how my kindle saves me money

I love to read. I read on average 50 – 75 books a year, so having a Kindle is a great money saver for me. I can load up my Kindle with cheap or free books and not feel any strain on my finances.

How my Kindle saves me money

Free samples

How many times have you started a book just to get bored and abandon it? I know I have, countless times! The great thing about e-readers is that you can download a free sample of every book. You can read the first chapter or two and really get a feel of the writing style and plot and find out if you want to read more. You don’t have to waste money on books you don’t like. I no longer have unread or abandoned books on my shelf because I couldn’t get in to them.

Free classics

You can pretty much find every classic novel for free. I actually saved myself hundreds when I was at university (reading English) because I just downloaded the free book instead of buying the paperback. The highlight and search functions also came in really handy for assignments!

You can find free books here:

Transfer files

You can transfer files on to your kindle. If you have some books or documents you can email them to your kindle, or transfer the files when it’s plugged in to your computer.

Very handy for rare books that you can only find online! No need to trawl the Internet for that precious paper copy that’ll ultimately cost a bundle.

If your book is in the wrong format for your e-reader you can convert the file online.

Great deals

I will buy books in advance that I’ll save for later in the year. In the January sales I bought around 20 books for £20. That’ll do me for most of the year.

There’s great deals on all throughout the year, where you can get great chart-toppers for a fraction of the RRP. Look out for Kindle Daily Deals, Monthly Deals, Countdown Deals and other deals for discounted books.

Stops me buying

Having an e-reader stops me from buying books that’ll just sit on my book shelf. I tend to only buy physical books now if they’re pretty and will make great room decorations … as vain as that sounds!

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

Occasionally I will Spring out on a month of Kindle Unlimited. At £7.99 a month you can borrow 10 books at a time. You can return any of those books and swap them at any time, as many times as you like.

If a lot of the books I want to read are available then I’ll just pay for a month’s subscription. This is great when I have a lot of books I want to read but don’t want to keep paying the individual cost of each book. You can pay and then cancel straight away; it will ask you if you want to cancel now or at the end of the month. I select end of the month and don’t have to worry about the subscription rolling over in to the next month.


You don’t need to buy an e-reader to enjoy what Kindles have to offer. You could download the free mobile app, or the Kindle desktop app. There are of course other e-readers out there, but I’ve only ever used a Kindle. I can’t state enough how much I love it. If you read a lot, I’d say the cost of a Kindle is well worth your money for what you can get out of it.

I have the cheapest Kindle and in the past I’ve had the Kindle Keyboard. I bought the cheaper one because I missed my Kindle Keyboard! They both lack the back light that the other Kindles have.

Not only that but having a Kindle motivates me to read more. I love seeing what percentage I am through my book, and how long is left in each chapter, “I’ll read the next 5% and then I’ll put it down!”


Do you have an e-reader? What do you think of it?

* this post contains affiliate links

beginner's guide to comping

Beginner’s Guide to Comping

Quite simply, comping is the hobby of entering competitions. For no money at all, you can experience the anticipation and thrill of a potential win. All you need to spend is time and you have yourself a potentially lucrative hobby.

With hundreds of competitions to enter every day, there’s always something to waiting to be won. You may be the lucky one winning that voucher, or even a car or holiday! Comping is the ideal hobby for everyone, but especially those with small budgets.

The traits of any good comper are patience and persistence; you can go a while without winning anything, but then be surprised with a great win. I was close to giving up when I won an expensive printer with a year’s worth of ink, which made all my effort worth it!

You’ll find a method of entering competitions that works for you. You may prefer to use certain sites more than others, or have a certain time you like to enter competitions.

So where can you enter competitions, and what tools of the trade do you need?

My favourite sites

Comping tools

  • For filling out forms quickly, consider a plugin such as Autofill Forms.
  • Create a separate email account for entering competitions. You will get a lot of spam. Just check the account regularly to see if you’re a winner.
  • For entering Facebook or Twitter competitions use your normal account, special dedicated accounts are generally frowned upon. If you do make separate accounts just make sure to post personal posts now and then.

Beware of sites that may sell your details, or send you a lot of spam. If a site looks too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid sites like Vaniki and MyOffers. There’s a detailed list of sites you can and can’t trust on Super Lucky.

My experience

I first decided to start Comping regularly after seeing a show on TLC about it. These people were winning big prizes all the time, and while I haven’t won a car, I still feel great for winning a printer!

When I’m sat there entering competitions I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time. It’s like I’m creating all these possibilities and bettering my luck. As they say, you have to be in it to win it.

I generally set aside a couple of hours every Sunday to enter competitions. Sunday’s are always quiet so it’s a nice way to keep me occupied. I work through the week’s competitions on The Prize Finder; my system is to find and highlight (ctrl and F) the competitions I have to register for so I can avoid them (because registering is annoying!), then I’ll just enter the ones that catch my eye.

I only started comping earlier this year and so far it’s really paying off, so far I’ve won:

  • This HP Printer with a year’s worth of printer ink
  • A £50 Debenhams voucher
  • A plush squirrel from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical
  • 3 children’s beakers
  • A party kit with balloons and invitations
  • Easter eggs

I’ve very proud of my little wins. If I devoted more time to entering competitions, I’m sure I could win more, but I’m happy so far. Maybe I’ll up my game in the future, who knows!


So there you have a brief look into the world of comping. I hope this has proven helpful, and you’re on your way to winning something wonderful.

Seasoned compers, what have been your best and favourite wins?

game charges

In-app credits

When you’re invested in a game on your smartphone or tablet, it’s tempting to pay for those in-game extras. But those charges soon add up, luckily there’s a way to get around them!

Most games will allow you an option to make extra credits by watching videos or completing offers. You can find these under the game menu section. By spending a couple of minutes of your time, you can save yourself pounds from cash spent.

Here’s the purchase page from the Covet app. As you can see at the top are offers and videos where you can earn ‘diamonds’ for free. Below that are paying options:
Covet app

Covet app

I’m slightly addicted to the Covet app, and I make sure to watch the videos to earn ‘diamonds’ every day. One video watch is equal to 10 diamonds and I can make hundreds of diamonds a day. 600 diamonds currently sells for £1.49 on Covet. These freebies soon add up, and are worth the effort if you’re invested in the game! It’s easy to earn credits mindlessly. I usually earn whilst I’m watching tv or browsing the internet.

Like Covet, most apps will have similar free ways to earn credits, so be sure to check before you splash the cash. A lot of apps use My TapJoy, which you access through the app and it will redirect to open on your browser. Below, you can see a screenshot of the TapJoy offers available. There’s a great selection of offers to complete, so take your pick!
TapJoy

TapJoy

I have used TapJoy for a few different games and it always credits me. It’s a quick and easy way to make app credits, but it can really enhance your gaming experience.

Even if there isn’t an obvious free way to earn credits, there may be a hidden way. Below there’s a screen cap of the Tomb Raider Relic Run app Purchase page. While the app didn’t have any obvious free ways of earning credits, once I hit the X it offered me free gems. The developers will want you to pay for the extras, and this is why the offers may be hidden. It may require a bit of persistence to find your freebies.
Tomb Raider Relic Run app

Tomb Raider Relic Run app

Daily bonuses

Another option to make credits is to login to your apps’ every day to receive any bonuses. Bonuses usually increase in value every day, even if I don’t feel like playing that day I will just login and get my bonus. As an example, here are the current bonuses for the Disney Tsum Tsum app:
Disney Tsum Tsum app

Disney Tsum Tsum app

Request from your friends

An old favourite is connecting the app to Facebook and requesting items from your friends. Try not to spam people will requests. Make sure to return the favour if someone sends you something. I find people are more likely to send you items if you send them something first.

As you can see, there’s no reason to buy in-app credits! It’s quick and easy to make credits for free and still enjoy the gaming experience. You can complete offers, get your daily bonuses and request items from you friends! Another way to put some pennies in the savings jar.

Have you ever used any of these to avoid paying for in-app credits?

summer fun

With the summer holidays just around the corner, you may be worrying about the added expense of keeping the kids entertained. Well, fear not! You can keep everyone entertained and keep your bank account happy.

Here are my ideas for fun and free summer activities that all the family can enjoy:

summer fun

  1. Go to the library
  2. Go on an exploration walk and take photos of what you find
  3. Visit local museums
  4. Create a summer scrapbook
  5. Make homemade pizzas
  6. Bake and decorate salt dough ornaments
  7. Play hide and seek
  8. Go blackberry picking
  9. Get creative with chalk on the path outside
  10. Draw each other’s portraits
  11. Write and put on a play
  12. Have a water fight
  13. Go on a bike ride
  14. Make daisy chains
  15. Climb trees
  16. Collect shells or pebbles
  17. Go to local free events
  18. Visit a local farmyard armed with carrots
  19. Go to the river and feed the ducks
  20. Make a fort
  21. Have a sleepover
  22. Make a create-you-own-sundae station
  23. Introduce them to your favourite childhood movies
  24. Create a scavenger hunt
  25. Write short stories
  26. Make a selfie video (in the style of Beyonce’s 7/11 video)
  27. Have a crafts day
  28. Bake cookies
  29. Go to the park
  30. Play dress-up with whatever you can find
  31. Play blind man’s bluff
  32. Look for fossils
  33. Create a cinema at home experience
  34. Go swimming
  35. Make doll clothes
  36. Play board games
  37. Visit local art galleries
  38. Keep a sketchbook
  39. Have a pamper day
  40. Go pond dipping
  41. Have a water fight
  42. Go to a local nature reserve

I also really love these printables free from Disney Family, including the colouring and activity pages. Checkout the Wilderness Explorer Checklist! (you may have to edit the lizard and the hummingbird boxes)

What are your tips for fun and free summer activities?

issuu

Issuu is a publishing platform where you can lose yourself in millions of magazines, for free. There is everything from in-store magazines, specialised indie magazines, to your newsstand favourites’. Keep an eye open for books, too!

It can take a bit of searching but there is a treasure trove of magazines waiting to be found on Issuu. If you’re a magazine junkie, like me, you could easily save a bundle every month.

There are magazines from the UK as well as other countries around the world. I regularly use the Issuu app to read Glamour, Marie Claire, Women’s Health and many more.

The app is available for download on both iOS and Android, or head over to Issuu.com now.