Posted on: 14 July 2021
Summer is officially here! 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 months - without going over budget.
Save on grocery 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, check out these ideas for 10 quick lunches and 15 cheap and healthy meals.
- 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.
And, of course, you can use the discounts on your employee benefits platform to save on your supermarket shopping.
Check if you’re entitled to help with the costs of childcare
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. This free, independent benefit checker can help you work out if you’re eligible for this and for other kinds of financial help.
And 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
Find loads of great offers on attractions including Go Ape, Sealife centres, Alton Towers and the Bear Grylls Adventure on your Discounts tile. Take a look at discount sites like Wowcher and Groupon too. 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.
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.
Find low-cost or free activities 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, such as the Summer Reading Challenge, and they’ll be able to point you in the direction of 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. 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. Check out this Tesco article for ideas.
And don’t forget that most museums and art galleries are back open! There are hundreds of engaging, interactive free museums throughout the UK. Many also offer a place to eat a packed lunch. That’s a huge saving on one of the biggest costs of a day out.
...or at home!
The National Trust website has all the information you need about the visitor attractions they run across the country – and you can save up to 9% on admission via discounts on your employee benefits app. They also have a useful list of family activities you can do at home! Meanwhile, Change4Life on the NHS website has some great ideas and workouts to keep the whole family active.
And if it’s a really sunny day (fingers crossed!) check out these tips for BBQing on a budget.
Enjoy those summer savings - and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Provided by Financial Wellness Group