Friday 29 April 2011

Comping on the cheap!

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from!

Compers are used to saving money - after all, why buy something when you can win it? But there are ways to cut your comping costs, too, so here are some tips.

Use the cheapest entry route

Now the price of stamps has soared again,  don't automatically send a postcard if the choice is between a postal entry and a phone/text one. A second class stamp now costs 36p and a first class one 46p so a postal entry isn't always the cheapest. And if there's an online entry route, that is usually free - but check that you are not being directed to a Click and Buy site. You can make HUGE savings by entering online - the competitions on TV shows are often expensive to phone, yet you may be allowed up to 5 free entries online. And people DO win from the free entry routes.

Save on stamps

Post in plenty time so that you can use second class post and save 10p on each entry.
If you are sending several entries to one address, check to see if there is anything in the rules to say "one entry per envelope" and if not, send several together. But keep an eye on the thickness of your letter - even if it is in a standard sized envelope, if it is more than 5mm thick it will need a "Large Letter" stamp.
Stock up on stamps when shops like Superdrug have them on special offer - you can often save several pence a stamp. And although they set a limit on how many you can buy, you can go back day after day to build up your supplies.
And stock up in March each year because postage prices seem to go up by more than inflation every year. But if your stamps just say 1st or 2nd they are still valid after the price rise.

Don't pay for postcards

Plain white postcards cost around 3p each in high street shops, and only slightly less if you bulk buy. Look out for displays of free postcards in cinemas, bars and restaurants and stock up whenever you see them. Or cut up cardboard boxes and greetings cards into postcard sized pieces, and do your bit for recycling at the same time! But if you use greetings cards, make sure there are no embellishments on them that might get tangled up in the Post Office mail sorting machinery or your entry may never arrive.

Text tactically

Remember that if you have a package that allows you a certain number of free texts a month, texts to the short codes for comps are NOT included,  you have to pay the full price of each text entry, usually 10-12p, and then if the text costs 25p, 35p or even £1 you pay that on top. It's  easier to keep an eye on your text competition spending if you use a Pay As You Go phone where the entry just comes out of your balance.
And  check carefully how many entries you are allowed - if you send in one entry a day to a competition that only allows you one entry in total, you could waste several pounds as you will still be charged for the texts.

Be cunning with codes

Some competitions ask you to submit a code from a product, either online or by text. Sometimes the code is unique and you need to buy a new pack for each entry - other times it isn't and you can use the same code over and over again, if you are allowed more than one entry. If the code is a barcode, then you are safe using it as often as you like. If it is a batch code you can make several entries - some competitions specify 10 entries per batch code and I use that as a guideline where no limit is specified.

Subscribe to Grape Vine!

Sometimes you have to spend money in order to save money. At Grape Vine we search a huge number of shops and stores every week to bring you information on all the latest competitions (just think of all that petrol and parking subscribers can save!) but in each issue we save you money by bringing  you details of all the latest competitions on packs and books that you can enter without purchase. We buy the products so that you don't have to, and wherever a No Purchase Necessary entry route exists, we find it for you. And we give codes when they can be freely shared.

Good luck - and happy money saving!

Post Box photo courtesy of Valerie Dallimore

1 comment :

  1. Some great tips there!

    I make my own postcards out of cereal boxes etc too.

    Good luck with your entry x


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