Saturday, 24 January 2015


I'll start with competitions and show you a few of my modest prize winnings and share some tips and rules that I have when entering comps.

Do you know what a $400.00 iron looks like?

Like this

When I saw this as a comp prize I really wanted it, there is no way I can
justify buying an iron for that price so I set about trying to win it and I did.

Pete Evans Pizza Oven
with accessories

Another very useful prize, this really gets a work out here.

A few rules I have when deciding
to enter a comp or not:

I don't usually enter the big ticket prizes - too many people apply and
prizes like holidays are rarely 'free of charge' - a trip for two, free flights
and four nights accommodation to London with all other expenses
being paid for by the winner, isn't for me.

By the time travel insurance, transfers, meals, sight seeing and other
spending expenses are added, it's way past free.

What if four nights aren't enough? Then add extra accommodation
costs, extra meals and so on.

Check out the terms and conditions, when can I fly, are there any black
out periods, can I fly if it's at short notice, is my passport up to date? 

Cleaning prize

My favourite comps are prizes that offer every day useful items.
Cleaning products, books, electrical items, vouchers, gift cards, hair
and beauty products are top of my list.

In the last 6 months of 2014 I've won gift cards and various
vouchers totalling just over $1,000.

Best gift voucher prize was a $500.00 one for hubby to use on one
of those 'adventure' sites, they have other things as well that he can
purchase but it can be used to sky dive, do those race track car lap
things, bungee jump, hot air balloon get the idea.

He hasn't used it yet, it has a 12 month expiry date - it doesn't
have to be used all in the one transaction.

Lots of Books

Because I love books, it stands to reason I like to enter some book comps.

In the last six months I've won a total of 45 books, that's a lot of reading and I can tell you that I have well in excess of $1,000 worth of books in this lot and all of them are latest releases, some are advance copies.

My favourite of course is the signed copy of the Bill Granger cook book.


Terms and Conditions:

Don't just tick that box saying you've read them and agreed, you
could come unstuck if you win, they aren't all the same and sometimes
there are conditions that might just put you out of the competition altogether.

Check that the comp is open in the state that you live in, do you have to
purchase a product and keep the receipt as proof if you end up as the
winner. Not all companies will deliver your winning prize - might not be
worth winning an $800.00 fridge if you live in NSW and the prize
has to be collected or freighted at your expense from WA, are
multiple entries allowed, if they aren't and you continually enter, then all
your entries will be invalid, so take the time to read the T&C carefully.

Don't be dishonest and dodgy, if the T&C state one entry per household
and you have 50 of your friends and relatives living with you, that
rule still applies to you, don't try getting around the rules by using multiple email accounts to enter as companies can and will check the IP address.

Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to win a tea towel.

Washing Powder win

Sorry about the blur.

This is 12 months supply (concentrate powder) however won't last me
that long, I've almost finished it, lovely not having to buy washing powder
for many, many months though.

Those really serious Compers: 

There are people that will enter any and every competition, they are
the people that will take to social media to brag and high five themselves
about winning a fridge magnet like they've won the lottery lol!

I love their enthusiasm and dedication, however for those people, winning
isn't about the prize, it's about the win and unfortunately there can be a
greedy side to these 'Serial Compers' - they'll enter to win tickets
to a movie or event in another state, knowing full well they won't be able to attend or even give the tickets to anyone else which is a shame.

These Compers will also tell you, you have to enter every competition to win stuff - I totally disagree, I'm fussy about the competitions I enter and
I have my share of little wins. 

Mixed prize

I loved this prize, it contained all the useful items we use.

A Schwarzkopf canvas collapsible shopping bag full of goodies:
Shampoo, conditioner, various hair treatments, mousse, hair spray, oils,
electric hair straightener with heat mat, travel hair dryer converts to electrical
outlets used in other countries, microfibre hair towel, brush, hair accessories.

Facebook Competitions/Giveaways:

So, we've all seen the 'Woohoo I've now got 200 likers, time for a flash giveaway,' to enter like and share, tag your friends, tell us in the comments field who you would like to be stranded on a desert island with and why and for extra entries, keep sharing and commenting, the lucky winner will win a bag of lollies (winner pays postage costs).

Prize: Electric candle warmer and
the wax melt was a sample

I don't enter 'woohoo' Facebook competitions, 'flash' giveaways or those where the last person to comment wins after the page owner says stop (who made this
one up), be very careful about making multiple comments on a page in a short period of time, if Facebook pick these up as 'spam' they'll shut your account down.

I prefer to seek out website competitions, words or less, or fill in a simple form and hit enter as opposed to Facebook comps. Having said that, more and more competitions are run through a Facebook page, providing a link to the comp, I'll enter those if the prize is right.

Eight boxes of wet cat food

Our dog is very partial to the taste of cat food and these are a 'treat' we give
him every now and then.  Ninety six little moist sachets of food in total, will last him a long time, he especially loves the ones with gravy.

Separate email account:

If you're going to enter a number of competitions over a long period of time
then consider setting up a new email account just for that purpose and use only that one account to enter competitions as you will be spammed.

When you enter some competitions it may be a condition of entry that you sign up to the newsletter of whoever is running the comp, by ticking some boxes you'll also be giving permission for them to pass your details onto other businesses, keeping your every day email account nice and clean is a good idea.

I unsubscribe and clean up my secondary email account - often.

I'v backed out of entering some competitions due to the amount of
'partner' boxes that are required to be ticked in order to enter, that
should throw up a red flag to anyone wanting to enter.

Designer Bag

When it comes to entering bag competitions, I just go
straight for the designer ones - lol!

You can see from the price tag how much this little beauty is worth and
the pictures don't do it justice, I love all the little pouches inside and out and the
fact that it can be used as a smaller bag or a much larger tote bag.

Love these products

Use your brain and common sense.


Bunnings, Target, Kmart, BigW and other companies do not give out FREE gift cards worth $500 or $1,000 just by clicking a link, nor do they have an over
supply of big screen televisions sitting in a warehouse waiting for you to click that link so they can off load one free to you.

Sign up, or regularly visit Hoax Slayer, Snopes, ACCC, other useful sites to be informed of these types of scams and many others, if it's too good to be true then it usually is, also if in doubt do a Google search before you click that link.

Here's a link to various Facebook scams via Hoax Slayer, scroll down to see if you've been taken in.

Links to Facebook scams here:

Also, not related to competitions but a very popular Facebook scam, the Copyright Privacy Notice that's been doing the rounds since 2012. People are still posting this nonsense on their walls.

More mixed prizes

Sometimes I might win a consolation prize or enter a comp that offers a number of prizes and I don't get to choose which one I win, however some of those prizes I can use in window displays then donate them.

Others sell them, it's a personal choice - I don't.

Picture voting competitions:

I loathe these and stay well clear. There are too many ways for people
to 'harvest' votes for themselves and too many complaints, that's
all I'll say about this one.


Types of comps:

Words or less (WOL) or game of chance? I prefer WOL, however, make sure you read the T&C as they will advise you of the word limit, most are 25 words or less - stick to the limit.

I never buy a product just to enter a competition. won't enter if it's a requirement that someone has to phone me to discuss a 'funeral plan' or anything similar.

Some compers receive a lot of telephone calls after entering competitions (once again, your details may get passed on), I have very few of these and NEVER provide our landline number unless there is no mobile number option.

I do not enter overseas competitions as a number of winners have never received their prizes and there's not a lot you can do about it sitting on the other side of the world.

Samples / Freebies

These are not competition prizes, they are samples from companies that
most people are able to apply for, once again check if the sample is available in your state, every now and then I'll come across samples that require the recipient to pay postage costs - I stay away from them.

Why do I love samples?

I can't count the number of times I've bought products that turn out
to be a waste of money and don't measure up to the job, sampling is a way to try before I buy or switch brands.

Free Samples come in all shapes and sizes

Samples come in all kinds of packaging and sizes, most are sachet size, depending on what the sample is.

Last year I received some wonderful samples, a lot of full size products.

Shampoo, conditioner, other hair products, all kinds of makeup, skincare, food, tea, coffee, bandages, healing creams, lotions, potions, shoe laces, cleaning cloths, sweets, various moist wipes, laundry products, dish washing and dishwasher tablets, powder and liquid, cereal, muesli bars, shakes, dog food, perfume, candle melts, magazines, cards, stationary, dental products etc...

Limited Samples

There isn't a never ending supply of each sample.
Some businesses will state they have 30, 100 or... available while stocks last.

Don't apply for a sample if you are not going to use it or can't pass it
on to someone who will.

Sometimes a sample has to be collected from a store as it's provided in the way of a printed voucher - well, I'll only go the extra mile if it's something I really want to try.

Apart from all of the above I also trial products that I'm sent from other sources - but that's another story.

Thrifting Tip:

Instead of finishing with a quote I'm going to share one of my thrifting tips for each blog post.

Dettol No Touch Sensor
Hand Wash Dispenser

I bought four of these when they were half price.
Love them, no more messy, fiddly hand wash
pumps when you have dirty hands.

We still use the no water Aqium sanitiser though for the germy things.


The down side is that the small refills (orange container) are only 250ml and the regular price is $6.45 which is ridiculous.

I bought heaps of the pink Dettol refills (500ml) on special for $2.00 so when the little 250ml container runs out, all you do is drill a hole in the top of it - big enough for the nozzle of your funnel to fit inside comfortably and pour the hand wash refill of your choice into it.

You must keep using the 250ml container as it's made to fit the dispenser.

Works perfectly and what a money saver!


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