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Mission Competition

Top Money Saving and Comping Tips from a 21 year-old Student keen to make my limited budget stretch the semester!

Follow me on Twitter:@LaurieBeat and Instagram: @lornab22 or email any queries to lauriebeat@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group for more tips and a comping community!

Luck and love!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Life After Advents



We have spent the last few weeks devotedly visiting the same websites, playing ridiculously difficult games (Xigen's Ninja Santa Game anyone?) all in the hope of winning a little Christmas present for ourselves. Now that the advents are over, its coming up to a time of year where competitions seem few and far between, only exaggerated by the extreme amount that were available in December. So how do we prevent a loss of motivation during this time?

My first tip would be to use the time to organise your comping. Did you come up with new techniques to handle the sheer volume of advent competitions (if so please comment them below!) - I started using bookmarks and saving links on Facebook a lot more than I used to.  The first thing to do is not to delete all of these, as they may be useful next year, but instead to file them away somewhere (and then not forget where). Bookmark pages you visit every day such as an instant win list, free daily lotteries and any gleam competitions that you are particularly wanting to win, so that you can complete the daily entries. Other good sites to bookmark are Prizefinder, Loquax and Compers News (if you are a member). 

It's also the perfect time of year to go through photos from Christmas and pick out the funniest ones or ones that may fit a future competition such as Christmas jumper theme, family fun or Christmas crafts/baking. Put these away in a folder on your computer and you'll be thankful for it next year.

Another thing to do is to go through some of your advent wins and decide what to do with them. I had been comping for Christmas presents so my 'prize bookcase' isn't too full, but every so often I will go through and sort wins into boxes - presents, things to sell and spares for me (such as make up and toiletries for when mine run out). That way I can see what prizes I have won (cue motivation boost), and know what prizes to focus my time on! It is also a great opportunity to go through your wish list and tick anything off (a great feeling) and to make a new one. Wish lists are such a good way to keep motivated and to make the hobby more manageable. For more tips of wish lists, check out <this post>.



Another thing that I like to do when the quantity of competitions is not there, is to focus on 
quality - particularly effort competitions. I use competition forums to find creative competitions and spend the days between Christmas and New Year, when you don't even really know what day it is,  thinking up slogans, baking photogenic cakes and coming up with winning video ideas. With less daily competitions to enter now that advent is over, you can spend more time working on your entry. These competitions also tend to have bigger prizes, while often being low entry too, so really worth putting the time in. Also, it's nice to get a break from all the quick social media competitions and form filling that occupied my life during December.

What are your plans now that advents are done? Did you have a successful month? This was only my second year of really committing to advent and I really enjoyed it! Only 11 months and 3 days until next advent!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Day in the Life of a Comper....ME!



I have been asking so many of you guys questions about how you got into comping and what you like about it that I realised I had never answered these questions myself! So here you go, a day in the life of this comper, questions asked by my lovely Mission Competitions Facebook Group:

What was your first prize and how old were you? What sort of competition was it?

My first ever prize I distinctly remember winning. It was from the Dorset Cereals 'Spin to Win' Competition around 6 years ago, so I would have been 15. I remember sitting on my bed upstairs at my parents mindlessly clicking the spin button I had pressed so many times before. I wasn't in the best of moods was really tired. However, as soon as that 'WINNER' notification came up, I had a burst of energy and sprinted downstairs to tell my dad (who also entered most days). We were so happy and after that I was hooked on comping!


When did you start and how long do you tend to spend a day on comping?

Although this incident was when I first won, I didn't start comping to the serious extent that I do now until about 2 years ago. I was taking a year out of uni to get my life back together, and needed something to focus on. Comping gave me that buzz and time-killer that I needed. 5 months later I started this blog and haven't looked back since.

I spend 2-4 hours per day on comping, spread throughout the day. I tend to spend 10 minutes here and there on my phone entering competitions too, so it may add up to more than that. I try to work it into my daily routine to make it more manageable.


Check my daily routine post <here>


How do you keep motivated?

For me, having this blog, filming prize unboxing and chatting to my lovely followers over on my Facebook group really inspires me to keep going. If you aren't wanting to start up a blog (I don't blame you, it takes time) then try and think of another way to keep track of wins - a spreadsheet, a notebook or try to display your favourite wins somewhere (I have a bookcase dedicated to this in my tiny room). That way, if ever you are lacking motivation, you can have a look at what you have won and know that it is possible to win again!


Where are you most lucky?

I'm not sure if I am most lucky on Instagram or if I just spend so much time on it, that it is where most of my wins come from. I love photography, and so entering creative competitions by posting photos on my Instagram is easy! I also love the like, tag, comment competitions (feel free to tag me @lornab22) and always try to add in a personal comment or emoji to the promoter.


Do you use comp list sites or Google more?

Here's a confession, I can be a lazy comper. I find it so much easier to just go onto Prize Finder or Loquax and hit 'Closing Soon' to find some competitions than search them out. If I am looking for something in particular (currently a bike) I will search for it on Prize Finder or, on a rare occasion on Google (setting filters to 'UK only' and 'within the last month'). I know that I should probably use Google more to seek out low entry comps, but we ain't all perfect. Maybe I'll make that my New Years Resolution.


What's the most effort you've made for a comp?

This is a hard one to pin-point, but probably one of my creative photo comps. There is currently a competition on to take a photo in a Windfarm just outside Glasgow, and so, when I saw that the sky was pretty, I strongly encouraged my Dad to drive the pair of us out there (about 40 minutes) and then walk round in the -3°C Scottish heat to take pictures of wind turbines....

There is also a photo of me dressed as a Christmas tree kicking around that is amazing for Christmas comps each year, but man it took ages to get that green out. 




How many friends have you converted?

Well, this is a tricky one. Not for want of trying, but not very many. I think people underestimate how much effort goes into comping. They hear about wins and think they can click a few buttons and have prizes arriving at their door by the end of the week. As many compers know, it takes a lot more than that. And so a couple of friend who have tried have then stopped as they didn't want to put in the effort.

Also, outside the comping world, I'm not very vocal about this hobby. It's not that I'm ashamed, quite the opposite, I am just afraid that it will seem like I'm bragging if I go on about the Apple Watch and iPad that I won. If people ask, I am more than willing to tell them about it, but I don't shove it in their faces. Therefore, I convert less people than I possibly could.

Recently, I have managed to get my flatmate into comping, after I won us tickets to the Good Food Show and the Girls Day Out Show. It always makes me smile when I see that she has tagged me in a competition, as I know she would never have done that before. I'm still working on converting my dad, although he does enter the odd Instagram competition. However, after I won a competition last week that he had also entered and tagged me in he is beginning to lose faith. One win and I'm hoping he is fully converted.

What has been your most unwieldy or weirdest  prize? (I love the wording of this question)

These days, I always stick to the rule that if I don't want a prize, I won't enter. However, due to random runner up prizes I have had a few odd ones. One of the weirdest was an automatic toothpaste dispenser. It sat in its box for months, until one day I decided to use it....I now use it every day. So random, and seems so lazy, but keeps my bathroom shelf nice and tidy!

Another one that my sister likes to take the mick out of me for was a runner up prize in the Frubes competition. I won a single bed Angry Birds duvet cover - I have a double bed and don't like Angry Birds. Still, it made someone happy when I gave it away. (see her oh so subtle point <here>)


What has been your favourite prize?

I think it has to be my Apple Watch for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was my first big win and first radio win. It was with Kiss FM and I won a technology bundle - Apple Watch, iPod Touch, Beats Headphones and iTunes Vouchers, I was on holiday in France when I got the call and couldn't believe it! Shows you're a comper when you still answer the phone even though you'll pay extra for being abroad! The other reason that it's my favourite is that I use it everyday! I love my Apple Watch, and don't know what I'm going to do when it breaks, because I cannot afford a replacement! Because I wear it everyday, it's a great reminder about what comping can achieve.


What's your favourite group on Facebook for competitions?

Well I mean, apart from my own Facebook Group <join here> I love Lucky Learners. Sometimes I find it's a bit busy and so enjoy smaller offshoots of it such as the Instagram Competitions group (a fabulous source of my fav comps). Facebook Groups are such a good source of inspiration and I learn so much from hearing other peoples stories. They really do show that Compers are Lovely People


Obviously you're very organised & methodical about comping, but do you have any secret superstitions as well?

Although I do follow a comping routine, I do not stick to it so seriously that I'll be stressed if I veer from it. Life is too short to worry about missing the free lottery one day or entering competitions in a different order than normal. This is a fun hobby, and so I don't want to taint it by superstition and stress. Every so often I like to take a couple of days off comping (shock, horror) and appreciate life on the outside.


Thanks for all your questions guys, it was fun to answer and hear what you wanted to know. Please comment any other questions below and I'll try to answer as many as possible :) 

Luck and Love, 

xx




Friday, 9 December 2016

Pulled Pork Burgers - Student Heaven

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Around 8 hours


These days, you can't turn a corner of Glasgow's bustling city centre without being faced with a burger restaurant. They seem to be invading the world and, as a big burger fan, this is bittersweet. As a student, money is tight, and so I can't afford to be going out every second day to devour a burger the size of my face. Also, there's the whole health thing. A healthy body results in a healthy mind, and so I am trying to reduce the amount of salts and unhealthy fats that I am eating, especially on the run up to exam season.

Luckily enough, there is a solution to both these problems - make the burgers yourself. I know, big shock, but being a student does not mean you cannot cook. In fact, I love it! It will save you money and be good for your health, win-win! You don't need to miss out on the social side either, invite your friends round and recreate that burger restaurant in your own kitchen, and add yet another pop-up burger bar to your city.

Equipment:


- Slow Cooker (This recipe can be done in the oven, but a slow cooker is such a worth-while investment. I got mine for £15 from Amazon, and it means that I have my dinner cooking while I'm at the library studying. Nothing beats coming home and having your dinner ready for you!)




Ingredients:


  • 2 red onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Extra veg: mushrooms, carrots, peas (optional)
    • Apple chunks are an amazing addition
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lo-Salt (which has 66% less sodium than normal salt)
  • Spices (I like mine mild, but spices are a great way to add flavour without extra salt, so add more or less to personal taste)
    • 1 tablespoon each of cayenne pepper and paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin and cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 pork shoulder, fat trimmed off (one of the cheapest cuts of meat you can get)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup (optional)



Method:

  1. Thinly slice the onions and garlic and lay across the bottom of the slow cooker before pouring over the stock and extra veg (if using).
  2. Combine the spices, sugar and Lo-Salt in a bowl and rub the mixture over the pork.
  3. Lay the pork in the slow cooker
  4. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low (basically until the pork can be pulled apart easily with a fork)
  5. Take off the heat and strain the contents of the slow cooker, being sure to keep the liquid that you pour out.
  6. Shred the pork using a fork, and discard any fat.
  7. Add the solids back into the slow cooker and mix in the BBQ sauce and ketchup (if using) and small amounts of the drained liquid (skim the fat from the top first) until the pork is just moist.
    • (You can just use the drained liquid if you are avoiding processed sauces)
  8. Mix well, and serve in your favourite burger buns (mine are the Mediterranean ones) or in wraps.
  9. Once cooled, put any spare (this is rare since it tastes so good) in a sealed container in the fridge. Tastes amazing the next day as a packed lunch, as the spices really infuse the meat.

Enjoy your tastier, healthier and cheaper burgers, and let me know how you got on in the comments below!




Thursday, 1 December 2016

Prize Unboxing: November 2016



Prize: Angry Birds Pencil Case
From: Frubes
Entry: Purchase Necessary

Prize: Selection of Health Goodies
From: No Idea
Entry: No Idea

Prize: Coffee
From: Miles Tea & Coffee
Entry: Twitter

Prize: Blanket
Entry: Facebook

Prize: Personalised Notebook
Entry: Facebook

Prize: Selfie Stick
From: Iceland
Entry: Post a selfie on social media

Prize: McVities Bundle
From: McVities
Entry: facebook

Prize: £100 Notonthehighstreet Voucher
From: TopCashback
Entry: Twitter Party

Prize: Body Butter
From: Soaper Duper
Entry: Instagram

Prize: Rebok Shoes
From: Intersport
Entry: Twitter

Prize: Mini Speaker
Entry: Twitter Tag

Prize: Blending Sponge
From: Little Known Box
Entry: Instagram

Prize: Christmas Scarf
From: Boho Chic Life
Entry: Instagram

Prize: Notebook and Pencil Case
From: Pukka Pad
Entry: Instagram

Prize: Reeds and Incense
From: Amphora Aromatics
Entry: Instagram

This months favourite prize: has to be the massive McVities bundle. No doubt. half of it is gone.

Friday, 25 November 2016

eBay Bargains with Goofbid


With Christmas fast approaching, shopping increases and funds consequently decrease. As I am busy studying at the moment, I am not only on a money budget, but also a time budget, and so mastering the art of online shopping in the cheapest way possible is important.

Today, I have enlisted the help of Goofbid to share some of the best ways that you can use eBay to grab a bargain. I have used eBay for a good few years now, not only as a purchaser but also as a seller, and is a great way to sell off unwanted gifts (or prizes) and put that money into getting the gifts people will really want (or treating yourself to that bag you've been eyeing up for ages). Keep

When selling items, there are a few common mistakes that are made. One of these is the pictures. be sure to get the item in a good light (natural light is best, so try taking the photo near a window) and with a clear background (I use my desk a lot as it is a neutral colour). Make sure your first picture is eye-catching and shows the whole item off, as this is the first impression the buyer will get.

Another issue is spelling. Always, always, always double check the spelling of an item, even if you are sure. I was once wondering why a Cath Kidston bag just wouldn't budge until I realised that I was advertising a lovely floral Cath Kidson bag, and so wasn't coming up in any of the searches. This one is good to note though if you are looking to buy something much cheaper. Items that are spelt wrong are much less likely to be seen, and so bids may not reach as high a price. This is where Goofbid comes in, as they have an eBay Misspelling Tool that finds auctions that you would never be able to find due to little wording mistakes. You don’t even have to manually search, just use Goofbid’s typo finder.
Goofbid - Best Auction Sniper & eBay Tools

How do I use the eBay Misspelling tool?

It’s really easy to use and you can find a great bargain a lot quicker than you would without using the tool. All you have to do is visit the tool and type in the correct spelling of the item you want to find, the less specific the eBay search is the more bargains you will find.

You can refine your search too and find even more eBay deals and using the keyword search tool you can filter eBay items, so you can find misspelled items that slip off the map. Once you find a fantastic bargain all that is left to do is place a snipe using Goofbid’s FREE eBay sniper.

The FREE Goofbid Sniper is another tool that helps you bid on items without being outbid. By entering the eBay item number and your maximum bid the sniper automates the process and will snipe the auction just a few seconds before it ends, you can guarantee that you will have the best chance of winning. Bidding close to the end is always a good way to make sure you will be the winner, but doesn't always happen at a convenient time for you, which is why Goofbid is so handy.

The fully automated Goofbid sniping tool is simple, effective, reliable and best of all completely FREE!

How do I use the Goofbid Sniper Tool?

All you need to do is create an account on Goofbid, and once registered go to the sniper page and enter the item number of the eBay item which you’d like to win. Enter your maximum bid on the item, remember to check the listings page as you need to confirm you are sniping the correct item. Set the snipe and then you can relax whilst others bid amongst themselves in the run up to the end of the auction.

Be sure to check out some of the the other great tools that Goofbid has to offer - located along the top of the website.


Top eBay tips:


  • Get the cheapest results by selecting “Zero Bid Only” and selecting a price range between £0.01 and £0.99.
  • There are not only misspelled items, items can also be categorised incorrectly. Keep an eye out for products in related categories such as computer consoles appearing in Games and Accessories categories.
  • If you see a Best Offer option, don’t pay full price. Remember that in listing an item with an Offer available, a seller will have an acceptable offer in mind.
  • You can check the eBay going rate for similar items by typing in the search box and ticking ‘completed items’ on the left. A list of prices similar auctions will come up, if you select ‘lowest price’ and the price is black, that means no one bought it so you won’t need to pay more than the average.
  • Try to haggle on buy-it-now listings or auctions with high start price and no bids, there’s no harm in asking for a discount.
  • If you’re not familiar with eBay, you can buy cheap items to start learning the ropes. Try bidding on small items to learn how the bidding system works.
  • Don’t be fooled by fakes, eBay does use a ‘flag and remove’ policy to help identify fakes but they do still come up. Keep a look-out for overseas sellers or branded items that seem really cheap.
  • Be sure to pay for items quickly, the better your scoring the more likely people may buy from you in future!
  • If you don't mind waiting, items from China can be bought at a real snip. I got an iPhone cover for 20p the other day - worth the 30 day wait. Just type in 'iPhone 5 Cover' and then order by price low to high + shipping (and that plus shipping bit is important).

So there you go, some top tips for getting your Christmas shopping on the cheap! Just be careful to order it on time for the big day!
Thanks to Goofbid for contributing your knowledge and insight into the world of eBay!
Luck and Love,

Laurie

Saturday, 12 November 2016

My Comping Routine



When I reveal to people that I am a comper, a question I often get asked is 'How do you have the time for it?'. Well, balancing university and this time-consuming hobby can be difficult but I have built up some techniques which I find useful and that you can read about <here>. However, I thought I would break it down more specifically into what I do on a day-to-day basis, which will hopefully give a few of you ideas on how to organise your day. This is just my routine, and all compers vary on how much time they put in. This is one of the best things about comping - the amount of effort you put in is totally up to you, and can change depending on life commitments! Let me know your tips in the comments!

Morning:

First thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone. Now, although this may be normal for most people my age, I instantly start checking my comping apps. I start with Facebook, then Twitter and Instagram, checking my tags and direct messages in hope of a win.

Next up comes the emails. Recently I missed out on a big win of a £200 Red Letter Days voucher because I hadn't organised my inbox properly. I had some filters for the words 'congratulations' and 'competition' however this came up with so many results that I just couldn't face sifting through it every day.

Since then, I have made more specific filters such as 'Congratulations Laurie' and 'You're a Winner' and I make sure to check each of these as part of my daily routine.

Over breakfast, I either do some studying if its exam time, or squeeze in some more comping over my porridge. I use this time to do something that doesn't take too much concentration - I go through my instant win list <find it here>. I open all the tabs and then go through one tab at a time, entering each instant win once, and then go back to the start of the tabs and do it again. This means that you can spread out entries of instant wins that give you multiple entries per day (usually 3). This may increase your chance of winning as, if you have just played and it wasn't a winning moment, it's unlikely to be one 30 seconds later. You can increase this chance more by spreading it out throughout the day, but I just don't have time for this, so this is my most time-efficient way of doing it.

Mid-morning:

I tend to have uni for the rest of the morning, but always use the walk to uni for comping. I either do a few RT to win Twitter competitions, take photos for creative comps (my uni is too pretty not to) or scroll through my Facebook feed to see if a comp jumps out at me.

A competition worthy university
Lunch-time:

When I get back from uni for my lunch break, all I want to do is give the academic part of my brain a wee break. It also so happens that many of the free lotteries choose a new winner at around lunch time, so I use this time to click through and see if I'm a winner (no luck yet, but I won't give up). You can find a list of these lotteries <here>

Afternoon:

Back to the studying I'm afraid, with a wee break to RT every now and then. When I get home or just need a break from looking at maps (stereotypical geography student, I know), I start to work through my current wish list. Right now, a wee break away somewhere and a bike are top of my list. I use sites such as PrizeFinder or Loquax to type in the prize I'm looking for and order by closing soonest (on Loquax). I love entering ones that are closing soon, as it's nice to know that if you do win, you'll find out in the near future.


Evening: 

I usually have a working dinner to get through mounting uni deadlines (trying not to think about it to be honest) and then need the evening off, as I just amen't as productive in the evening when it comes to studies. Instead I will go out and do some sport, usually squash, and then sit in with my flatmates and watch a film or binge a show on Netflix (currently Call the Midwife). While this is on, I always enter Click-to-Win competitions. I have these organised so that it doesn't take much thought at all, and I can concentrate on the drama on screen.

The way I organise my Click-to-Wins is that I will look out for prizes I really want, go onto the 'Official Rules' and copy all the sites that it is featured on (normally only choosing ones with under 20 sites). I then paste this into an email to myself and star this email. This means that I can easily access the competitions and not just click randomly on things I don't even want to win. For more tips on Click-to-Wins read my post <here>.

Bed Time:

By this point I am shattered (I am no night owl) and head to bed. However, if there are competitions such as the Pepsi Max PS4 comp that are beneficial to enter late at night, I will enter these before crashing to increase my chances (I have even done this after coming in from a night out at about 3am - comping commitment). Perhaps a few last minute Twitter or Instagram comps and I'm asleep, ready for another day of comping and university.

This is my general comping schedule, but can vary from day to day depending on university and other life commitments. What's your rough routine? Let me know in the comments below and we can hopefully all learn a little something from one another.

For more time-saving comping tips, check out my post <here>

Luck and love,

Laurie

Monday, 7 November 2016

A Day in the Life of a Comper.... Emma Louise Gough



Hello! I've seen you around so much on the comping scene, from prize unboxings to top tips on the Facebook group! How did you get into this hobby?
It was about 7 years ago, one of my brothers friends was posting on Facebook about winning loads of stuff. I messaged him and asked him what he’d been doing. He introduced me to Martin Lewis’s website, Money Saving Expert, or what us compers call MSE. I read the 'how to get started' posts and started to enter some of the daily comps.
My first win was a book, closely followed by a Kuhuna Watch - both of these comps were from Daily entries.
I dipped in and out of comping for a few years using only the MSE site, that is until I discovered Super Lucky Di’s website superlucky.me - Since joining her blog, buying her book, following her Facebook group, Instagram and Twitter and taking her tips and advice I’ve won in excess of £23K worth of prizes this year!! Compared to around £2K per year on average for previous years.

It was Di Coke that really got me into it as well! Out of that amazing number of prizes, what has been your favourite so far?
It has to be my Florida trip to Disney World that I won in January this year with Heart radio stations “Faces for Florida” promotion.
We are going in November, I’m soooooo exctied and so are the kids!!

The Winning 'Faces for Florida' Entry

Wow! That looks like it took a lot of effort! How long did it take to get the picture just right?

Well, it took around half an hour just to get the mickey mouse measles right, but it was so worth it effort!

Do you prefer physical prizes or experiences, like these sorts of holidays?
I would say experiences, because it enables me to do things I’d never be able to afford to do with my family and friends.

What do your friends and family think of this hobby?
They’re happy for me and supportive, especially when I get them involved.My husband, his children and my daughter all love it too! We have so much fun making video entries, such as one where we re-created our own Olympics! Creative entries are my favourite method of comping, especially the videos!

Aw, I love seeing them all feature in your prize unboxings too! How did you get started with unboxings?

It was Di Coke that got me into the prize unboxing. I often think sometimes...why am I doing this...especially when I might want to gift some of my prizes lol!! But Its a good way of keeping a record of what I've won, and it's lovely when people comment and you know your video has given them the motivation to either start comping or try a different tactic.

I totally agree, I love making my unboxings and hearing people's responses! What are your top 3 dream prizes you'd love to include in your unboxing?
I really would love a car, a super top notch SLR camera and a meet and greet with someone famous

Any tips for fellow compers?
Just keep searching, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bookmark your searches so you can check quickly every few days.
If you want to enter web draws quickly my favourite site is competition database, it’s really easy to use on a mobile or tablet too.

Any final comments about this amazing hobby?
A great quote from Zig Ziglar - who was an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker.
“Just remember you were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win and expect to win”

Wise words indeed. Thanks so much to Emma for taking part and you can read her blog <here> .

To take part in my 'A Day in the Life of a Comper', comment below or contact me on Twitter @LaurieBeat

Luck and Love,

Laurie


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Prize Unboxing: October 2016



Prize: Craft for Christmas/Hobbycraft show tickets
From: Papercraft Essentials
Entry: Online Form

Prize: Notebook and Pen
From: Princes Square Shopping Centre (Glasgow)
Entry: Instagram (Follow and Like)

Prize: Purse
From: Lilac Rain Company
Entry: Instagram (Follow and Tag)

Prize: Skye Ross Album
Entry: Click-to-Win
(tips on how to win Click-to-Wins <here>

Prize: Well-being books
From: Watkins
Entry: Instagram (post a picture of you being #effortlesslymindful)

(Update: She let me pick another book from the site to say sorry, which was so nice of her!)

Prize: Lipgloss
From: Fashion Artista
Entry: Instagram (Follow, Like and Tag)

Prize: Eds Easy Diner Gift Card
From: Lotus Biscotti
Entry: Purchase Necessary/ Photo Comp

Prize: Go for Gold Mug
From: Pink Sumo
Entry: Instagram (Follow, Like and Tag)

Prize: Primal Pantry
From: 20 cereal bars, cycling jersey
Entry: Twitter

Prize: Tea Infuser Bottle
From: Chia Buddy
Entry: Instagram (Follow, Like and Tag)

Prize: £100 Dents Voucher
From: Dents
Entry: Instagram (Follow and Tag)

Prize: Squeezy Marmite
From: Top Cashback
Entry: Twitter

Prize: T-Shirt
Entry: Facebook

Prize: Paper Flower Book
From: Project Calm Magazine
Entry: Instagram (Tag a Creative Friend)

This month's favourite prize: My Dads Cycling Jersey!










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: lauriebeat@gmail.com

Luck and Love,

Laurie

Friday, 21 October 2016

Review and Giveaway: APPROVED FOODS



Hello!

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.

ENTER HERE


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,

Laurie