As recent research suggests that parents could be set to spend £1,047 per week during the six-week school holiday, a leading youth enrichment expert is sharing cost-saving tips that could save families hundreds of pounds this summer.

Charlotte Russell – a youth enrichment expert, trained secondary school teacher, co-founder of Pawprint Family and mother of one (with another one on the way…) – has shared a list of money-saving tips in a bid to help parents get through the summer without breaking the bank.

Charlotte comments:

“The ongoing cost-of-living crisis is squeezing families tighter than ever, so it is increasingly important for companies and organisations to work with parents to provide cost effective ways to have fun during and outside of term time.

As a mother of a young child – and another little one soon to join our family too! – I understand first-hand the challenges of balancing a full-time job, activity planning for the summer holidays, and managing our budget. That’s why I want to do all I can to help share the tips and tricks I’ve found to help keep costs down but fun high!”

Tip 1: Explore what’s on your doorstep

As more families are opting for staycations this summer in response to inflation, families with young children could opt to discover local parks, nature or city trails, and community events that offer free or low-cost entertainment options.

Charlotte advises:

Take advantage of local natural beauty spots and amenities in your area. Research nearby parks, nature reserves, and hiking trails that are easily accessible for day trips. Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the outdoors, enjoying activities like hiking, biking, or birdwatching. There are tonnes of free apps you can download that help you to identify different species of plants, flowers, and birds, so why not create your own bingo card to see how many you can find on your travels?

Additionally, check local community calendars for free events such as concerts, festivals, or outdoor movie screenings, where you can enjoy entertainment without breaking the bank!”

Tip 2: Look for free activity resources

To combat activity planning costs, explore free online resources. Pawprint Family – a family-run business which Charlotte co-founded with her husband, Jamie, in a bid to help more people to access everyday adventure on their doorstep – provides thousands of free challenge packs and printables that encourage families to make the most of what they have at home and in their local surroundings.

Charlotte adds:

“Our challenge packs are free to download from our website, with absolutely no catch: we truly do just want to help people – whether they are parents, carers, childminders, grandparents, youth leaders, or teachers! – to access more enriching and engaging activities for their kids.

Each of our challenge packs follows a different theme: from everyone’s favourite book characters like Gruffalo, Zog, Percy The Park Keeper,  Moomins, and Elmer; to everyday interest topics, like sea creatures, space, and even pizza!

These challenge packs include fun and educational activities that can be done with materials you already have in and around the house, such as arts and crafts, science experiments, or cooking projects. By utilising these resources, families can keep their children engaged and entertained without spending a fortune on new toys or activities that only get one use.”

Tip 3: Off-peak cinema trips 

For families looking to enjoy a cinematic experience, attending movies with a family ticket priced at £37.88 per film can add up quickly! However, savvy parents can reduce costs by opting for off-peak times, such as weekday mornings or afternoons, when ticket prices are often lower.

Charlotte suggests:

“By strategically planning your cinema visits during off-peak hours, you can enjoy the big screen experience while also saving money. It’s worth checking for special promotions or discounts that local theatres run, as well as offer codes that might already be included in memberships you already pay for, like your phone contract or your supermarket loyalty cards.”

Tip 4: Seek out low-cost family packages

Many popular family attractions like theme-parks offer discounted family packages, combining entertainment and meals at a more affordable rate.

Charlotte advises:

“Take advantage of bundled packages that provide discounted admission tickets, food vouchers, or additional perks. Look for attractions or theme parks that offer family-friendly packages tailored to your interests. These packages often provide significant savings compared to purchasing individual tickets and meals separately. By planning ahead and booking these family packages, you can enjoy a day of adventure without straining your budget.

Make the trip last too: when you get home, create activities centred around your day-out that help your children relive the fun for longer! You can find inspiration for activities here.”

Tip 5: Take advantage of loyalty programs and memberships

Consider joining loyalty programs offered by retailers such as Tesco’s Clubcard scheme or becoming a member of organisations like the National Trust, which provide exclusive offers and discounts for families.

Charlotte says:

“Loyalty programs often allow you to exchange points for special discounts, vouchers, or early access to sales, allowing you to save money on everyday purchases. Similarly, memberships to organisations like the National Trust provide discounted access to various historical sites, gardens, and attractions. Remember to research and compare loyalty programs and memberships available in your area to find the ones that offer the most benefits for your family.”

Charlotte’s tips come as parents across the UK are being forced to re-assess their budgets amid the on-going cost of living crisis. Charlotte added:

“Remember, the school holidays present moments of connection and the opportunity to make cherished memories with our families: that’s what kids remember! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to have a good time and if you are ever in the need of a helping hand for fresh ideas, we are here to support you every step of the way. Let’s make this a summer to remember!”

For more information about Pawprint Family, visit –

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