With all these Olympic winners floating around, I thought I’d tell you about some winnings of my own. I have mentioned before in my money-saving section about completing online competitions. Seriously if you don’t do it, you should start.
In the last two weeks I have won a years supply of milk – courtesy of Cravendale milk. I liked their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/Cravendale because they ran Free Milk Fridays, which was a draw to win 2 litres of milk every Friday. Recently though, I started following them on Twitter https://twitter.com/Cravendale. Every day they were running a Tweet to win competition for a years supply of milk. I didn’t think I’d ever win it, but it was a 2 second retweet, so I had nothing to lose and I won. A whole years supply of milk, not bad at all. They really are worth following, as they hold these type of prize draws regularly. At the minute they are running one to win giant garden games.
The next day I won a custom-made silver necklace, again from a Twitter retweet. I have also won a giant bar of chocolate, a Cow & Gate weaning pack in a little cool bag, a Nuby steriliser and a print from the Victoria and Albert Museum (not a valuable piece of artwork, I hasten to add, but still nice). Then today I won a box set of the Bourne DVDs and a baby organic skin care hamper.
I used to be quite cynical about these competitions, thinking that I would never win and never fully believing that anyone ever really did, but I have been proved wrong. I know none of my winnings are worth vast sums of cash, but it is still really nice to win something. Even if they are things you don’t really want yourself, you probably have a friend or family member that would love it.
I even know a couple of people who sell the things they don’t want on eBay as a way of earning some extra cash. Or they keep them for Christmas and birthday gifts.
I am quite specific about the types of competitions that I enter. I don’t bother with the survey types, as they tend to take a huge amount of time to fill out, that I just don’t have. I’m also wary of being inundated by cold callers based on some of the answers I’ve given. I also enter loads of the lesser value competitions, where you just need to fill out your name and email or on Twitter a simple retweet. They often attract many less entries than the big prize competitions, so you have better odds of getting a win. I still enter some of the big prizes too, unless they demand a huge amount of time and effort.
I also avoid any of the Facebook photo voting competitions, because they, in my opinion are pointless, unless you have about 800 people on your friends list and can get them all to vote. From looking at them it is rarely the best picture that wins, it’s the person who convinced their 800 followers to vote!
As a rule I never enter anything that involves sending pictures of my children. I am not prepared to send photographs of my girls off, to have some strangers judge them and then leave their photos floating around their server. There just isn’t a prize worthy enough of that!
I set myself up another email account and I use that address rather than my main email. That way if I do enter something that leads to lots of spam and sadly, yes some of them do, I can just junk mail it and it’s not clogging up my primary email.
I also signed up to The Prizefinder website, there are loads of others too like Loquax, Prizes UK. A quick Google will find you the one that suits your needs. They generally list prizes by closing date, so you have an idea of how much time you have to get your entry in and when you can expect your winning email!
My only other advice is read the Terms and Conditions before you enter, some of the competitions are area specific or even age specific and you don’t want to get a winning email, only to discover you weren’t eligible to enter in the first place. I find some of them only apply to the UK Mainland and don’t cover Northern Ireland, so I always check first. Also download something like Roboform, it makes filling out the entry forms so simple. Once you have filled out your details on Roboform, you then only need one click of the button and it will fill out your entry form for you. It saves an enormous amount of time and effort.
Other than that, get comping. It may take a while before you get your first win, but stick with it, it will happen eventually. As the saying goes you have to be in it to win it. Good Luck