Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 2 of 2

Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas - Part 2 of 2Earning Swag Bucks a little at time grows your balance. To compound the amount of Swag Bucks, one must reach the daily goal for at least 7 days.

As one reaches the daily goal, the next day’s daily goal will increase. If you are aiming at earning money for Christmas or another occasion, Swag Bucks works.

I earned $40 in Amazon gift cards in August by using Swag Bucks throughout July. Not all Swag Bucks are equal. Some require more time than others.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to earn Swag Bucks. Piggybacking on the previous post of Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 1 of 2, the following is a list of options I used to reach my daily goals each day of July which resulted in reaching the monthly goals:

Add Swag Codes Immediately

Using the Swag Bucks Chrome extension, a popup window alerts me when a swag code is available. I click on the lock icon to see if a swag code is available. If there is one, then it tells me where to look (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)

Once I find the code, I enter it in the “enter Swag code” through the extension or on my Swag Bucks homepage. I am then granted the Swag Bucks. These are usually 2-5 Swag Bucks per code. Typically, I found 2-3 swag codes available each day.

Check your Swag Bucks Inbox

If you use the Swag Bucks toolbar, then a bubble with a number indicates how many messages are in your inbox. Some of these messages indicate how to earn extra Swag Bucks. Sometimes the offers require qualifications and signing up for a trial. Those types of offers I omitted. During the month of July, I earned all my Swag Bucks without spending any money.

Answer Surveys

Under the “answer” tab on the Swag Bucks task bar, find the survey option. I found the following helpful for earning Swag Bucks:

Daily Surveys

Earn 60 Swag Bucks for each survey you complete. Hopefully, you qualify quickly. You can only earn 60 Swag Bucks per day which is one complete survey per day through this option.

I usually started with this survey. If I did not qualify, then I moved on to the Peanut Lab option.

Peanut Lab Surveys

Under this option, I found the surveys at Peanut Labs and Radium One the most beneficial. I could usually find at least one survey from either of these for which I qualified each day. Many days, I reached my daily goal easily with one of these surveys. There are other surveys with other companies, but I never found them helpful.

If you listen to music often, then you might benefit from RadioLoyalty. For every half hour of music you play, a CAPTCHA code appears. If you enter that code, then you earn 5 Swag Bucks. No limit is listed, so earn all day long.

Survey Dashboard

This option gives a list of available surveys with the amount of Swag Bucks earned and the approximate time investment. If you start a survey and end up not qualifying, then you will earn 1 Swag Buck. You can earn up to 5 Swag Bucks each day for none-qualifying surveys.

Know that some of the surveys are quite lengthy, and you could spend 20 minutes taking the survey to then discover you don’t qualify. Some are kind and let you know within 2 minutes of the survey. These surveys are hit or miss. However, if you fill out the personal profile, then you have a better chance of qualifying when you select a recommended survey.

Complete Tasks

The tasks options found under the “answer” tab on the Swag Bucks homepage, allowed me to earn 3-10 Swag Bucks per task. Most of the tasks require a “bookmarklet.” I downloaded it once and bookmarked it. Then I placed it on my bookmark bar.

When I worked on a task, I just clicked on the bookmarklet on my bar to save time. I found these tasks pretty easy, but some were complicated. If you get stuck, then I suggest quitting  it and moving on to another one.

These tasks are great for getting those extra Swag Bucks needed to meet your daily goal. I turned to these when I did not find a survey for which I qualified. It took more time, but I was able to quickly earn the Swag Bucks needed.

Reading Excerpts

Found under the “discover” tab, select “read” to earn Swag Bucks for reading. These are easy to do. Once you complete them, they will not reset until the next month. I used these on busy days when my time was limited. Once you complete these offers, they will remain used until the next month.

Watch Videos

Under the Watch tab on the Swag Bucks homepage, lots of videos are available for viewing. These videos range in length from 2-5 minutes each. For every 10 videos watched or played, you will receive 3 Swag Bucks. You can earn up to 150 per day.

This option takes lots of time. However, if you have a lot of sitting or waiting to do, then this option is easy. Just press the button to play, and then check it in a few minutes to hit play again.

In using time wisely, I had the videos running while I was making dinner, cleaning for a few minutes, or doing laundry. I muted the sound, accomplished tasks, and earned Swag Bucks.

Play Games

Though I enjoy playing games, I did not find playing games through Swag Bucks very profitable. Though I won, I spent more time playing than I did earning. I only won 2 Swag Bucks per game. If you play often and enjoy the games available, then play and earn. In using time wisely, you can earn Swag Bucks faster other ways.

This post is crammed with lots of information from my July experiment. I was thrilled with the results of my investment of time, but it was an investment of time. In using time wisely, you may not be able to earn the daily or the monthly goals. However, you can continue to earn Swag Bucks.

I am not actively filling out surveys and tracking my daily goal. However, I search daily and am thrilled when I earn.

Swag Bucks is not for everyone. But it is one way for earning extra money for Christmas or any other occasion. In stretching your dollars, Swag Bucks is available with an investment of time.

In sharing my experience, I hope to point you to those options that will pay off with your investment of time. Happy searching and earning with Swag Bucks!

Question: In what ways have you earned Swag Bucks?

Swag Bucks: Earning Money for Christmas – Part 1 of 2

Tracy with books earned with Swag BucksIf you are feeling the squeeze this year with increasing costs for almost everything, then you are not alone. Prices are rising, and Christmas is less than 2 months away.

Did you just get a knot in your stomach at the mention of Christmas? I’m sorry. This post is not to magnify your limited resources, but rather to give you hope for earning money for Christmas. Realize that time is on your side for earning $5 Amazon gift cards or other rewards through Swag Bucks.

Though I have written about Swag Bucks in a beginning, intermediate, and advanced series, I recently found Swag Bucks the solution when I needed some extra funds.

You see, I had exhausted our home schooling budget and still needed some reading books not available at our library or at the used book store, so I turned to Swag Bucks.

By earning Swag Bucks each day, I earned $40 in Amazon gift cards in one month. I chose this amount because I could get FREE shipping with any $35 order. However, I could not redeem all those Swag Bucks until August due to the limit of 5 identical rewards per month.

Though there are various ways to earn, here’s how I earned those rewards:

1. Completed the To Do List each day of July.

Swag Bucks offers 4 easy items on the To Do List that can be completed each day for Swag Bucks. The To Do List, located on the left sidebar, is as follows:

a. Daily Crave: Watch two videos and earn 1 Swag Buck
b. Toolbar: Use the Chrome Swag Bucks toolbar and earn 1 Swag Buck
c. Daily Poll: Take the poll to earn 1 Swag Buck
d. NOSO: Skip through the offers and enter the captcha code provided to earn 2 Swag Bucks

2. Search at least three times each day.

Swag Bucks are randomly awarded for searching. However, once you win, you won’t get another reward for a few hours. In using time wisely, I would search in the morning until I earned, then in the afternoon until I earned, and then again in the evening. This way, I was receiving 7-20 Swag Bucks for each session of searching.

My son enjoyed searching and earning the Swag Bucks for me. I appreciated his efforts in helping me get through the month as it was definitely an investment of time.

3. Reach Daily Goal and Bonus Goal every day of the month.

The goal Swag Bucks are not deposited into your account until the first week of the next calendar month. Since I was earning during July, I received these Swag Bucks in August.

a. Daily Goal: Your daily goal is located in the left sidebar. A green bar will show how close you are to earning your daily goal. When I started in July, my goal was 30 Swag Bucks. By the time I reached day 31, my goal was 110. The goal does increase, but the rewards were worth the investment.

If you reach your daily goal each day of the month, then you will earn a bonus of 300 Swag Bucks in the next month for being a monthly master. The winning streak tab on the left sidebar will document your progress throughout the month. If you miss a day, then the badge you have reached will hold while your winning streak starts over.

b. Bonus Goal: After you reach your daily goal, you can earn more Swag Bucks for a bonus. These bonus goals are added together and awarded in the next month. I earned an additional 235 Swag Bucks throughout July which arrived in my account on August 5th.

Earning Swag Bucks is one way to prepare for Christmas. Though it is FREE, you will need to determine how much time you can invest into earning Swag Bucks. On some days, I could earn Swag Bucks within one hour while other days took close to two hours. I committed to the 31 days and reaped the rewards of that investment.

Swag Bucks has its perks. I loved purchasing the 6 books we needed for home schooling by using the gift cards earned. My son loved being a part of the process as he knew the goal as I searched and took surveys. He helped and checked the progress with me throughout the month.

One will not get rich by using Swag Bucks, but you can earn some extra gift cards to offset the cost of gifts for Christmas. In using time wisely, Swag Bucks was a good option in July. However, I could not do it now that home school takes so much of my time. I only offer this suggestion as I know times are difficult, but there is a way if you have the time to invest.

In the next post, I’ll share ways that I earned Swag Bucks to reach my daily goal. If you need money for Christmas, then plan to start earning Swag Bucks daily on Wednesday, October 1. Happy choosing!

Question: Have you found Swag Bucks’ rewards worth the investment of time?

American Express: Small Business Saturday – November 30, 2013

American Express: Small Business Saturday – November 30, 2013

Photograph Credit: Shop Small

In the midst of shopping season and wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday lands Small Business Saturday.

American Express sponsors Shop Small to support small businesses.

To encourage support, American Express will give their cardholders the opportunity to receive a $10 credit on their next statement.

American Express has embraced Small Business Saturday and encourages consumers to support these businesses on November 30, 2013.

Per American Express’ website:

Enroll your eligible American Express® Card to GET $10 BACK WHEN YOU SPEND $10 OR MORE at a qualifying small business location on November 30, 2013.

How it works:

1. Register any eligible American Express® Card until 11:59 p.m. MST on November 30, 2013, unless the registration limit is reached sooner.

2. Use your registered Card on November 30, 2013 to spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location. Online transactions do not qualify. To view qualifying small business locations that appear on the Small Business Saturday® Map, visit ShopSmall.com.

3. Get a one-time $10 statement credit for that transaction from American Express® within 90 days.

In using time wisely and stretching your dollars, enroll your American Express card before heading out to your favorite small business on Saturday, November 30, 2013. Happy savings!

Question: Will you participate in Small Business Saturday?

Pizza Hut: Book It Rewards

Pizza Hut: Book It RewardsIn challenging my school-aged children to meet their monthly reading goals, they earn Pizza Hut’s Book It rewards.

Pizza Hut Book It Rewards for my Family

Since my son was in K5, he has met each reading goal resulting in about 24 certificates from his teachers with each redeemed for a FREE personal pan pizza.

The first year of participation (2010), I adhered to the expiration date on each certificate. As each coupon states it expires at the end of the month granted, we used the coupons each month.

When my son went into first grade (2011), his teacher indicated that multiple vouchers could be used at the same time. Checking with two local Pizza Hut locations, I verified that we could use multiple coupons in one transaction.

Last year (2011-2012), my son saved up his coupons all year and treated our family to a pizza dinner after a soccer game. He was so excited to provide the meal with his hard-earned coupons. We were very appreciative of his hard work and willingness to share his reward with us.

Pizza Hut: Book It Rewards

This year (2012-2013), both my son (2nd grade) and my daughter (K5) earned Book It coupons. We saved them up. On the Friday half days of school, we picked up pizzas and ate them at our local jump zone before playing all afternoon. My daughter was very excited to participate this year as she waited her turn to earn the coupons.

In using time wisely to invest in my children’s reading, our family benefits from the coupons earned. In saving our coupons to provide a meal for the family, we enjoy an outing while stretching our dollars.

Pizza Hut Book It Rewards for You

School Program

If your school does not participate in the FREE Pizza Hut Book It program, then pass along the Book It website information to your school’s administration.

Homeschool Program

For those of you who homeschool, your registration is currently open through September 1, 2013. Each family will need to register for the coupon booklets. The FREE Book It program is for children in kindergarten through 6th grade.

Heads Up on a NEW Summer Reading Series

With summer on the horizon and at least 14 summer reading programs available, I will take the next 2 weeks to highlight one summer reading program a day. Reading is a fundamental in life, and so many organizations are willing to reward our readers this summer.

I encourage my children and desire to develop a love of learning through reading. As the number of programs increase with different requirements and rewards, I will invest my time to research these options to focus on one each day. At the end of the 2 weeks, I will pick up where I left off on the documents and coupon series.

As you continue encouraging a lifetime of learning, the Pizza Hut Book It program partners with parents and teachers by offering rewards for reaching those goals. If you do not have a child within this age group, you may know of a family, relative, or friend who may benefit. Feel free to pass along this information to help them in encouraging reading while stretching their dollars. Happy savings!

Question: Does your family benefit from the Pizza Hut Book It program?

L’Oreal Paris: Earn Free Hair Color

L’Oreal Paris: Earn Free Hair Color

Photograph: L’Oreal Paris

When I was pregnant with our son, my hair immediately changed. Besides getting thicker, my hair grew faster and coarser with streaks of gray. Yikes!

Since my OB did not recommend permanent hair color and I wasn’t ready for gray hair, I chose a temporary hair color.

Using a cosmetology school service, I began going every 2 months to get my hair colored and trimmed.

After my second child, I realized that my time was very precious and taking almost 2 hours at the salon was not working for me.

Asking around, I found the temporary hair color of L’Oreal Paris Healthy Look Crème Gloss.

Between my mom and neighbor, they keep my hair colored which saves me money and time.

How to Earn Free Hair Color

As a loyal customer, I was thrilled when L’Oreal Paris rolled out their rewards program because I now earn free hair color up to twice a year. The program works like this:

1. Purchase any box of L’Oreal Paris hair color.

2. Locate the code. Some codes are on the hair color bottle while others, like mine, are on the bottom of the box.

3. Enter the code by registering or signing into your L’Oreal Gold Rewards account.

4. Earn 1 credit for each code entered for 1 of 2 rewards.

      • Free box of hair color:  Once you reach 5 credits, you can redeem your credits for a coupon to get your 6th box for free. The coupon is a manufacturer coupon and arrives via snail mail.
      • $3 off coupon: When you reach 3 credits, you can redeem those credits for a $3 off printable coupon.

Tracy’s experience: Though I usually save my credits for the free box of hair color, I had 3 credits and chose the $3 off coupon. The coupon, offered through Coupons.com, loaded immediately for print.

I printed the coupon and then hit the back space button on my keyboard to print a second $3 off coupon. So, I can purchase 2 boxes of hair color and use both coupons getting $3 off each box. Now I will wait for a buy one, get one free sale at the grocery store or drugstore to maximize those savings.

Limits of the L’Oreal Paris Rewards Program

  • You can enter 2 codes every month from any L’Oreal Paris product with a limit of 10 codes per calendar year.
  • For 2013, you can earn 2 free hair color coupons OR up to 3 of the $3 off coupons. When you select the $3 off coupon, 3 credits are deducted from your account.

Extra Perks on Golden Monday

When I have codes to enter, I wait to see if the first Monday of the next month is a Golden Monday. On these days, a limited-time, members-only perk gets announced.

Golden Monday does not come every month. When it does come, Golden Monday is always on the first Monday of the month.

Besides the free perk, you also receive the 1 credit towards your next reward.

Though I started coloring my hair to solve the streaks of gray, I have found a way to stretch our dollars. I earn rewards and then combine those coupons with sales. The most of I have paid is $6 for a box of hair color. My optimum price is free to $3 per box.

In using time wisely, I can add my codes and earn rewards to get inexpensive boxes of hair color applied by my mom or my neighbor. These L’Oreal Paris Rewards allow me to stretch our dollars while keeping the streaks of gray covered.

If you purchase hair color, check for rewards through your manufacturer. A little savings here and there adds up to deep savings overall. Happy savings!

Question: How do you stretch your dollars on hair care?