sheet.
4.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.  Immediately turn cake onto towel and remove parchment paper.  
5.  Loosely roll cake and towel together.  Cool on wire rack.
6.  Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.  
7.  Gently unroll cake and spread filling over the cake.  Remove towel and reroll cake.
8.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.   

It was so good, this was the only picture I thought to take.

Recipe adapted from

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Election Day!  Since a huge turnout was expected, and because I was going to have the babies with me, I decided to hit the polls around 10 thinking that everyone who was voting before work would be gone and I'd avoid the after work voting crowd. 

Um, no.

I waited in line with two babies for almost two hours.  In my 13 years of voting, I'd never waited in line, so I didn't think to bring the stroller or a snack or anything.  Obviously, I can't trust Noah not to run off if I sit him down, so I held him the whole time.  Without the Ergo.  That didn't suck or anything.

But, I cast my vote and got my nifty sticker.

The kicker, though, is that Jason went after work to vote.  Took him a whole 15 minutes.  D'oh. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's Spooky In Here

We were very excited for Halloween this year since Harper finally gets it.  We're also a little bit worried because when we practiced Trick-or-Treating with her, the most common phrase was "Give me more candy."  I had originally planned on the babies being Link and Zelda for Halloween, and had even made Noah's costume, but Harper was adamant about being Minnie Mouse.  Noah, obviously, would have to be Mickey. 

I wasn't thrilled with any of the store-bought Mickey and Minnie costumes so I made a tutu for Harper and hemmed some red pants for Noah.  All together, I spent around $35 between the tulle and the ears.  I was pretty impressed with how they turned out, if I do say so myself. 

Kaelin picked out a butterfly costume from Walmart back in September.  Unfortunately, she had a growth spurt and her costume was a little bit, um, on the short side.  She wound up wearing her Renaissance Faire dress, but wasn't too happy about it. 

Jason took the kids out while I stayed home and handed out candy to the few kids who came by.  It was kind of disappointing after all the kids we had at our old house, especially after all the time we put into decorating.  Oh well, at least the house looked awesome!