Summertime can be expensive. With countless day trips, expensive attraction entry fees and over priced ice creams the cost soon mounts up. We have lots of fun planned for the warmer months this year, especially now the little man is completely mobile and much more interested in what’s going on around him.
I’m reducing my hours to part time in June so I can spent more time at home, but it will mean we need to pay more attention budgeting, getting value for money and bargain hunting.
I’m a huge advocate for money saving and thought I’d share some of my tips.
* Take a picnic
Food is expensive in most cafes or tourist attractions. The cost of a meal can often cost more than your entrance fees. We always take a picnic. Home made sandwiches, a quiche and a bag of salad is enough to feed us and costs less than £5 to make.
* Save up
Putting a few pounds a week in a jar over the winter months soon adds up. It will pay for a fun day out or buy some new summer clothes for the whole family.
*Visit your local park or the seaside
Both are free and hours of fun can be had without spending a penny. I found lots of local parks on www.tripadvisor.co.uk that I never even knew exist. It’s great source of new places to visit when you exhaust all your usual haunts.
* Check the internet for discounts and voucher codes.
Whenever we pick a place to visit we check websites like VoucherBin.co.uk for bargain entrance fees or discounts on bookings. I can’t remember the last time we paid full price to visit an attraction.
*Shop around for accommodation
Found somewhere you want to stay? Don’t book it just yet. Shop around. I like to use www.trivago.co.uk to find a good deal and then contact the accommodation directly. They’re often likely to offer it for less than going via the agent as they then don’t have to pay fees. It can also help establish relationships, we did this with a B & B in York and now we always stay there when we’re visiting the area and they offer us a much cheaper deal than anywhere else.
*Stay at home
If you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at home. One of our favourite things to do is spend time in the garden. Drag the toys out, sand pit, paddling pool and away we go. You can invite friends and family round to share costs for food and drink. Check out websites like www.zeezaw.co.uk to get fantastic savings on garden goodies from Amazon. We used it to get a swing for the little man, saving £20 from when we’d first seen it.
*Make use of annual passes
A lot of attractions offer good value yearly passes. We have passes for www.english-heritage.org.uk, www.beamish.org.uk and www.dlidurham.org.uk, all of which are local to us. It means we can go as much as we like without paying anything extra.
Do you have any tips for saving money over the summer?