Kids Pass gives you 40% off cinema tickets and money off a range of restaurants and days out. You can even get discounts on holidays with Haven, Butlins, Eurocamp and other companies. The pass costs around £40 a year, but a month’s trial costs just £1.
Check whether your local amateur dramatics society is performing any plays suitable for families. Smaller venues are a lot cheaper than well-known theatres and young children really won’t care if an actor is an award-winning thespian or Mark from the corner shop. Older kids could even join the drama youth group. Don’t discount larger theatres altogether, however, as some offer discounts during the summer holidays. Children can attend a host of London shows for free during August’s Kids Week, as long as they’re accompanied by a paying adult – see www.officiallondontheatre.com/kids-week.
Clubbing together with other parents can help to keep costs down. Having a kids’ party at a soft-play centre, theme park, pottery barn or other activity centre often costs less per head than buying the activity and food separately for each child. Use PayPal’s Money Pools to collect the money from everyone.
A trip to a pottery workshop usually costs upwards of £10 a child, but if you buy the paints and pots online you can get that down to around £3 or £4 per child. Likewise, a home tie dye kit costs less than £15, which gives you enough dye for around ten children’s T-shirts. Fabric pens are even cheaper (and less messy). Try eBay for kits, T-shirts and other items to dye, such as cotton bags or pillow cases. Bulk buy with other parents to save money.
Cheap days out
Keep an eye on social media and www.familiesonline.co.uk for cheap days out. Libraries and councils sometimes organise holiday activities, such as storytelling and crafts. Country fairs often have lots on for kids and entrance is often free for under-16s as long as they’re accompanied by a paying adult. (Tickets are usually cheaper if they’re bought in advance.) For less than £15 for one adult and four children, you could enjoy a day out with aerobatics displays, ferret racing, motocross displays, puppet shows and more. Just remember to pack a cool bag with a picnic and ice pops, otherwise you’ll spend a small fortune on hotdogs, chips and ice-cream.
Cashback sites such as Quidco and Topcashback give you money back every time you buy something online from one of their retail partners. They also offer discounts. When we checked, Quidco was advertising a fourteen-day Walt Disney pass for the price of seven days, and money off various flights. If you register your credit and debit cards with Quidco, you can also earn money when you shop on the high street, whether you’re buying kids’ clothes or treating the family to lunch out.