Right on the Money: comping on the cheap
Did you see me on BBC One’s Right on the Money? You can watch it on BBC iPlayer until 20th August 2017. The money-saving show came to the rescue of Yvonne in Liverpool, who was frittering away £1200 a month on gifts, family outings, gambling and more.
Having appeared on the show as a competition expert in 2015, I was invited back to give Yvonne a few tips on how to incorporate comping into her life without spending money on premium rate phone calls and scratchcards! We even took a few selfies for the Walkers Snap & Share competition…
Yvonne had got into the habit of buying scratchcards, lotto tickets and texting in for expensive TV comps – taking a gamble on the luck of the draw! But comping doesn’t need to be expensive – in fact, a lot of compers don’t even spend a penny on their hobby.
Here’s some ideas on how to save money on your comping…
Enter competitions and prize draws on social media
It’s FREE to enter comps and prize draws on Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – and even better, you don’t need to hand over your email, phone number or address when you enter, so no chance of junk mail or calls! And if you like the idea – but not the price – of The National Lottery, make sure you follow them on Twitter and Facebook as they regularly have big cash giveaways on social media that are FREE to enter!
Enter TV comps by post
So, you’re watching Loose Women or The Gadget Show, and you can’t resist it when they advertise a HUGE dream prize worth over £50,000! But did you know that you can enter TV comps by post, costing you the price of a second class stamp (56p) rather than a £2 text message or call? When you see the competition advertised on screen, pause the TV and look out for a postal address at the bottom of the screen (OR check the website T&Cs for a postal entry route) – you can find free picture postcards at cinemas and bars. All entries by phone, text or post for these prize draws are treated in exactly the same way and have an equal chance of winning – and yes, I have heard of car, cash and holiday winners who entered by post! You can find a list of TV comps at www.theprizefinder.com.
Tip: I buy my stamps at Gustamps in Brighton, who sell unused gorgeous first class stamps for just 45p each – see if there’s a similar stamp shop near you!
Switch to promotional products
When doing your regular supermarket shop, see if there’s any products you can swap for the ones with WIN! on – cereals, biscuits, chocolate bars, sweets, fizzy drinks, beer and wine always have promotions on, and usually when the competition launches the products will be heavily discounted (especially in Asda and Tesco). Check the competition format though – you’ll have a better chance of winning in a prize draw or a winning moments promotion where all prizes will be won, rather than one where all prizes are available to be won with winners chosen by algorithm. You’ll have a better chance of winning where there’s a unique code printed on the packaging, or a receipt is required to enter.
Tip: Check www.mysupermarket.co.uk to find out where promotional products are cheapest!
Buy kids comics instead of toys
If you like to spend money on the kids, consider buying them comics rather than toys – comics will usually have toys, treats and Match Attax/Pokemon cards on the front anyway, plus you get the benefit of the competitions inside!
Tip: buy comics with entry forms printed inside, as less people will enter those comps – see my guide to competitions in children’s magazines
If you’d like to give comping a go, have a look at my Get Started guide – and please come and join me in the Lucky Learners Facebook group!