Swagbucks Paid for My Groceries

Today’s Swagbucks success story is from Danielle

What if I told you that you could walk into Walmart, put $50 worth of groceries in your cart, go through the checkout and not part with one single penny? Would you believe me?

You should, because on June 24 that’s exactly what I did!

A major part of our income comes from my husband’s monthly commissions and the last few months have been lean. After an anemic commission check in May, I was feeling very discouraged. How were we going to have groceries for June?

I logged onto my computer that morning and for the first time I noticed a Walmart gift card option on the side bar of the Swagbucks homepage. I have always cashed in my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards, but now I had an idea. What if I could earn enough Swagbucks to help supplement our grocery budget using Walmart gift cards?

Here’s what I did every day to earn 5000 Swagbucks in 45 days:

1. Complete Toolbar, Daily Poll, and NOSO first.

2. Do a search.

3. Answer surveys. There were good and bad survey days. Sometimes I could qualify for two or three surveys in one day. Some days I couldn’t qualify for one. After I received my five Swagbucks for failing to qualify for five different surveys, I moved on.

4. Do a search.

5. Complete Special Offers. Just like with surveys, there were good and bad days. I did my very best for that day and then moved on.

6. Do a search.

7. Start SBTV on the computer. While SBTV on my computer played, I would pull up SBTV on my smartphone and start it. Then I would put my phone on the kitchen counter and check in periodically to make sure it was still going.

8. Do a search.

9. Pull up another window on my browser and complete tasks (under the Answer tab on Swagbucks main page.)

10. Do a search… for anything

I had a daily goal of 50 Swagbucks, knowing that the Daily Bonuses would help push me over the goal line. The day we paid for $50 of groceries with free gift cards was wonderful.

It wasn’t easy, but I was able to help supplement our grocery budget, all while keeping up with my homemaking and homeschooling responsibilities.

Danielle is married to her best friend, blessed with three fantastic children, and fulfilling her dream of living in Big Sky Country.

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  1. Sarah says

    500 swagbucks a day! That would take a huge time commitment. I only manage 100 on a really good day with lots of free time to spend on the computer.

        • Angie says

          I’m amazed that she earned that much with only an hour a day.

          I had given up on Swagbucks because I couldn’t devote more than 15-20 min a day and it would take me a month to earn the 450 swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card, and that was if I was diligent.

          This almost inspired me to start Swagbucks again, and then I did the math and decided my time was worth more than $1 an hour. I don’t know if $1/hour is right because I don’t see anywhere in her post where she says how much time she spends.

          I don’t want to make this reader feel bad, and I’m glad it works for her, but I noticed she uses her Smart phone and I’m able to cut $80 a month from my budget by just not having a SmartPhone.

          It seems to me that her Swagbucks activities aren’t even paying for her SmartPhone, unless she found a really good deal on the data plan–then I would love to hear it.

          If she loves her SmartPhone and can’t live without it, then that’s great. I may come across as being judgmental and I’m trying not to be. But as for me, I’ve never had a SmartPhone so I don’t know what I’m missing and I would rather just not get the SmartPhone, until I go back to work and can afford it.

          • Dana says

            I tend to agree with many comments that at $1/hr, it isn’t worth the time. I know I wouldn’t do it. I used to Viggle all the time but when they canned the $10 CVS gift cards, the numbers just didn’t make sense for me to spend what likely added up to 30 min/day on there. However, as Angie mentioned above, if Danielle just ditched the smart phone and assoc. data plan, they would likely have the $80 to buy the groceries. I suppose if it came down to me having money to feed my family or a smart phone data plan (or cable, a gym membership, etc.) I would give those things up since food, clothing a shelter surely take priority over a smart phone. However, I think many (me included in this) feel like smart phone is a necessity and not a luxury and perhaps we need to change our thinking on that.

            • Sue says

              I am with Angie on this.. is a smart phone really a “need”?
              I would not know I do not have one.. and the cell phone I have is called an Amish phone.. well that is what friends call it.. LOL

              sue in NJ

            • Carly says

              I personally use my smartphone to print four extra sets of each coupon that I get from coupons.com and Grocery iQ apps. I also use Cartwheel and lots of mobile coupons. For me the printables alone cover the extra $30 a month I pay for a smartphone.

  2. kirsten says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I had a question though – how do you get the swagbucks tv to keep running to different things? On my PC it seems like I have to select each and every video to watch and need to enter a 3 letter code before I can earn the three points. I keep reading how others have reacked up the points while just letting this “run” but I don’t understand how.


        • Michelle says

          The SBTV mobile will theoretically run without interruption. (Recently, the Verizon ads have been requiring me to exit the ads before the video would run.) However, the SBTV on the computer can only be continued by clicking the next video, per Swagbucks policy. There are ways around the system (I don’t understand them, but I know they exist), but using those will get your account deactivated, as it’s against policy. Part of the reason the 3 letter code exists is to make sure you’re NOT using an automated option to cheat the system.

    • Danielle B says

      There’s a difference between the Swagbucks TV you watch on your computer, and the Swagbucks TV you watch on your phone through the mobile app. The Swagbucks TV on the computer has to be done continually- you have to check the video to watch and after ten videos you have to fill out your code, like you said. I only do that version if I’m on the computer working on other things, since I just check over every minute or so to keep it going. I do that during things like checking emails, printing coupons, reading blogs or catching up on the news, when it doesn’t matter if I’m continually interrupted.

      The Swagbucks mobile app for will play mostly by itself. It does “freeze” every now and then, and you have to close out the ad to start it again, so that’s why I keep it on the counter during the school day. I can periodically check my phone and see if it is still going. By the end of the day, I’ve earned the 50 available Swagbucks (2 SB per 5 videos, limit of 25 times per day.)

      I hope that helps!

    • Jessica W says

      on my PC the old version of SB allowed u me to do this. It seems w blog posts like this one that SB’s figures out how we are making easy SB and uses it against us by changing their program. so they have changed it universally I had thought until this post. perhaps it depends on the browser one uses? also it asks for the code to it’s a real person and not something trolling and SB’s would say to keep us “honest” in that we are viewing the videos….

  3. Barb says

    I like using some of my SB giftcards for Walmart, too. Then I get all my good almost freebie coupon deals for free and head across the street to use some of the Walmart giftcards at Sams on diapers and formula! It’s an amazing feeling to get so much for “free”! :)

  4. Jessica says

    I was wondering how much time all these daily activities took? I do the daily poll and use Swagbucks as my search engine. I also get a code or two every day. All this takes maybe one extra minute. I play the videos as I remember to- I don’t have a smart phone. I just wonder if something like mechanical Turk or mypoints or something else would be more useful for the time spent?

    • Louise says

      I also am wondering about the time factor. It doesn’t seem like it would be worth it; however, if one doesn’t work or have children at home, I guess it would be feasible to spend that much time doing it. It IS very interesting! :)

    • Danielle B says

      I have three children that I home school and take care of every day, so I couldn’t devote massive amounts of time to this either. I do believe that focusing on something with intensity can yield amazing results though! That’s why I laid out the exact pattern I used every day. By knowing exactly what order to do things in every morning, I was able to focus and get it done.

      I budgeted myself one extra hour in the mornings before my children were awake so that I could focus only on Swagbucks. Then, when my children have quiet time in the afternoons, I use one more hour to “Swagbuck”.

      I’m sure there are plenty of other areas where one could earn extra money, but they haven’t worked for me yet. There was something very rewarding about seeing my meter completed every day on Swagbucks, plus meeting my own personal goals each day. This just worked for me. :-)

      • says

        I love your can-do attitude. Like you said, maybe there were other ways you could have earned money faster (who knows) but what I love is how you got creative and just did what it took to make ends meet. There is a LOT to be said for that and it is something that more of us could benefit from remembering! Kudos to you!

  5. says

    That is so awesome. I need to get back into my swagbucks account. I have not done anything lately. Now that I have my new phone, I will definetly be doing my daily swagbucks. Thanks for the psot.

  6. Malinda says

    Such a great idea. I have been doing this as well, my goal is to earn a $5.00 gift card every month and I use that for groceries! It may not be a lot but in the end my grocery budget is $20.00 a week for a family of 3, yes times are slow with a hubby who is self employed and I work to basically have health insurance and pay for day care (but hey you do what you have to!) I set my goal to earn at least 20 to 25 swagbucks a day except for weekends I usually do not do it, but during my lunch break that is what I do! Think I might need to step up my game though!! :)

  7. Julie says

    I used to convert all my Swagbucks earnings into Amazon gift cards, but when I discovered that I could get a $25 PayPal deposit for just 2500 points, I’ve been earning those. I love being able to use real money for everyday needs, not just earning Amazon credits (although I’ve found some fabulous deals there, too!). Thanks for the great ideas on ramping up my earnings!

  8. Sarah says

    Reading this brought up a question my husband and I have been pondering. If I use my swagbucks to get Paypal credit, can I transfer paypal credit into our regular bank account for a small fee?

    • Laura says

      Yes, you can transfer Paypal to your bank account, and there is no fee involved! I work as an independent contractor for several companies, and they all pay me through Paypal. I withdraw the money into my bank account, and I have never paid a fee.

  9. says

    I love these Swagbucks stories!!! With just a *little* time each day, I’ve been able to accumulate several Amazon gift cards per month. I actually find that I can get more bang for my bucks when getting an Amazon gift card. First, they are 50 less swagbucks (450 for $5), AND I can find many things on Amazon cheaper. I keep a running list of ‘amazon only’ things that I find cheaper on there and then order those with my gift cards–keeps my monthly grocery budget down.

  10. Rachel W says

    That’s fantastic – congrats!! All sites that offer rewards take some dedication and consistency. I’m currently working towards Home Depot or Lowes cards to help with our basement remodel! I’m up to a 20 card now and every little bit helps!!

  11. Ashley says

    How did you use the swagbucks gifts cards at wal-mart? was it an online order? I thought you could only get online gift card codes?

    • Leah says

      I don’t know if this is what the author did, but you can go on Wal-Mart.com and order ‘real’ gift cards using the online codes. You can get them sent via e-mail or snail mail for free. I like to give Wal-Mart gift cards for gifts, and that’s how I convert them. :)

    • Danielle B says

      I just printed out my giftcard from the “My Giftcards” area on Swagbucks.com. When you print it out there is a little bar code on the paper. The cashier just scans it at the register to take the amount off your balance.

  12. kat says

    I love Swagbucks! My goal is at least 250 Sb a day and I can achieve that by: the 60 swag daily survey , searches, daily poll, surveys, SB TV on phone, NOSO, and swag codes. I love the bonus SB I get my achieving the daily goal and always get the big bonus by meeting the goal every month. I actually get most of my Swagbucks done in an hour while I’m on my treadmill (I can’t get off until I do at least one survey completed!) I was using my Swagbucks towards Marshalls/TJ Maxx gift cards and bought towels, dishes, shower curtains, bedding, and tons of items for my new house. I have been saving them now for Home Depot gift cards and almost have enough to paint the entire interior of my house. Swagbucks really helps out by providing with at least $80 in extra gift cards a month for our household.

    • Emily says

      That’s great to try and knock out some swag bucks surveys on your phone/tablet while working out! I never thought of that!:) Very smart!

    • Danielle B says

      It’s a typo. It’s supposed to be 50 SB per day. That was my goal, but I usually ended up earning closer to 100 per day, plus with the daily bonuses and the monthly bonus for reaching the daily goals. :-)

  13. Angela says

    I would like to add that if you’re on twitter, you should follow Swagbucks…everyday they have a word of the day and you can tweet a sentence using the SwagWord…if they retweet your tweet, you are awarded 25 Swagbucks! This is a fast, easy and fun way to expand your vocabulary and earn Swagbucks at the same time! 😉

  14. Ashley P says

    Wow! I WISH I had the time for that. Hubby and I both work full time. By the time I get home in the afternoon, pack hubby’s lunch for work (He works night shift) feed the baby, eat dinner, do the dishes, put the baby to bed, brush my teeth and take my vitamins, it’s time to go to bed and wake up at 6 AM to catch my morning train to work. As it is, I barely get to read the Money Saving Mom blog anymore. I keep it up at work and refresh it every hour or two to see if there’s anything new, but even then I get so busy I often forget.

    Maybe some day, when God allows me to be a SAHM, I’ll have more time. It sure looks like it could be pretty useful.

  15. says

    I enjoy SwagBucks myself so please don’t interpret this as a criticism. But I have to wonder, with this kind of organized effort, for at least an hour every day, if maybe you could be getting better compensation at some kind of work-from-home job.

  16. Kim M says

    You can also earn swagbucks by playing games on there as well. Granted its only 2-3 at a time.. but they add up! My personal favorite is Mahjongg 3D- 2 swagbucks every other game.

  17. Jodi says

    I like that the poster used what she had available. Maybe a good work-at-home or part-time job would pay more for her time, but it’s not available or not possible with her schedule. She used the resources she had and that worked for her! Sometimes saving more (or making money) is just using what you have in front of you!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks for this post! I was doing really well with Swagbucks for a while, and then I just stopped. Thank you for the reminder and hopefully I can get back to earning some extra money here and there. 50 swagbucks a day is a great goal, and really fairly meetable. Hopefully I can start hitting the goals for every day. That could add up pretty quickly.

    • Sherri says

      Very good point. Sure, I can make $15 an hour doing tutoring, but not at 7am in my pj’s. I can also hop on from time to time while my 6yo is working on his schoolwork. I meet the daily goal most days (except when I have to be gone from home much of the day) and it takes me anywhere from 30 minute to an hour, depending on what earning sources are available. I generally earn $25 in Amazon gc’s, plus a $10 CVS gc each month.

  18. Dana says

    @ Angie, I tend to agree with you however I think many people, me included in this consider our smart phones a necessity and not a luxury. I do think if it came down to it, I would ditch my smart phone and data plan to have more money to spend on groceries since food, shelter and clothing take precedence over having an smart phone but I think I would go down that road kicking and screaming and might rather make $1/hr. than give up my smart phone 😉

    In the end, in my own opinion, if you just look at the numbers, it seems frivolous to spend 45 min./day on something that yields you $50 when you can just ditch your phone that costs you more than that. These are all first world problems as I typically say and she’s blessed to have the time and money she made using swagbucks to buy her family groceries.

  19. Heidi says

    Please don’t take this the wrong way but my time is worth something. I could just as easily clean my neighbor’s house for a few hours one afternoon and make $50! Please consider your time invested when you say you got something for “free”.

    • Dana says

      Well said Heidi, there is a value to our time and I think my “rate” is valued at much higher than $1/day which is what Danielle earned if you take the $50/45 days. Not enough to win me over.

      She may have been better served finding a part time job for a few hours a week that would have paid her much, much more. I think that being a SAHM boxes some women into a hole in that they forget there are still creative ways to earn money that don’t involve a computer, a blog, etc.

  20. Dana says

    I don’t use swagbucks simply because the time spent on there VS. the “payout” is really not very good. I believe many SAHM’s (and dads) are much more talented than taking surveys online, doing searches and playing games for $1/day. I know many folks on here mentioned a little time can really pay off on swagbucks, it’s not a little time no matter how quick you try to be. A part time job (that likely would have paid more than 5 cents/hr, which is what this poster earned) or even just cutting back in another area would have “found” them $50.

  21. Emily says

    I get really discouraged when I read some of the comments on posts like these when everyone wants to up one another on their money saving strategies by saying things like, “I save even more money by not even having a smartphone” or, “You could save more money instead by picking up a different part-time job”—both, which are probably true statements, undercut the person who shared this money saving strategy, and make her seem like her efforts are in vain. However, for her, they are working out great! And to Danielle, I say way to go! You’ve done an excellent job helping supplement income for your family.

    I want to say that I appreciate people on the comments page saying “You can save more money by doing XYZ”, but sometimes I feel like I read more prideful comments than I do helpful ones. Yes, some of you are excellent at canning and gardening, and you probably save way more money than someone who buys their produce at the store. And yes, some of you use cloth diapers and save way more money than someone who uses disposables. However, none of us know each person’s individual reasoning behind their purchases or spending habits. We can’t ridicule others for what they chose to do or not do, because really we have no idea what each others life situations are.

    • Sherri says

      Good point. Danielle didn’t say her husband was unemployed, or hours cut, just that things were leaner than they had been. She has no reason to assume that the bottom is about to fall out and therefore she needs to get a job. Also, her need wasn’t for several hundred dollars, just a little extra. Her solution to a temporary problem was a temporary solution. She can easy cut back on swagbucks later if she doesn’t need the extra cash, or she can switch to using them for fun money. She can increase/decrease her commitment to this at will (day by day, even!), which is not so easily done when you are obligated to an employer.

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