5 Ways to Save Money this Summerby Emma Dowey
Everything is getting more and more expensive. We've really noticed the hit to our pockets this last month - from the food shop to petrol (argh), to going out. And of course, the kids are still "I want, I want, I want". And I don't want to deprive them of a summer holiday or family days out, but it's definitely going to be harder to justify a hundred quid on a day out somewhere this year. I remember going to Longleat last summer with just our eldest and the tickets were literally 90 quid. Crazy. So although I want to have some lovely family days out, I certainly don't want to spend as much. I've put together a few ideas for free, or very nearly "free" days out with the kids. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments too.
The good old park
You can't beat a day or a few hours at the park hey. We have quite a few in our local area and they are all lovely. I find if you pack a picnic and plan to meet a few friends, it's easy to while away a few hours. Our local area does rock painting and hiding, which always gets the kids out. We have another park where we feed the squirrels. A bag of monkey nuts will set you back a pound or so. A cheap way to spend some time.
If you're lucky enough to live near the coast, I can't stress enough how good the beach is for a pretty cheap day out. We are fortunate - we live in Weston-super-Mare. We often have full beach days where it feels like we've gone on holiday. Buckets and spades keep the kids entertained for hours, and if you take a picnic, that saves on the expensive seaside snacks.
For rainy days, try your local museum for things to do. Ours often have one-off displays or activities for kids during the holidays. Museums are worth taking advantage of if you're lucky enough to have one nearby.
If you are planning a day out where you'll need to pre-buy tickets, make sure you have a look online for the best deals. Often the supermarket cards offer deals, and then if you work in the NHS or for the emergency services, the Blue Light Card may have discounts available. Check websites too as some offer a discount if you're an emergency worker and can show proof.
Make staying home fun
We love a quiet day at home with the paddling pool and BBQ out if the weather is good. You can't beat a day playing in the garden. I also find sand keeps my pre-schooler amused for ages too. The Range sells large bags for a few quid and they last ages! Simple treasure hunts and bug hunts keep him entertained for a while. We often download neighbourhood scavenger hunts to enjoy.
What tips and tricks do you have for keeping costs to a minimum this summer?