Today’s guest post is from Mel over at Mel’s Money Saving & Bargains, a personal finance website that also focuses on finding daily deals. She talks about how you can make the most of the tail end of the summer holidays when you are on a budget.
We have made it this far and are nearing the end of one hell of a summer. I have enjoyed it so much this year, the weather has been fab, I have managed three holidays (2 x camping trips) so far and my social calendar is on fire.
Our purse strings are becoming thinner and thinner as we near the end of the summer holidays though, and we have already tried numerous ways to entertain our tribe. I am always looking for ways to keep down costs of entertaining the children, especially when they want to do nothing else but sit and play on their Xbox or watch You tube video’s.
Here I give you 5 savvy ways to end the summer with a bang.
1. Make the most of free days out
There are many free days out to take advantage of if you do a bit of research beforehand. Ask friends on Facebook, ask the web and look at free National Trust entry days near you. I find that my kids are so much better behaved when we don’t spend money on them and they can just explore. There are no tantrums over who gets more or that they want something more than you are willing to spend. Pack a picnic and some balls games and get together with friends or family. Many parks now have outdoor splash parks and swimming pools if the weather is nice or look for free museums if the weather takes a bad turn. Many museums will have open days and workshops aimed at entertaining children in the school holidays.
2. Go to a free festival
There are so many free festivals to attend at the back end of August to tie in with the bank holidays, that you are bound to find something if you google free festivals. You can take children along and make lots of great memories. Pack up some snacks, ponchos or raincoats and wellies if the weather looks a bit bleak and the kids will have a ball.
3. Make the most of the summer sales
Shop in the summer sales and you could be on to winner. There are huge reductions in the summer sales in many shops across the country, so you can stock up on your holiday shopping. If you have a holiday booked late August, then it is well worth waiting to do all your shopping in the sales or you can shop for next year. I once bought all my children’s clothes for half price in the sales for the following year, as we had a big holiday to Florida booked. I just bought them in the next size up. This saved me a fortune and I got some really nice, good quality items.
4. Use school uniform vouchers
There is no denying that shopping for school uniform and stationary can be stressful and expensive, especially when you have more than one child. I often get sent vouchers for discounts on school uniform or vouchers printed on my receipts. Whilst I love to take advantage of these vouchers, I will still look for better deals if possible. Trade in on supermarket loyalty vouchers and use extra discounts as well to bring the price down as much as possible. Paying as little as possible for kitting your kids out equals happy parents, thus helping you to enjoy the rest of the holidays knowing your kids are well prepared.
5. Clear the clutter
The better weather means that we can have a big summer clear out without getting all cold and wet. Clear out toys, clothing, shoes, handbags and anything else that is not needed. My rule is If it’s not decorative or useful then it is not needed. Sort out separate piles – charity, sell, or give to friends/ relatives. I sell good quality clothing, toys and shoes at car boots and on Ebay and Facebook, and then bag up the cheaper items for a clothing bank. They pay around £5 per large bin liner of clothes, shoes, bags and belts. They will also accept extras now such as stuffed toys and CDs. I love to give my children’s old clothes to friends and family if I know it will fit someone. I know that other parents appreciate this so much. You will feel great after having a nice big clear out and hopefully will have made some extra cash too.
So, there you have it, 5 savvy ways to end the summer with a bang. Hopefully these tips will help you to save money and enjoy the rest of the summer holidays as much as possible.