The UK is approaching a summer which promises to be brighter after a year unlike any other. With restrictions easing and vaccinations on the rise, the public is turning its attention towards getting back to things they love – seeing family and friends, attending concerts and sporting events, eating out, going to the cinema, and going on holiday.

Having had to deal with such extraordinary circumstances, many people have tightened the purse strings and kept a watchful eye on their bank balance. Saving money is certainly no bad thing, so with the prospect of increased freedom on the horizon, we still want to find a way to do all things we enjoy, we might just have to be a bit smarter about how we go about it!

This is why we’ve put together this brief guide on ‘How to Make the Most of your Summer Spend’, so that no matter what your financial situation, you can still take full advantage of us being able to get back to some kind of normality.

Refresh your wardrobe for the season

It’s safe to say that our fashion requirements have probably changed a bit over the past year – for a lot of us, working from home has meant trackies and t-shirts rather than shirts and ties! But with everyone so keen to get out and about again, now might be the time to make a few seasonal additions to your wardrobe to make your freedom feel even more special.

Clothes can be pricey though, so it’s great to have a few ways of cutting the cost but not compromising on style. With our rewards system, we’ve got great voucher options for outlets like M&S, TK Maxx, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis which all have some brilliant clothing lines which offer real value for money.

You could also sign up to online newsletters for your favourite outlets where, quite often, they will regularly share some great discounts and deals. Another good way of saving money whilst also giving back to others is to browse the charity shops near you – often they’ll have some amazing hidden gems!

Be a hometown tourist

We’re all gagging for a holiday, of that there can be no doubt! But equally, with demand so high and there still being plenty of restrictions to overseas travel in place, it might be sensible to bide your time for the perfect break.

Just because you may not be going away imminently doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of what you have on your doorstep. Despite spending the majority of our time in our hometown (whether it’s adopted or not), we often don’t see as much of this location as we could.

Take the chance to seek out museums, art galleries, heritage sites, monuments and parks in the town or city where you live to plan yourself a big day out without the cost. Once you’ve seen as many of the sights as you can fit in during the day, sample a couple of the local bars you don’t normally go to, or a nice restaurant to finish off your home-from-home holiday!

Go local with outdoor events

Whilst many of us will be buzzing to get back to our favourite sports team’s venue every week, or see our most-loved bands at concerts nationwide, these events aren’t cheap to go to. If you want to cut the costs down but still enjoy live sports and music, why not go local!

Grass-roots sport is a huge part of life for adults and children alike all over the country so why not show your enthusiasm by attending local sporting events. The standard may not be up there with the professionals but the passion most certainly is, and if you like the look of it, you could always get involved yourself and open up avenues for a new hobby.

The music industry has suffered hugely over the past year, and no one has felt the force of this than up-and-coming local bands who rely on regular gigs at local venues. Supporting these artists by attending gigs at local venues or community events is a brilliant option. Who knows, you might even unearth a future festival headliner! If you do want to enjoy a more mainstream festival but it doesn’t suit your budget, you could look into volunteering as they always need huge amounts of contributors.

Break out the BBQ… on a budget

With rules relaxing for outdoor gatherings, it is the perfect opportunity to dust of that BBQ which has been sat idle through the winter months! Evenings are getting longer (and hopefully warmer) so it is the perfect way to catch up with friends or family who you may not have seen in a long time.

Hosting can be an expensive task, but with our rewards for supermarkets like Sainsbury’s, M&S or Tesco, you can throw a summer shindig on a shoestring. A good way of keeping cost down can also be to get your guests to bring an item each to throw on the BBQ – it evens out the spend and it ensures everyone gets something that they like!

If you’re feeling green-fingered, salad stapes like lettuces, potatoes, onions or tomatoes can be really easy to grow if you can find the right place. Don’t worry if you’re short of space – window boxes for herbs are an amazing addition which we can guarantee you’ll end up using virtually every day in your cooking!

These are just a few of the best ways to make the most of your budget for this summer, without losing out on those experiences that you’ve been longing for over the past year! Keep an eye on our blog for more insights on all sorts of things, and you can sign up to earn rewards for completing surveys as part of our community at any time.

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