Tuesday 6 July 2010

A day in the life......

Grape Vine readers often as me how I manage to find all the competitions that I put into the magazine, so here is a run-down of a typical comp-hunting day.

I try to do two competition “safaris” a week, one to a major town and one to several smaller towns, and to visit at least one branch of every major supermarket, High Street store and convenience store each week. The other days are spent writing up the competitions I have found for Grape Vine and the update.

On a typical “major town” day I start by checking my personal and Grape Vine emails, to see if there is any news of new comps from a small team of close friends, or “elves”, up and down the country who help me to find them, and to see if any readers have sent messages that need to be replied to.

Then while drinking my essential two cups of tea (thank goodness I have won a year’s supply from P G Tips!) I go through the trade press websites and press releases, making a note of any new and forthcoming competitions that are mentioned, and through the websites of several brands and chains that also mention their latest promotions.

Armed with my list and satnav, I plan my route to take in not just a town centre but as many out-of-town retail parks as possible. I start off in the town centre, going into every shop, bank, building society and salon, or where possible peering through the window to check all the displays. I go up and down the aisles of every floor of every large store, have a quick scoot around the railway station if there is one, and peek around the door of every pub and chain restaurant. All the time I am looking out for posters, display stands, advertising hoardings or leaflet displays. On the shelves themselves, I have trained myself to recognise the “normal” packs of each product so I am instantly alerted to any changes which may mean a promotional pack with a competition on it. Likewise I can spot a book with a competition sticker on it at 200 paces!

Every shop is checked out for the latest issue of any instore magazines and my choice of lunch is determined not by what I fancy but by which chain is currently likely to be running a competition.

Once I have squeezed every possible competition out of the town centre, I head out of town to supermarkets, DIY stores, garden centres and the numerous huge stores that have sprung up in retail parks, again checking both the stores and their stock for every possible place a competition could be lurking.

Often while I am out, my elf friends will text me with news of their latest finds, which all add to the number of competitions I can bring you. And as I drive between my destinations, I listen to the radio in case any of the adverts mention new competitions.

By the end of the day I have usually found several of the competitions I was looking for and far more that are completely new to me. I head home, looking forward to yet another cup of tea of course, to deal with the day’s Grape Vine post, always hoping that tucked among it there will be a LWE for me.

Cooking dinner is my great relaxation, after which I enter a few competitions myself, chat to friends online or relax with one of the many books I love to win,before going to bed to dream about yet more competitions!


  1. Just wondering how long would this take you?

  2. Each outing takes me 6-8 hours, depending on where I go and how far I travel.

  3. We are very grateful, with the cost of fuel, for all your hard work,my funny was being followed by a store detective, in Tesco, he wondered, why i was checking products, after a long chat, he belived comps were cons and nobody won,he is now a Grapevine subscriber, and has just won a week-end break

  4. Now I understand how you manage to find so many competitions Jane... truly awe-inspiring! You should run a blog competition to win a comp hunt with you, I would love to win it!

  5. Hi there!
    Just wanted to let you know, you're a winner on my blog!
    Have a peek at this post: http://fourmagpies.blogspot.com/2010/07/and-winner-is.html & let me know your email so I can pass it on to Barnyard Kids to sort out your choice of prize :)

    Thanks for entering - and congratulations!

  6. So I'm not the only one who dreams about comps, then? None of my comp club friends will admit to this.


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