I saw it every time I logged into Facebook.

“I just won 10 Swagbucks at www.swagbucks.com!”

That’s great…but what the heck were Swagbucks? I finally emailed one of my Swagbucking friends to get the answer.

is a service where you can earn points, and then trade them in for all kinds of items, from a Target gift card to an iPod touch. You can earn points through using the Swagbucks search engine, taking surveys, and completing sponsored offers. You can also follow Swagbucks via Twitter or their blog, and find Swag codes for additional bucks. When you’ve earned enough bucks, you can exchange them for anything from the Swagbucks store. You can also use your Swagbucks to purchase entries into prize drawings.

By now, you are probably thinking what I was thinking: sounds great, but is it legit? I asked my friend this very question. She told me that she had just bought a new digital camera, purchased with Amazon.com gift cards she had earned through Swagbucks. She had also bought her son’s toddler bed using Target gift cards earned through Swagbucks. Sounded good to me! I signed up.

So far, I like Swagbucks. The tone of the site is very fun and casual, and not overly sales-y. Nothing unwanted has been downloaded to my computer; there’s a Swagbucks toolbar, but it’s completely optional. My email address has not ended up on 273654 spam lists. I’ve earned Swagbucks from doing searches, answering polls, and taking a couple of quick surveys. I’ve also found some Swagcodes on the Swagbucks blog.

What are the downsides to Swagbucks? First of all, their search engine is not the greatest. It’s not bad, but not as good as Google. However, if you are doing a basic search, it gets the job done. The other downside I have found is that it takes a lot of work to earn Swagbucks quickly. If you are looking to earn that iPod in a couple of weeks, you’re going to have to do a lot of Swagbucking.

The good and bad thing about Swagbucks is that you get out of it what you put into it. You get to decide how much Swagbucks is a part of your online experience, which is great, but if you don’t have a lot of time for it, you won’t earn a lot of bucks. I am a casual Swagbucks user; I don’t spend a whole lot of time on the site, and for that reason, I only have a few hundred Swagbucks. I am ok with that, but for some users that might be a problem.

I would recommend that any mom looking to earn some easy rewards sign up for Swagbucks. It’s completely free, and if you don’t enjoy it, you aren’t out anything. If you do enjoy it, it can be a great way to earn free stuff for you and your family.

Full disclosure: The link to Swagbucks I have provided is my referral link. This means that if you follow the link and sign up for Swagbucks, I will get a referral bonus credited to my account (in Swagbucks, not actual bucks). My goal with this post is to inform readers about the service, not gain a bunch of bucks. You can always sign up without a referral at www.swagbucks.com.