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?

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Much like Quidco, TopCashback is a site that gives you cashback and discounts on your shopping.

Shop smarter and get the best deals for your online and in-store purchases. You can get cashback on everything from groceries to insurance, so there’s a bunch of ways for you to make money when you shop.


There is a Free Cashback section of the site, where you can earn money without spending a penny! There’s everything from surveys and trials, to competitions and products. A great way to make those extra pennies.

Aside from the cashback you can get when you shop online, TopCashback has some great additional offers for shopping in-store.

  • There is a Printable Voucher page, with vouchers for restaurants, days-out and more.
  • There’s also a Snap & Save page, that gives you various rewards for snapping a photo of your shopping receipt.
  • You can register your card to get in-store rewards when you shop with your credit or debit card.
  • New to TopCashback is the Cashback Notifier add-on.

Getting started


It’s easy to get started with TopCashback. After a quick sign-up to the site, you can just browse the offers and click on what takes your fancy. That’s it! Just shop as normal and your cashback will show-up in your account within 7 days.

Just make sure to disable any adblocking software you might have.

Cashout options

TopCashback has an impressive number of ways to cashout:

topcashback topcashback topcashback

As you can see, there’s something for everyone. It’s great if you want to choose whatever is most convenient for you.

Join TopCashback today

Click here to join TopCashback

It’s free to join and a classic account is also free. You can choose to pay £5 a year for a Plus account, which gives you additional benefits such as bigger bonuses and faster payment.


how to get free and reduced price Lush

Lush was my first proper job. I worked at Lush for five years, starting in 2005 when I was 16. I left after leaving for university, but still did a few shifts in the holidays. When I started, it was because my boss gave in and gave me a job after I asked for a job every time I came in! Lush definitely became my second family and it’s still a great part of my identity today.

Lush don’t offer many discounts on their products so they aren’t cheapened, which I think is fair as that’s what makes Lush products a great treat.

As it’s loved by so many, I want to share my tips of the trade to show you how to get freebies and the best savings. While Lush don’t offer many discounts, there are some available so you can get your mitts on some Lush products for a fraction of the price.

How to get free and reduced price Lush


Boxing Day Sales

Undoubtedly, the best time of year to get half price Lush products is Boxing Day and the following days.

Previously the Boxing Day sales were limited only to in-store transactions but now you have the beauty of the online sale. You’ll have to get online early though, this year the demand was so high I didn’t even get off the queue and on the website until 10PM, by which time the sale had ended! The wait is worth it though, you can get a hefty amount of product for 50% off.

In-store the sale usually continues until all the Christmas stock is gone.

Bring back five black pots for a free fresh face mask

To encourage you to recycle their pots, Lush will give you a fresh face mask of your choice absolutely free! Just bring back five black pots and you’ll be able to swap it for any mask you fancy.

With the fresh face masks prices starting at £6.95 it’s well worth saving those pots.

Ask for samples

Try before you buy. Lush loves to hand out samples of their products, so if you want to try something just ask and you’ll get a generous sample to take home.

Book a lush party

In our store we would often host in-store parties, or attend events. The in-store parties would consist of treatments and a chance for you to have the shop all to yourselves. I’ve worked at events giving demonstrations and sharing information, at everywhere from Fresher’s Week to black-tie shin-digs.

This might vary store to store but ask if your local store does events. You’ll secure a freebie, a fun night and some food and drink too.

Work there

I started working at Lush to pay for my addiction. We all used to say that our wages just went straight back in the till! Lush offer 50% staff discount, (which I miss so much) and there’s always products to try out and take home.

Stay connected

It’s always helpful to get on good terms with your local Lushies too, you never know when there’s some freebies going.

Keep an eye on your local stores Facebook or Twitter pages for any events.

Get the most out of your products

You want your products to last as long as possible so you can get the most out of them. It’s easy for some products to disappear quickly if not cared for properly.

 Store them properly

  • Store in a cool dry place, away from moisture.
  • Wrap well in grease-proof paper, plastic, or any kind of tin or tub.
  • Keep an eye on dates. Here’s a handy infographic on how long Lush products last:


 Shop smart

  • Did you know shampoo bars are good for 80 washes? At the average price of £6.25 a bar, that’s just £0.08 a wash!
  • Shampoo bars can be used to hand wash clothes. Great for taking on holiday.
  • Lush shampoos can also be used as shower gel.
  • Ultrabland and Ultrabalm are both great multipurpose products. Think of them like the Vaseline of the Lush world.

What are your favourite Lush products?






2016 goals

2016 Goals

It’s that time of year again; new years resolutions! Eek! The phrase alone is enough to fill most people with dread, but fear not, we can make them bearable.

I’ve written about goal setting before; goals need to be achievable and risk free in order to be successful. I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals before, but if you haven’t, you want your goals to be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Basically you want to know exactly what your goals are, and be able to measure your success. Your goals need to be something you can achieve, relevant to your life and ambitions, with a set time frame.

Pretty easy right?

I know the basic things I want to achieve in 2016, but I have yet to set any specific dates. I’m sure I’ll add to these throughout the year.

My 2016 goals


Go fully freelance.

Start work as a freelance writer, with some virtual assistant stuff thrown in.

Create a proper schedule for my blogs. (I want to up my blogging game in a big way in 2016! I love the creativity and community involved with blogging, and I want to set myself clear plans and goals.)


Learn about investing.

Start a proper saving plan.

Start a private pension(?)

Make as much as I can online every month. (not sure how much to aim for at the mo.)


Learn calligraphy

Go on holiday, or put away savings for next year.

Life & Health

Get weight loss surgery. (So, a pretty big one! My life is about to change in a huge way and I can’t wait.)

Join a gym.

Learn to drive.

Personal Development

Publish an ebook.

Practice mindfulness regularly.

Read as much as possible. (Still a bit slow reading after my head injury, so won’t set exact figures.)

Get out more, do more things I love, be as happy as possible!

I want 2016 to be: A year of grafting, change and happiness.

I will start: Taking concrete steps towards my dream future.

I will stop: Staying in so much!

Top 5 Goals

  1. Get weight loss surgery.
  2. Learn to drive.
  3. Go freelance.
  4. Regular savings.
  5. Blogging plan.


To help you get started with your goals, here’s your free 2016 goals worksheet.

2016 goalsI hope this worksheet helps! Feel free to download and print, and scribble all over the sheet to get your ideas out.

What are your goals for 2016?

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?