Tuesday 20 March 2012

Grape Vine does Basingstoke

Yesterday I decided to make Basingstoke the venue for one of my "safaris" - a hunt for new competitions to include in Grape Vine (or indeed to enter myself).  The next issue of GV will cover competitions closing from 13th April onwards, but I found a lot of new ones with earlier closing dates that I wanted to share with you, and as the April update has already gone out I thought I'd tell you about my day out and give you the entry information at the same time.

Those of you who know Basingstoke will know what a labyrinth the multi storey car park is. I'm always convinced that if I don't park in exactly the same spot every time, I won't find my car again! Luckily, "my" place was free so I could relax. In the lift there was a notice
Visit Procook for a chance to win a set of baking tins
So I headed straight there. That was a draw just for the local branch, but if you are in the area before March 31st, pop into Procook and give them your details for a chance to win. While you are in Festival Place, look out for stands offering you a chance to win a £15,000 wedding, closing April 7th. The stands weren't manned when I was there, but with my 35th wedding anniversary approaching and both daughters now married, I probably don't need to win a wedding!

My next stop was the new branch of Topshop where there is a form to hand in, again exclusive to the Basingstoke branch, to win the entire window display of £350 worth of fashion.

I continued around Festival Place, carefully examining each shop for piles of leaflets, posters, special displays  and window stickers. Almost immediately, I spotted a window sticker in USC fashion. It said
 Win a trip to New York. Go to facebook.com/uscfashion or ask a member  of staff
The competition  closes 31 Mar and unfortunately is a "most likes" competition and therefore open to abuse. But there are daily prizes of iTunes vouchers, Spotify premium accounts and Converse apparel, and it's very easy to  enter, but I see they only had 11 entries yesterday so you might want to give it a go.

It wasn't time for a coffee  yet, but I had to pause at Muffin Break where a poster said
Win free coffee for a year - find MuffinBreakUk on Facebook
This is a tiebreaker competition - you need to complete the sentence "The perfect treat to have with my Muffin Break coffee is...." in no more than 25 words, and  it closes on 31st March.

There was nothing new to me in Superdrug (although they did have several competitions)  or Poundland, no new competition stickers on any of the books in W H Smiths or Waterstones  and  no leaflets in any of the fashion, home or beauty concessions in the department stores, so my spirits were starting to flag, but then I found competitions in Wilkinsons and Halifax which will be in your April Grape Vine. Tesco hadn't had their delivery of magazines yet, but in Schuh I picked up a postcard directing you to www.schuh.co.uk/rocketdogthehungergames for a chance to win a year's supply of shoes and a private screening on The Hunger Games, with 10  goody bags for runners up. This closes on 31st March and there are film merchandise bundles for 10 runners up.

There was plenty of interest in The Entertainer where I picked up forms  for a monthly draw for £100,   a Sylvanian Families children's writing competition closing 1st May and  one more writing or drawing competition, closing 31 March, exclusive to the Reading, Basingstoke, Camberley and Winchester branches with prizes of theatre tickets and gift vouchers.

I picked up the Toni & Guy magazine but they no longer seem to have regular competitions, then decided it was about time for a cup of tea. Knowing their new magazine was due out, I thought I'd have my tea in Wetherspoons. I ordered a cup of tea and asked for a magazine, and was rather surprised by the assistant's reply.
"I'm sorry but I don't think we can find the key to the dungeon."
She seemed to be puzzled about why I found that funny. However by the time I'd drunk my tea, she must have found the key as she brought me a copy of the magazine. It was very sticky - I wonder what goes on in their dungeon???

Refreshed and with my mind boggling, I left the town centre and set out to comb the out of town supermarkets and retail parks. In Chineham, the huge Tesco still didn't have any magazines, but I picked up promotional packs  of Pepsi  and Capri Sun. The nearby Brantano had an entry form and in Martins newsagent I found details of an instant win promotion when you buy Maltesers.

Next Morrisons where I spotted new competitions on Frubes, Feel Good drinks and Lech beer, as well as an entry form for one of three trips to Dublin. To enter this, you need a till receipt dated between 19th March and 1st April showing a purchase of a 475ml bottle of HP Sauce with Guinness and then either send it with an entry form or give the details from your receipt at www.morrisons.co.uk/competitions by April 9th.

The next retail park included Toys R Us, where there were no competitions at all, JJB  where I got information about one to win a chance to watch the England team play, and Currys where there were leaflets about a competition to win a trip to LA. I popped into Hobbycraft to get the latest copy of their in-house magazine, and then headed on to Asda where I found competitions on Trebor Sweets, Fruitypot Jelly  and Delamere Dairies milk.

I decided to make a slight detour on my way home to visit one final branch of Tesco  and it paid off, because they had the magazine in. You'll need to pick up a copy of your own, and a multipack  of the new 250ml sized Pepsi Max, 7 Up or Tango if you want to enter a draw to win one of 3 x £1000 adventure holiday vouchers. One of the other competitions closes too soon to be included in the April GV. It is on Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant and Bodywash. The prize a VIP box at the Heineken Cup Final on 19th May for the winner and up to 7 guests, all of whom must be aged 18 or over.  To enter, buy one of the products from Tesco and keep your receipt in case you win. Then text (normal rate) DoveMen and the last four digits of the barcode from your pack to 57782. One entry per person per day is allowed until the final closing date of 19th April.

Finally I got home after eight hours of competition  hunting. And of course the first thing I did was to open my post. There was a Lands  End catalogue containing details of a new competition, an invitation from Hotel Chocolat to attend an Easter  event which will have a prizedraw, and best of all, written confirmation from Blue Dragon Foods that I am a winner in their instant win competition,and will be having a chef coming to my home to prepare  an Ortiental Banquet for eight.

Then I had to check press releases for info on new competitions, deal with Grape Vine renewals and sample requests and cook dinner, which, inspired by my letter, was an Oriental banquet of my own!

Last night I had a very early night.......

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