Your guide to saving this summer

From free activities around the city to saving on your next barbeque – check out our hot savings tips to help keep your budget cool.

Days out for less

The summer months are a great time to get out and make the most of what our beautiful country has to offer.

Travel by train during off-peak times and earn two-for-one entry to attractions such as House for an Art Lover, the Edinburgh Dungeon, Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium, and Culzean Castle and Country Park at DaysOutGuide.

Make sure you present your valid rail tickets alongside your downloaded two-for-one voucher at the attraction’s box office.

Stay active for less

With an abundance of parks and green spaces within walking distance, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to getting out and about in Glasgow.

If you’re looking for more to do than just going for a stroll, check out ParkLives where you can take part in a range of free summer outdoor activities such as beginners jogging, parent and child yoga, karate self-defence lessons, or netball.

ParkLives activities take place in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Park, Queens Park, Springburn Park, Tollcross Park and Victoria Park.

Entertain the kids for less

Trying to keep the kids entertained on a budget during the summer holidays can be a hard task. Here, we’ve listed some free activities and events happening in and around Glasgow to help make your challenge a bit easier:

  • Make your own kite at St Mungo’s Museum
    Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July 10.30am – 12pm and 1.30pm – 4pm.
  • Harry Potter fans 
    Head along to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum between 1.30pm and 2pm on Sunday 5th July for their ‘You’re a Wizard’ workshop. Kids get to make a wizard hat and draw their very own patronus!
  • The Glasgow Games is a 9-day family festival held at Queen’s Park Arena.
    Incorporating outdoor film screenings, street games, music, fitness workshops and more, the event takes place between the 7th and 15th of July. Search for The Glasgow Games on Facebook for full details.
  • Free face painting at St. Enoch Centre
    Every Sunday during school holidays between 12 and 4pm (at the food court).
  • Visit the beach – in Glasgow!
    Riverside Museum Summer Beach open every day during July and August.
  • Wild Thursdays at Castlemilk Park
    Children and families can try a range of outdoor activities such as bushcraft, outdoor games and open fire cooking. Booking required – contact the community team on 0141 634 2673.
  • Take part in some art
    The Gallery of Modern Art is holding their Art Club between 10.30am and 12.30pm every Saturday until September. Each week there’s a different arty activity for kids to take part in, from making clay sculptures to learning about the power of plants and creating a plant sketchbook.
  • View the world’s longest LEGO brick bridge at St. Enoch Centre
    From 23rd June to 28th October.
  • Join the fun at the Kelvingrove Bandstand Family Festival
    Running between 3rd to 22nd July, activities and events include arts and crafts, magic shows, big band concerts and a family ceilidh. A full list of events and dates can be found on Glasgow Life.

Barbecue for less

When the weather’s nice, who wants to be inside slaving over a hot stove when you could be outside sweating over a barbecue? With the summer weather in Scotland being unpredictable at best, it can be hard to plan a barbecue, but with a little thought and our top tips, you can throw together a feast on a budget in no time!

Food bargains
Whether it’s strawberries for Wimbledon or burgers for the barbecue, stay on top of the best deals by signing up for weekly sales alerts from LoveMoney.

They provide a roundup of current promotions at the biggest supermarkets. For instance, this week at Lidl you can pick up 4 deluxe British jalapeno and cheddar beef steak burgers for £2.69, while at Morrisons, cooked lemon pepper marinated king prawn skewers are three for £10.

Invest in the right equipment
Invest in a reusable charcoal or gas barbecue rather than paying £5 for a single-use disposable one (that never really cooks the food well anyway!). You can pick up a reusable charcoal BBQ for under £20 and a bag of charcoal that will last you several BBQs will set you back about £5. As long as you clean the grill and store away during bad weather, you’ll get years of use out of this.

Make your own burgers
Give it a try! Homemade burgers are cheaper, taste better and are ridiculously simple to make. All you need is mince, onion, breadcrumbs, an egg and some salt and pepper. Finely chop and fry off your onion, then put this in a large mixing bowl. Once the onion has cooled, add your mince, breadcrumbs, seasoning and the egg and mix this together. Shape into balls and flatten out into burgers and then chill in the fridge until needed.

DIY marinade
Most supermarkets and butchers will sell pre-marinated packs of meat, but they’ll charge a premium price for something that’s really simple to do yourself. You can either buy a jar of sauce or a tin of spice rub that can be re-sealed and used again for your next barbecue, or you can make your own marinade. Get experimental using the herbs and spices in your kitchen cupboards and leave the meat for around 3 hours before cooking to let the flavour develop.

Pad out the meat with cheap fillers
The most expensive part of any barbecue is the meat, so stretch your wallet and menu further by adding plenty of friendly filler food such as corn on the cob, baked potatoes, veggie kebabs and salads. And remember – don’t try to cook everything at once or you’ll end up with a load of waste! Work out how many people are coming and cook a little of each.

Look good for less

Many retailers, including H&M and Zara, have schemes that let you swap old clothes for vouchers. It’s a great way to clear the clutter for summer and save at the same time. Plus, it’s better than items go to charity or are recycled than adding to a landfill.

If you buy beauty products and fashion items on Amazon, why not save even more by signing up to Zeezaw. This website monitors Amazon for price changes and notifies you by email when an item on your wish-list matches your chosen price.

To help bring down your overall energy bills, consider letting your washing dry outside rather than in a tumble dryer. The sun and the breeze will do the work for you, saving you money on electricity.

Switch off your hair straighteners a couple of minutes before you finish. They’re still hot enough to carry on with and it’ll save on electricity bills.

Holiday cash for less

We’ve got a full guide on how to save money on your next holiday. But if you’re lucky to be going abroad this summer, one of the most important things is to make sure you get the cheapest cash for your holiday.

  1. Use a comparison site
    Enter how much you want to get and your postcode to see the cheapest options on sites such as CompareHolidayMoney and TravelMoneyMax.
  2. Order in advance
    The best rates, even those identified through a comparison site, will normally require you to order in advance. This locks in the rate too, so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get for your money.
  3. Collect if you can
    The cheapest option is always to collect, but you can get prices based on delivery.
  4. Get a specialist travel money card
    The overall cheapest way though is to get a card such as the Starling or Monzo current accounts or Halifax Clarity Credit Card. Payments with these are fee-free, and you can get cash out too without charge – though there could be extra fees added by the foreign bank.

We are committed to working with members, local organisations and employers to increase financial awareness in the wider community.

If you have any questions or would like help with any of our services please contact 0141 274 9933.