Summer is officially here and the school holidays are in full swing. Good news for our gas and electricity bills as we can finally turn the heating off (hopefully), but even though you might save on energy costs, summer can still be an expensive time, especially if you have children. We’ve put together some money saving tips to help you and your family have a great time over the summer – without going over budget.
Save on your food bills
When the schools are out, the fridge just never seems to stay full. Meal planning can save you money and cut down on food waste – and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s what to do:
- Plan ahead to decide what you’re going to eat and drink for a week, a fortnight or even a whole month. If you’re in need of easy, affordable recipes,there are plenty online.
- Check the cupboards and make a list of all the ingredients you’re going to need
- …and then stick to your list! If possible, do your big shop online. That way you’re less likely to be swayed by impulse buys whilst walking around the supermarket.
Check if you're entitled to childcare costs
Even if you don’t need help during term-time, you may be eligible for help with childcare for summer holiday activities. This could include vouchers for holiday clubs or a childminder.
You can find more information about the various options at childcarechoices.gov.uk. There’s a directory of childminders who accept childcare vouchers there too, plus some updated information about your options in light of the pandemic.
Cut the cost of days out
Take a look at discount sites like Wowcher and Groupon, as well as promotions in newspapers and on grocery items. And if you have a rewards card with one or more supermarkets, check your emails to see if they’ve sent you any seasonal offers too!
Once you’ve decided where to visit, set a budget for the day to keep it affordable. Don’t forget to include the cost of meals and transport. Try taking a picnic with you instead as food and drinks are often one of the most expensive parts of the day.
Find a free activity in your local area
The libraries are back open! If you’re lucky enough to have a local library, drop in or check their website. They may be running free activities over the summer, and they’ll be able to point you in the direction of sporting and other events and activities happening near you.
For many of us, local parks were a lockdown life-saver – to the point that we might have got a bit sick of the sight of them. So why not mix it up and try another park in your local area – enjoy the summer weather while you ride your bikes…or even enjoy a picnic.
And don’t forget that most museums and art galleries are back open too! There are loads of engaging, interactive free museums throughout the UK, with many also offering places to eat a packed lunch.
Enjoy those summer savings – and don’t forget the sunscreen!