I would say that like a lot of things, you need to have awareness and balance. How you play will largely depend on how those around you are playing. Being able to 'switch gears' from loose to tight is one of the cornerstones of any great poker player. Playing tight ALL the time will get you nowhere in the long run. 1) Sometimes as you say you will simply go card dead and never play a hand, and 2) Once people are on to you, even when you DO have a big hand and go in for the kill, people will smell it from miles away and you won't get any action.
Thus in my experience, for SnG's, especially low or micro stakes, it is generally advisable to start out by playing tight, but aggressive. This means playing only premium hands (a little bit looser from position), but playing them aggressively when you've got 'em (i.e. raising and even re-raising). This is not so much because it sucks to lose early, but because everyone is playing so loose that they'll probably call you if you play marginal hands or bluff, losing you money by playing loose yourself, BUT they will also probably call you if you have a monster, so build up the pot when you do and take 'em down.
As you start approaching the bubble and the blinds get bigger however, most people will start to tighten up (because, like us all, they want to at LEAST make the money after a couple of hours of play.) However, by now playing loose (and still aggressive) you stand to win because of several factors: 1) the blinds are getting bigger, so stealing them is no longer chump change, and you need it to stay ahead of the blinds yourself, 2) other players are playing scared, so they're more likely to hold with anything that isn't premium holdings, and 3) you've been playing tight from the beginning, so at first people will think that you're still doing so, but are getting good cards.
I should note here, that playing loose and aggressive doesn't mean playing stupid. You'll still want to be in position when you try and steal, and if you run up against resistance (i.e. re-raises, or them open betting on the flop, etc.) have the discipline to just get out of the hand when you don't have it.
This way, you will be more likely to not only make the money over the long term, but when you do get there you will have more chips with which to fight for the real money
Yes, by playing loose and aggressive you will occasionally get trapped or simply sucked out on, but over the long run (and we should always think of the long run in poker) you stand to earn more with this strategy. Think of it this way: who wins more, someone who makes bottom rung in the money sometimes (earning maybe 2 times the buy in at best), but often is blinded out or loses on a coinflip on the buble , or someone who although gets sucked out on before the bubble a few times, makes top 3 once every 15 or 20 tourneys, occasionally making the bottom rung as well.
In sum, you stand to make a lot more money in the long run by playing tight at first, then loose afterwards, always being selectively and intelligently aggressive with your hands, than just playing tight all the way through and relying entirely on your cards. Always pay attention to your opponents and try to have some read on them (so you know when they're trapping you or bluffing
or scared and bluffable), and try as best you can to play from position when you have informational advantage.
Hope that helps!