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From holidays abroad to summer days out, it goes without saying that summer is one of the most expensive times of year for many parents - and the cost of living crisis has only intensified this. If you’re worried about how this will affect your summer with the kids, you’ll be happy to hear that you can still have a summer of fun on a budget. Here’s how…

Save on days out

With plenty of deals active during the summer, you can embrace being a savvy saver and still pencil in fun day trips and family meals out. Most offers are just a Google search away but, for now, here are some suggestions to get you started.

Save money on theme park tickets

From Tesco Clubcard discounts to cereal box prizes, there are several ways to get your hands on theme park tickets with slashed prices. Money Saving Expert Link opens in a new window is a reliable source to find out about current offers and opportunities.

See what’s hot online

All year round, different corners of the internet get filled with a ton of ideas for budget-friendly days out with the kids.

Instagram is one of the most useful places to find inspiration, with accounts such as Day Out With The Kids Link opens in a new window, who frequently update their list of the best days out in the UK.

You can also check out the  Day Out With The Kids website Link opens in a new window, alongside other sources like Kids Days Out Link opens in a new window, for results in different areas of the UK.

Sign the kids up for free classes

Term-time may come to a halt for the summer, but if you want to continue your kids’ education then get your hands on free classes for them on Eventbrite Link opens in a new window. Just pop in your location and you’ll see bundles of options to book. Here are a few to give you a taste:

Make contact with local companies

Open a line of communication with community clubs and halls so you’re in the know about local activities for your kids. We suggest starting with the GOV.UK website Link opens in a new window - just type in your postcode and you’ll be directed to a whole host of activities in your council area.

Earn cashback on your shopping

All those snacks don’t come cheap! Use cashback to earn a percentage back of your everyday spending. Some bank accounts offer cashback to customers, so it’s a good idea to reassess your current account to see if you’re getting the best deal possible. At Virgin Money, you can pick up cashback Link opens in a new window with your everyday shopping, just sign in to the Virgin Money Mobile Banking app Link opens in a new window, check out all the offers and start earning cashback.

Make the most out of food deals

You don’t need to say no to restaurants this summer - keep the 5pm Link opens in a new window , itison Link opens in a new window and Wowcher Link opens in a new window websites open and have visibility of the countless offers and deals available – especially pre-theatre discounts and lunch deals. Hit up kid-friendly restaurants, such as Bella Italia Link opens in a new window, where kids eat for £1 with the purchase of every adult main from 4-6pm on Monday-Thursday.

Look out for the supermarkets that regularly dish out decent discounts in their café’s. Morrisons Link opens in a new window and Asda Link opens in a new window are known for having budget friendly offers that won’t see your kids sulking this summer!

Don’t forget your packed lunch

Fed up with forking out for expensive lunches and overpriced snacks on days out? Preparing a packed lunch is a simple way to save cash. According to research from the Mirror newspaper Link opens in a new window you can make a packed lunch for as little as 68p per person with ingredients from Aldi. Meanwhile, the cheapest meal deal can be found at Morrisons and is £3 per person – meaning a family of four can save over £9 by taking a packed lunch instead.

Save on your kids’ summer outfits

One best-kept secret is that high street retailers charge a lot more in shops than they do online Link opens in a new window - online outlets are often filled with discounts, so take your time to browse through them before dashing to the shops. If you do want to shop on the high street then check out local charity shops, where you can find plenty of kids wear at affordable prices. Consider also buying and selling your kids’ clothes on online platforms like eBay Link opens in a new window and Depop Link opens in a new window. Prices are often cheaper, and the process for selling is simple to follow too: pop a few pictures up, use the relevant hashtags and watch the money roll in.

Save money with apps

Looking to ramp up your savings in as many areas as possible this summer? An almost effortless way to do this, particularly while on the go, is to download some handy budgeting apps.

Why not earn cashback and claim it as credit against your phone bill with Airtime Rewards Link opens in a new window? Or you can opt for Olio Link opens in a new window, which allows you to connect with neighbours and local businesses by sharing and claiming food and household items. With fuel prices currently inflating, we’d also suggest downloading PetrolPrices Link opens in a new window. Finally, you can tap into exclusive discounts and earn cashback from top brands with the Virgin Money Mobile Banking app Link opens in a new window.

Feeling motivated to plan a budget-friendly summer for your kids?

Get access to a wide variety of offers and savings features with Virgin Money Current Accounts Link opens in a new window.

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