Last year I won a $200 gift voucher in a NSW Lottery Mother’s Day promotion. I used it to buy two restaurant vouchers (which I gave to my two children) and a gourmet hamper for me. I often use gift voucher prizes for restaurant meals and gourmet food as these are usually beyond our tight household budget. This year I have won two recipe books. The first one Nanna No Hats, Corries Delicious Recipes from Yesteryear, was by entering one of my own family recipes in a magazine competition. The other one, The Pepperpot Club, A Celebration of Caribbean Cuisine, was by entering a WOL competition run by a publisher. I am a pretty average cook and enjoy my food but these two books are destined to leave my house as Christmas presents. I hope they will be appreciated.
In the more distant past I have won a number of bottles of wine. These are also great presents as I don’t actually drink alcohol. In the forum lately there have been a few more ‘foodie’ wins – including a year’s supply of Lindt chocolate and a huge can of Milo. It seems that anything with chocolate in it or wine are definitely two on the top of happily-won prizes. So too are kitchen gadgets and appliances from elegant food mixers, coffee machines, toasters, slow cookers and pots and pans to barbeques and barbeque utensils. Occasionally I have even noticed a whole kitchen up for grabs.
So where can we find all these goodies. There are quite a number of ‘foodie’ websites where competitions are run regularly. For a start some of these include:-
1. Taste – (www.taste.com.au/competitions)
2. SBS Food – (www.sbs.com.au/food)
3. Australian Good Food and Travel Guide – (www.agfg.com.au/guide/competitions)
4. Australian Healthy Food Guide – (www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/competitions)
So what do you have to do to win some of these? It varies as usual from a simple random draw entry to a WOL answer to uploading a recipe (often with a photo) onto their website or Facebook page. All quite do-able if you are into food and keen to win.
Another way to score free food is by applying for samples through websites such as Free Samples in Australia By Mail Only (www.ez007.net/FreeSamplesAustraliaByMailOnly). My kitchen cupboards have been stocked with samples of Zuppa Soups, Continental casserole bases, lollies (Allens and Wiz Fiz), hot chocolate mix (Divinity Hot Chocolate) snack bars, Sustagen, and various other sauce mixes as well as many more I can’t remember. Coles and Woolworths have regular giveaways in-store and online or through their Facebook pages.
There are also a couple of subscription sample boxes. I don’t subscribe to any but many people love the full sized sample packs delivered to their door and are prepared to pay for them. The latest on Red Paw Paw (www.redpawpaw.com.au) had a big hiccup this year not long after it appeared and had to start charging postage as well as the $5 subscription per month however many subscribers were still happy to continue (although many were not). Not so well know is Native Box (www.nativebox.com.au). They describe their service thus: “Each month, you’ll discover a box full of eco products. You get to choose a box type: Classic, SuperSize, Mum & Bub, Vegan, Snack Box and Men’s. Boxes start from $21.60p/m including shipping�?. This is also a subscription sample box of mostly natural food. They also have a regular Fun Friday Giveaway. Could be worth checking out if it sounds interesting.
Finally, if you are a keen cook with lots of great homemade recipes hanging around your kitchen you can also send your recipes into some magazines and be paid. I have had a look and generally this could be around $50 in women’s magazines such as That’s Life and Take 5. But I am sure there are plenty of others.