10 ideas for spending summer on a shoestring

Budget looking tight? Here are some expert tips to help make those pennies go further for you and your family this summer

A family barbecue is an economical treat

1 Make the most of free attractions. Whatever your interests, plenty of places have free entry. From museums to sightseeing hotspots, there's no shortage of free events over the summer.

2 Take inspiration from the north's beautiful public parks and gardens – many of the latter may be normally private but open to the public on special 'open garden' days.

3 Check out discounts and vouchers to get cut-price offers on everything from eating out, to theatre tickets and sight-seeing experiences.

4 Bring the fun to your own home and host a picnic or barbecue in your back garden for family and friends. To cut back on food costs, ask each guest to bring a dish along.

5 There are free festivals all over the UK to suit many tastes. Keep an eye on social media to find them.

6 Even if festivals aren't for you, tents, wellies and sleeping bags can all fall in price at this time of year as outdoor stores compete. Pack the car one weekend and head to a campsite and try sleeping under the stars.

7 Don't get caught out by card fees. Before going away, check any charges for using your card abroad. Some card apps even allow you to keep a track of your spending and send you live updates on your balance, meaning you can stay on top of your finances wherever you are.

8 Keep a look out for restaurants and activities where kids can eat or enter for free.

9 Many families may prefer a staycation over the summer, which can really keep costs down. Avoid mealtime tantrums – and cut the costs – by taking your own packed lunches and snacks on day trips.

10 If you're going away, consider putting your home on a holiday letting website, which could help you cover the cost of your holidays.

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