Mission Competition

Top Money Saving and Comping Tips from a 20 year-old Student keen to make my limited budget stretch the semester!

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Luck and love!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Day in the Life of a Comper…Davina Mellon

Hey! I remember first hearing your name on a radio competition and tagging you in the Lucky Learners post hoping you'd get in touch in time! Luckily you won! Just another way comping is so cool! How did you stumble across it?

Well it all started when I was about 6 years old. For some reason I decided to enter a colouring competition from mini eggs. I don't think I won the main prize but i won a runners up prize of a cuddly parrot toy and a good few bags of mini eggs! A couple of months later I won a puzzle with that very toy at a local ice skating rink! Since then I've entered things here and there but I've really ramped it up in the last year or so.

Aw, that's so cute! You're a life-long comper then! What has been your best prize so far?

In money terms, the holiday to Florida which me and my husband won (I'm just back and it was fantastic despite being caught in hurricane Matthew!). However I won a holiday to Iceland which we visited in March. Iceland is somewhere I've ALWAYS wanted to visit due to my love for Scandinavia and volcanoes! So to be given the opportunity to visit for free in a gorgeous hotel was just fantastic.

The Icelandic Dream (and a potential future competition entry in my opinion!)

WOW! As a geography student, I'd love to go to Iceland! Do you prefer physical prizes or experiences like the holidays?

Definitely experiences. I find myself being a bit of a hoarder but I want to try to be as minimalist as possible. Also with comping you can experience things you just can't buy! Our trip to the south of France which included a butler, chef and PA was just magical, and being in the VIP area at Wimbledon was a dream come true! Saying that though, physical prizes you really need are fantastic too - such as the TV my husband won earlier this year.

VIPs at Wimbledon

Holidays seem to be your forté - tell me more about how you won them?

So far between me and my husband we have won 3 holidays, although one didn't include flights. The first one was to the south of France - you had to be the first person to apply and it was through with Stella Artois! The second was to Iceland. I entered a pic of me having an 'Aussie time' in a cold environment (or something along those lines) - with Aussie hair. The third was our trip to Florida which we entered a picture for. It was a promotion run by Heart radio station called faces for florida.The latest was the trip to the French alps with coors light where we had to take a pic with a pint of coors light and tweet it!

The winning 'Faces for Florida' entry

That's some big wins you've had and most of them creative photo entry! Are there any others you dream of winning?

Oooh! A trip to somewhere like Asia or South America as we haven't visited those places yet. Or New Zealand as we went there on our honeymoon and fell in love with the place! Then, as is on every compers wish list, a car! And lastly a kitchen/bathroom makeover as we've just bought our first house and we'd love to style it in our own way.

What do your friends and family think of this hobby? Have you managed to get any of them involved?

There's a mixture of responses I think. There's a lot of disbelief, jealousy but also some awe. Some people try a couple of times but lose heart when they don't win. The only person I've persuaded to properly take up the hobby is my husband but I don't think he had a choice haha!

What is your favourite method of entering competitions?

Pictures! It means less people are likely to enter, and I'm gradually building up a fancy dress collection ready for every eventuality haha!

Haha, they are so much fun to do too! Any tips for fellow compers?

Wherever you are, always keep an eye out for something you can take a picture of and use for a competition. For example a colourful graffiti wall, or a beautiful sunset etc. Then keep the best ones in a separate folder on your phone ready to go!

Any final comments about this amazing hobby?

There is nothing else like this hobby. You can have fun while being financially productive at the same time (when you win!) Me and my husband have been able to have a life this year and been on 3 holidays whilst also buying our first house. We only paid for one of them! We have saved so much money it's silly really. We always say that comping allows us to live like we're on twice the wage we are actually on! (Ok maybe not quite that much but still a lot more!)

I totally agree, it's a hobby like no other and I don't understand why more people don't do it! Thanks very much for taking part Davina! If you want to share your tips, get in touch with me on Twitter: @LaurieBeat or email:

Luck and Love,


Friday, 21 October 2016

Review and Giveaway: APPROVED FOODS


Recently I discovered an amazing website that is going to be saving me a fair whack of money. It is called Approved Food and they sell food at incredibly low prices.

How do they do this, I hear you ask?

Well, they buy food in bulk that is either nearing its best before, or is just past its best before date. Note though, that they don't sell anything that has a 'use buy' date, as foods generally should not be consumed beyond this date. However, the best before is simply an indication of when the product will still be within its best quality, and so is perfectly safe to eat.

To find out more about the brand, and the products that I bought, check out my video review below! Even better, enter the giveaway below via Gleam to win yourself a £25 voucher for Approved Food, and discover the amazing world of tasty food at affordable prices!

Disclaimer: I bought all products myself and these are all my own opinions. Prize provided by Approved Food.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

An Outsiders View on Comping

You know that look. The look of 'you do what, sorry?' when you tell people that you're a 'comper'. The questions come thick and fast - how often do you enter, what do you win, how do you do it, How are you so lucky... etc.

People seem take one of two stances. They either seem to think that you're insane or want to get involved. I decided to get out there and ask some of my non-comping friends what they thought of the hobby. Boy, did I get some mixed responses....

The parents

Dad - I don't really understand it to be honest, I wouldn't like to sit on my computer all day and win things I don't need. It's nice to win things you want but I think it could quickly become a compulsive thing and therefore not as fun. However, I did enjoy the experience of going to the X-Factor live tour with you, and the amazing seats we got!

Mum - At first I thought why on earth are you doing that, but when I saw all the amazing things you have won I understand it more. It's a great way to get things that you couldn't otherwise afford, and to get people really unusual presents (such as X-factor example above). However, it seems to take up a lot of time and I would probably not do it myself. If there was a technique and I could look for specific things then I might give it a go. For someone who actually enjoys the whole process, it's worthwhile, but it's not worth the hassle just to win things if you hate doing it. It's a great way to put your competitive streak to good use. (Note to mum: there are techniques to find specific prizes, I shall teach you my ways....)

The boyfriend:

Well I've known compers before so I was aware it's a hobby that can lead to getting nice gifts and tickets for things. I think it can be quite time consuming, but that's the whole idea of a hobby! I spend time working to earn money, so wouldn't really want to do something as a hobby that I'd consider work. Mind you I am more than happy to be a massive leech, and share your prizes! 😝

The sister:

Emm, so I think my honest opinion would be that you have proved exactly what commitment can do in that you have won some amazing prizes. However I think that someone with a full time job and other commitments like kids or a busy social life wouldn't be able to give it the commitment you have and hence wouldn't reep the benefits. And just as you have won some incredible prizes, some are questionable (angry birds single duvet cover anyone...?!) That said I really admire your commitment to the hobby and I'm glad you enjoy it, I can see how it can be addictive! Equally I am not intending on taking it up myself.

The flatmates:

1) I didn't quite get what it was at first, so I suppose my first thought was part confusion and part interest. I had a quick look in to it a few years ago and struggled to understand how the websites worked and couldn't be bothered to put in the effort to learn so just sort of forgot about it...I think it sounds really exciting (winning stuff always is I suppose) but I don't think I have the patience to do it myself. So in other words, I think it sounds like a fun hobby but also probably not one I'd ever take up because it's not really suited to me (a lazy person).

2) My first thoughts when you told me were actually just genuine astonishment that one can actually win stuff. Like when you told me you won your Apple Watch in a radio competition I thought that was so cool, cause I never think to enter any just because I never believed it would work. So my view of the hobby is a really positive one, I really envy your commitment to it as well and all the packages you get all the time (theres a few more waiting for you here in the kitchen btw).

The fellow student:

I really thinks it's a cool hobby! Because you are spending your time doing something that actually gets you stuff and you seem really enthusiastic about it. It's nice to see people really into their hobbies. I mean I just play video games and martial arts I don't win iPads and stuff. Plus trying to win competitions and that sort of thing is fun in of itself!

The friend:

Surprise: I had no idea you did it, I was shocked you did. I was impressed at your commitment, following and success though! I was also intrigued to see what it's about, and to hear all the stuff you'd won. I actually considered starting up myself, but it only lasted a day as I guess I wasn't bothered enough to put the effort in.

Thanks to everyone who answered my questions! What do your friends and family think of comping? Comment below any responses you've had, the funnier the better!

Luck and Love,