A RUGBY charity that helps people in debt has come up with a top ten of money saving ideas for families who are feeling the pinch.
Christians Against Poverty helps people to escape the misery of spiralling debt and teaches how to budget to avoid financial trouble.
Andrew Lewis, manager of the Rugby branch, said: “A lot of people on low incomes really worry about the six-week holiday and what they are going to do with the children while living on a budget.
“They feel a big pressure to entertain them but many of the big obvious attractions like the zoo, or the cinema are very expensive. Sadly, the weather plays its part too. When it’s wet, it’s much harder to keep it cheap but that’s when us parents have to have a few imaginative tricks up our sleeves.”
Here are some ideas Andrew and his colleagues have come up with:
1. Find a quiet moment to compile a list of all the possible indoor activities – making pizzas? Finger painting? Writing to the Queen? Building a den? Putting on a play or making an Olympics scrap book?
2. Visit www.moneysavingexpert.com - it has a comprehensive list of all the free museums and art galleries. Eat before you go or take sandwiches.
3. See what your local council has on offer so you can make the most of any free entertainment
4. DIY store B&Q is offering free ‘Kids Can Do It’ sessions where children aged seven to 11 can make a nesting box, media storage unit or hedgehog house.
5.Never underestimate the power of a picnic. Keep it simple – an open space, a football and a friend or two.
6. British Gas is offering free swimming sessions - visit british gasswimming.co.uk and book a session near you.
7. Get some ice lolly moulds - much cheaper than the ice-cream van.
8. Get your wellies on and find some woods – check nature detectives.org.uk
9. A DVD evening for older children, make homemade popcorn and ‘mocktails’ (non-alcoholic fruity drinks).
10. Hold your own Olympics with friends or neighbours and invent your own sports.
Christians Against Poverty is a free service which helps anyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Visit capdebthelp.org or call the freephone helpline 0800 328 0006.