10 ways to save money this summer if you’ve got kids

10 ways to save money this summer if you’ve got kids

1) Make a plan

List the days you ‘need’ to do something and of course, leave a couple of days / afternoons free to relax.

Setting up a ‘family’ calendar on your devices (e.g. within your iPhone / iGoogle account etc) is a superb way of feeling like you’re a 21st century family + it makes it a lot easier to track what’s happening on the go + there is no excuse if you’ve got teenage kids that seem to constantly want to avoid you at all costs.

2) Collect the offers and plan them into your plan

2-for-1 tickets are generally all over the place over the summer period, never go anywhere without first searching online for discounted tickets.

Arriving by train often can reduce your ticket entry price as well for many locations.

Be sure to check for expiry dates and small print, the most frustrating thing is being embarrassed at the entry to an event because your voucher is out of date etc. We often will take a backup voucher / discount as well just in case or if another family in front/behind is struggling to pay a discounted rate.

Kids week offers free kids passes for the month of August.

Farm Sunday (5th June) is a day where many local farms open their doors to families.

Theme Park 2-for-1 tickets are normally on cereal boxes

Hobby Craft offer free events across school holidays & weekend. Speak with your local store for details.

Dobbies (Garden Centres) offer free kids workshops first Sunday of every month.

Free Art Classes at The National Gallery (London)

15-17 year olds can apply for a 4 week programme (£50 cost or free with bursary if needed) which involves 1 week of outdoor activities (abseiling, water rafting etc), then 1 week on how to cook, managing a budget, develop skills for the future etc & the 3/4th weeks are spent back at home where they will plan and organise a local project/event. Places go quickly so be quick if it’s something your kids will enjoy.

Play Tennis for free 14th/15th May and 16th/17th July.

Some cinemas offer super cheap tickets on Sundays.

3) Season passes / Clubcard Season Passes

Most locations offer season passes, they know that many people won’t return so it’s an easy & profitable upsell for them, if however you do plan on visiting multiple times or the season pass covers multiple locations then it might be worth grabbing one.

Tesco Clubcard offers some great season pass prices as well.

4) Daily Deals / Local deals (e.g. Groupon / Living Social / GoGroopie etc)

Groupon often has extra discounts on local locations/events + will give £10 off £25 spend with codes WELCOME normally (new accounts only)

Living Social don’t have as many deals but many of them are good

GoGroopie has even less good deals but again worth a check

5) Stop paying money to go and see things when there are tons of FREE things to do locally

Scavenger Hunts / Open Mic Nights / Pamper Nights in / Hiking / Biking / Time Capsule – That link has 100 things to do on the cheap/free

Beach / Countryside Cleanups – Sounds boring to some people but others get a massive thrill out of it and it only takes a few minutes


Make money from rubbish

Photography Family Competition – Ideal if you’ve got some old digital cameras lying around, charge them up and see who can snap the best photo.

Paper Airplane competition. Get a ton of paper, make an awesome plane.

6) Local free events / Free Farm Days / National Trust Open Days

Check local papers / Local information boards / Village Hall Boards etc.

Farm Sunday (5th June) is a day where many local farms open their doors to families.

Each year The National Trust open tons of places for free. Here are the 2015 details, awaiting 2016 info

7) Plan lunches & drinks

Events/locations know that kids wanting a drink will be an easy way to sell an overpriced water with sugar in bottle. Instead, take a few different types of drinks in your bag/car. Remember an ice cooler as well to keep it chilled!

8) Consider alternative accommodation / parking / travel etc

Although you can get a great prices on hotels you might find that renting out whole houses is a cheaper way of going away for a few days/weeks!

Instead of paying a large parking company £10 to park for the day, consider parking on other people’s driveways to less!

Instead of paying stupid prices for fuel, consider ride sharing or car sharing with others travelling the same route as you.

9) Family / Student / ‘Two Together’ / Senior / Disabled Travel Cards

A family rail card (up to 4 adults and 4 kids, must travel with a child (5-15-years old) will save you 1/3 on Adult fares and 60% on childs!

Other cards give a similar 1/3 off most travel

10) Try and find cheaper alternatives of ALL activities

A couple of examples:

  • Instead of going to a water park, see if you local swimming pool has a slip and slide afternoon or a large water slide open
  • Instead of going to the cinema, see if you can borrow a large projector from family/friends and do a DIY cinema at home with a bed sheet!


Be a financial rockstar and share this with your friends, family and co-workers to maximise savings:

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