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How to treat yourself and family on a budget

a lady shopping for treats
5 Jan 2023

From days out to nights away, cosmetics and restaurant trips discover how you can treat your family and yourself on a budget for 2023. 

With the worry of the cost of living crisis, you may have a lot less money to treat yourself for 2023, however, this doesn’t mean that you and your family have to go without. 

Luckily there are some great ways you can enjoy a bit of luxury and indulge yourself and your family on a budget this year. 

Save Money On Days Out 

save on days out

A day out is always a lovely treat for all the family but doesn’t need to break the bank to be fun. 

There are lots of ways to save money on days out across the UK, but the main key is to plan.

Here are our top tips 

Book Your Day Out In Advance

Most attractions offer a discount when you book online and in advance. 

Usually the earlier you book the better the discount, however, some venues offer money off even if booked just 24 hours before so that is always worth checking online rather than paying at the gate. 

Look out for Days Out Vouchers 

Each year lots of popular brands feature discount codes for days out across the UK. The vouchers usually offer either buy one get one or 50% off and need to be booked in advance. 

Currently, promotional packs of Kellogg’s cereals are offering free adult ticket vouchers for Merlin attractions. The voucher allows an adult free entry to places such as Sealife and Alton Towers when purchasing another full-price adult or child’s ticket. 

Also, National Rail are offering 2-for-1 on UK days out when you register on the Days Out Guide website and buy a National Rail ticket dated the same day.

Plan Trips On Inset Days

It should no surprise that attractions are cheaper during term times midweek. Although usually it is only those with under 5’s that can benefit, inset days are a great way to take advantage of this great prices.

Plus as the reduced prices are not classed as ‘offers’ you can usually combine them with offers and discounts

To get the most out of these additional days off look around for the best midweek offers.

Check School Holidays in Different Areas

Along with inset days being a great choice for a day out, it is also worth checking when other areas have their school holidays. 

Although lots of school holidays fall at the same time across the UK, some areas often will be slightly different offering you the chance to take advantage of the midweek prices. 

For example the summer holidays in Scotland start earlier than the rest of the UK. 

Also Easter holidays, February and October half terms can often vary from area to area.

A lot of the time the attraction will increase their prices based on the school holiday in their surrounding locations so it always worth checking. 

Save Money on Eating Out 

save money on eating out

There is nothing better than a good meal out, but like lots of other businesses, most restaurants and cafes have had to put their prices up. 

However, there are still ways you can enjoy eating out on a budget.

Here’s our top tips

January Restaurant Offers 

Did you know that the January Sales are not just limited to shops, lots of restaurants of offer great deals to help see you through the January blues. 

The offers range from 50% off food to buy one get one free on drinks and lots more. 

A quick search of your local area will reveal which restaurants and cafes are offering a discount. 

Plus national chains such as Turtle Bay, Tattu and Revolution also have some great offers. 

Get a Tastecard

If you enjoy eating out a lot, you may want to join a dining club such as tastecard.

They have a free 60 day trial and have a whole host of restaurant offers from 2 for 1 and 50% off. 

The restaurants include national chains such as Zizzi and Cafe Rouge, plus a whole host of local independents. 

Tastecard has also revealed how eating out has changed after the pandemic – see here. 

Kids Eat Free Offers

If there is ever a time to eat out with the kids it’s during the school holidays and luckily lots of places offer kids eat free or for a £1. 

Restaurants which usually offer these great discounts during the school holidays include Bella Italia, The Real Greek, Tesco and Sizzling Pubs. 

Other chains have offers for kids all year round at set times such as Morrisons, Dunelm and Beefeater. 

The offers usually apply when adults purchase a main meal, however, Asda cafes have been offering kids eat for £1 with no purchase necessary. 

Save Money On Hotels 

save money on hotels

A night away in a hotel with or without the kids is great treat but can feel out of reach when on a budget.

However, there are some great ways you can save money on a night away. 

Sign Up To The Free Village Hotel Club

If you haven’t signed up to the Village Hotel Club now is the time.

Village Hotels have locations across the UK and have regular sales on hotel rooms – sometimes as low as £25.00.

You need to be flexible on the dates, the best rates are usually on a Sunday however the hotels usually feature lovely pools and gyms and on-site restaurants. 

To get the best deals and extra perks you can sign up to the Village Hotel Club for free.

Check Out Deal of the Days sites

Deal-of-the-day sites such as Wowcher, Groupon and Living Social often feature great hotel deals. 

These sites work by your purchasing a voucher from their site which you can then redeem with the hotel itself.

They can usually only be used at set periods so check the terms and conditions. 

The deals often feature extra perks such as dinner, a bottle of bubbly or use of the spa. 

They are usually cheaper than booking direct, but you should always check with the venue before booking. 

Tesco Club Card Points

If you have a Tesco Club Card you probably already know that the points can be used for days out and at restaurants usually at double or three times their value. 

However, did you know they can also be used at various hotels such as Macdonalds Hotels and Resorts, Mercure Hotels, Novotel Hotel and more.

Plus they can also be used at booking sites such as where you find a whole host of accommodations to chose from. 

Even if you don’t do your main shop at Tesco it is still worth picking up a card for any little visits or petrol purchases as the points can add up quickly. 

How to save money on Clothes and Cosmetics 

Save money on clothes

Buying a new outfit, makeup or perfume when money is tight may feel free frivolous however with these tips you won’t need to break the bank. 

Check out Vinted!

If you haven’t checked out Vinted yet you are missing out. 

This popular online marketplace has lots of pre-loved clothes for adults and kids and accessories to help your money go a bit further. 

There is an option to search for new items with or without tags or different levels of conditions. 

It is easier to navigate than other second-hand sites and all items are a ‘buy it now’ rather than auction so waiting around.

Our readers have reported lots of bargains from new Doc Martins at a fraction of the price to branded coats in amazing condition. 

Shop On Notino for perfume and Cosmetics!

Another great place to shop which can save you money is notino. 

notino is an online beauty retailer which sells everything from make-up to fragrances at great prices. 

They have free shipping on lots of products and Love Discount Vouchers often have a great notino coupon code to save you even more money. 

Grab a free Birthday Treat

Birthday Freebies UK

Did you know that lots of brands give out free gifts on your birthday

All you need to do is sign up for their newsletter or loyalty scheme and you get a lot of goodies from free donuts and cookies to gift vouchers and drinks and more. 

Check out our pick of the top birthday freebies here

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