We ask Facebook – fun and frugal bank holiday ideas

posted by in Budgeting, Free things to do

Will you be breaking the barbie out this bank holiday?

Will you be breaking the barbie out this bank holiday?

Barbeques, lie-ins, picnics…bank holidays are usually a chance for many of us to have a little break with some (hopefully) nice weather. Lots of people will spend their day travelling, enjoying the outdoors or getting together with friends.

Even if you’re struggling with debt we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy their bank holiday regardless of their financial situation. We wanted to know if our Facebook followers had any bright ideas on how you can have some fun on the cheap. As always, they didn’t disappoint!

Have a ‘Come Dine with Me’ weekend

Why go to a posh restaurant and spend over the odds for one meal when you can have a ‘Come Dine with Me’ weekend with your friends? Just like the popular Channel 4 show you can host a dinner party for a night each and then score one another for quality of food and entertainment – it’s much cheaper than going out for dinner, and more fun!

What’s more, with the long weekend you can have a cheeky drink on Sunday night and not worry about feeling delicate for work in the morning. (thanks to Leanne for this great suggestion – although we would veto the segment on Come Dine With Me where they go rummaging in the underwear drawer!)

Come on Barbie, let’s go party!

Nothing says summer fun like the smell of sausages and burgers simmering away on a charcoal barbeque in the garden. BBQ parties are a fun and cheap way to enjoy the bank holiday. Get your friends over and ask them to bring some food and their favourite tipple. Play some tunes, get the deck-chairs out and enjoy the sun! (Thanks, Katie and Babs!)

Go for a stroll

When was the last time you got out and did a bit of exploring? Going for a walk and taking in your surroundings is one of the best ways you can spend your bank holiday. Best of all, it’s usually free!

Don’t fancy going for a wander alone? Call a friend and ask them to join you. This way you get to have a chinwag as well as some exercise. Don’t know what the best route is to take? Walking charity Living Streets can help plan your journey. (This great tip is from Emma)

Play board games

Few things are more nostalgic than sitting around a board game or a giant puzzle with your friends and family. Remember Game of Life? Scrabble? Monopoly? Great titles like this never go out of fashion.

Charity shops are brilliant for board games and puzzles – just make sure all the pieces are in the box before you buy or you’ll be ‘ker-plunked’! (cheers, Pete!)

Happy campers

Many people are opting to stay in Blighty for their holidays rather than go abroad, so camping and caravan holidays are just as popular as ever. If you take a look online, there’s lots of websites such as Pitchup where you can find great deals on tent pitching locations.

You don’t even have to leave your own backyard to go camping. One of my fondest memories as a kid was when we set up my four-man tent in the garden and had my friends over to stay. We told ghost stories, read magazines and caught up on all the playground gossip. Happy days!

Have a film or boxset night

Invite your mates around with some snacks and a DVD each that everyone will like. All you’ll have to pay for is the popcorn. If you’re stuck on what films to bring, check out your local library and rent one for free, or create a short film festival by downloading videos from YouTube.

Keep it local

Many neighbourhoods get free local newspapers and magazines through the door that tell you if there’s any free events going on in your area. Check the community listings or your town section on Gumtree and see what’s happening – there might be something fun in the works with it being the bank holiday!

Don’t forget to check the noticeboards of local supermarkets and cafes. Quite often you’ll find event notices for things like market days, free music gigs, coffee mornings and book signings.

Do you have any suggestions for a fun and frugal bank holiday?

Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 5 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games and creative writing in her spare time (currently penning her first novel). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She also writes comics for the animated series Adventure Time and Regular Show.

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