Friday, 23 August 2013

Frugal Friday

As you know we spent last week at the Great British Beer festival. We were working there as volunteers, and had accommodation with a friend who was also volunteering (Had we not had that option, our accommodation would have been provided by the festival free of charge), our meals were subsidised, and the beer at the staff bar was free. Aside the nights out with our bar team at the start of the week before the festival was open to the public, we had, to all intents and purposes, a very cheap holiday indeed! Yes the work was hard, but when you're working with good pals, with none of the hassles and politics that can intrude on everyday life, and doing something so completely different to what you do normally, it can still feel like a holiday!

There are lots of ways of having fun without needing to break the bank. As you probably remember we're great advocates of having fun while still working towards the financial goal of getting that pesky mortgage gone! You can do all the scrimping and saving in the world, but the one thing you SHOULDN'T scrimp on are life experiences - don't be putting all those places you want to go and things you want to do off into the future, we none of us know what life has in store for us!

Seafront Airshows - all yours for a few £'s in a bucket!
Volunteering is a great way of getting to "do stuff" and can be done in all sorts of ways - we've previously worked with the local conservation volunteers learning about coppicing and hedge-laying among other things. A friend went to Glastonbury Festival a few years ago for absolutely nothing by volunteering to work with one of the charities that was represented there. That beer festival is open to all CAMRA members to volunteer at, and even things like Airshows and similar use volunteers to sell programmes etc - more often than not they ask for just a handful of hours work on any day that you're there, and after that your time is your own.

Another good way of saving money on days out is using vouchers - T*sco Clubcard Rewards (now known as "Clubcard Boost") maximise the value of your ClubCard vouchers by giving back anything up to 4 x face value for a whole range of days out, experiences and even rail and ferry travel. We've visited Wildlife parks, Steam Railways, the Imperial War Museum and even the Good Food Show for a fraction of the normal price using these. Drive down the cost still further by taking a packed lunch and your own soft drinks for a picnic, or at the very least grab sandwiches from a supermarket on the way - not as cheap (or as tasty) as making your own from scratch, but sometimes more convenient, and still almost certainly cheaper than you will pay once inside your chosen attraction.  If you travel long distances by train regularly a small flask will come into its own very quickly - piping hot tea or coffee made as YOU like it, and no nasty paper cups! At around £1.70 a cup for a drink at the station, the flask will pay for itself in next to no time!

Raptor Foundation - visited using Clubcard Rewards Vouchers
Of course, saving money is all well and good, but a day out for free is even better - and where better to look than the area around you? Whether it's a trip to the park with the kids for a play on the swings, or a nice long walk with a picnic at the half-way point, there are plenty of options out there. Various parts of the country have free festivals going on, then there are town shows and seafront remember though that these can't be considered completely free as they DO cost the organisers fortunes to set up - so do drop a donation into a collection bucket when you see one - even if only £1 for each member of your party, it all helps to ensure that you'll be able to enjoy the same budget friendly day out next year!



Unknown said...

Mr Sft was very interested in your volunteering at the beer festival!

I love this post-it's all about frugal fun.

Sft x

Robyn said...

Thank you - it really is, isn't it! :-D