If you’re on a budget and watching the pennies, one of the first things you inevitably cut back on is the fun things in life. Days out, meals out and holidays aren’t necessities, after all; you can get by without them. However, unless times are really hard, you need to have some outlet for enjoyment every now and then.

Take a look at the ideas below on how you can have fun, but not necessarily spend as much as you might think you need to.

Forward plan a day out

Instead of waking up and deciding to go somewhere for a fun day out, shop around for deals on the all the things you want to do with the kids, such as going ice-skating or doing an adventure ropes course like the ones at Go Ape! and wait for the deals to come up.

Booking on the day is always the most expensive way to do anything like this. For instance, if you go to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, you’ll always pay the full price on the gate. However, booking online or using a coupon on the back of a cereal pack you can always get discounts, whether it’s an adult entry free with a child, or half-price tickets for a family of five. The coupons you’ll find on cereal boxes usually run for a good few months, so if you can plan ahead, you can have all the fun at half the price. It also means that you’ll be able to look forward to the day, adding to the excitement.

Eat out without leaving home

If you crave dinner that’s cooked for you, rather than having to get the pots and pans out, it’s easy enough to go out, but you’ll usually end up spending quite a lot, even if it’s just you, your partner and the kids eating. Think about the kind of food you want, and order it in instead. Arguably getting food delivered can be even more fun for the kids because they don’t have to be on best behaviour like they would in a restaurant, which in turn makes the whole thing more relaxing for you.

Whether you get something like a Thai takeaway for everyone or you each want to choose your own favourite cuisine, you can get dinner delivered to your door and pay less than you would for the restaurant equivalent, especially when you don’t order extras such as drinks and desserts.

See more of the UK

There’s a tendency to think that we have to spend money in order to have a good time, but there’s so much to do that costs nothing. For instance, what do you need to pay for when going for a day at the beach, save the petrol and the parking? You can pack a picnic to avoid having to pay inflated prices for mediocre food on the seafront too.

Then, there’s all the beautiful countryside that is so accessible all around the UK. None of us lives too far from open spaces if we’re ready to seek them out, and walking is great exercise that the family can enjoy together.

If you like to combine the great outdoors with some culture, the money spent on a family membership for English Heritage or the National Trust could really be money well spent. The memberships aren’t too far off the cost of entrance to just one or two attractions – such as Stonehenge. Both family memberships at the National Trust include up to 10 children, and the English Heritage family membership for one adult includes six children, while the two-adult family membership includes up to 12 children, so there are plenty of possibilities for kids to bring their friends along. You could even use one of the gardens at these beautiful venues for a birthday party picnic!

It’s not necessary to spend a lot to have some fun; you just have to be savvy in deciding what to do and the way in which you do it!


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