6 Savvy summer money-saving tips 😎
#2 is our favourite. You get 9 tips for the price of 1.
1. Make your own summer treats
A bit of DIY with stuff you have lying around or going unused is a go-to penny pincher, and ice lollies are one yummy treat that are really, really easy to make.
All you need for these U-coloured sunshine lollies are some carrots and oranges, but you can freeze more or less anything: fizzy drinks, squash, yoghurt… you name it! Have a peek in the fridge and a browse on the Internet for a recipe.
2. Pack like a pro (plus bags full of suitcase-shaped advice)
Flying off somewhere sunnier this summer? If you’ve opted for one of the budget airlines then you’ll know how pricey it can be to add baggage to your package. You’ll save a lot of dollar if you can stick to just hand luggage, but there are some things to bear in mind if you don’t want to land a hefty oversized-luggage fee at the airport:
- Double, triple and quadruple-check the size and weight of bag that you’ll be allowed to take in the cabin — these are guaranteed to differ between airlines (and sometimes even between different types of aeroplane and destinations on the same airline) and they may have changed since the last time you went away
- Weigh your bags before you travel (you can pick up a pair of luggage scales for a quid)
- Wear your baggage: put on your chunkiest shoes and clothes for the flight, and remember that a pocket is just a tiny, wearable suitcase that won’t count towards your luggage weight limit… So stuff ‘em!
- Maximise on space by shoving smaller stuff like chargers and socks inside your shoes, bags and holders
- Plan plan plan: your outfits for the trip, how much shampoo you’ll need, even the weight of any souvenirs you think you might bring back with you
And if packing light is simply not an option:
- Book any hold luggage well in advance
- Don’t assume budget airlines will be cheaper: some seemingly more expensive flights already include a suitcase in the price
And, of course, don’t forget to pack a pack-up for the plane 🍊
3. Don’t pay for water at the airport (or anywhere else)
It can be frustrating having to dump your water bottle before passing through security, only to fork out a small fortune for another once you reach the other side. Instead, take an empty bottle through with you and fill it up once you’re in the departure lounge. Money-Saving Expert has put together this handy listof airports that provide drinking fountains and where to find them once you’re there. And if there aren’t any drinking fountains available, you can always ask a cafe or bar to fill your bottle for you.
Even if you’re not jetting off anywhere this summer, the same goes when you’re out and about in the hot weather at home — most cafes and bars will be happy to help you re-hydrate if you pop in to top up your empty bottle.
4. Scrimp on sun cream — and apply generously
When it comes to our health, we often feel we’re in safer hands if we buy from brands we know and trust. But really, the only difference here is marketing.
Own-brand products have to meet the same standards as higher-priced alternatives, so as long as you check the UV rating and SPF number (what are these?) you should feel confident saving a few quid on a less snazzy-looking lotion.
You might be able to recycle last year’s lotion, too. Check the best-before date and the PAO (period after opening) number on the back — this’ll be written on a little diagram of a tub, and represents the number of months you’re good to use that product for once you’ve opened it.
5. Save ‘future you’ some of next summer’s costs
From swimwear and sundresses, to garden furniture and games, the all-too-soon end of the summer season is the optimum time to grab a bargain ready for next year, or if you’re lucky enough to be going on holiday later in the season.
It’s also a good idea to start thinking about funding next year’s fun now, if you can afford to. Tools like 365 Budgeting can help you to set aside a few pennies a day for a whole year and get you ready for the time summer next rolls around.
6. Don’t pay in pounds if you’re overseas
When you’re abroad and using a UK debit or credit card, you have the right to choose whether to pay in the local currency or your home currency. More often than not, it’ll cost you far less to opt for the local currency over pounds sterling (GBP). This is because the company handling the transaction is able to charge you a fee for converting that currency into GBP (called a ‘DCC’), and that fee can be wildly disproportionate to how much the conversion actually costs. However, if you opt to pay in the local currency, it’s your (un)bank at home that handles the conversion and they’ll usually charge a “true” currency conversion rate, which is often much cheaper. At U, it’s a plain and simple 3%.