Love Basingstoke Logo

Ways to save in Basingstoke and Deane

If you are feeling the pinch this summer holidays, we’ve pulled together this blog to highlight some of the things going on for free or low cost in Basingstoke and Deane and other ways to make savings.

Fuel the family for less

Many local restaurants are offering kids eat free or reduced-price meal options for kids over the summer holidays. We’ve spotted the following deals in the town centre:

Kids eat for free with a full paying adult at the following restaurants:

Other low cost offers include:

  • Nandos (Nandinos menu for £5.95)
  • Afrizi (kids eat half price with full paying adult)

Outside of the town centre, Spruce Goose at the Leisure Park offers unlimited breakfast at £9.99 and two kids under 16 eat for free with every adult breakfast purchased. Charlies Café in Daneshill offer a £1 kids menu over the holidays, including a four piece breakfast. At Morrisons, receive one free kids meal if you spend £4.49. Also at Morrisons, ‘ask for Ellen’ to receive two free crumpets with butter and jam (this offer is available until 13 August 2023) With every £4 spent at Dunelm Mill, kids can receive one mini main, two snacks and a drink free after 3pm at the Pausa Coffee Shop.

If you prefer to make a packed lunch, why not head to one of our favourite spots for a picnic in Basingstoke and Deane to enjoy your lunch in the green outdoors.

Fun on a budget

There are many free activities running across the town centre over the summer holidays, see the Love Basingstoke guide to summer fun in the town centre to find out more. These activities include Free Fri-YAY fun from Love Basingstoke Presents (that’s us 😊) This is a programme of FREE events every Friday in August from 11am to 3pm across the Top of the Town and War Memorial Park. Activities include pop-up mini golf, a caving experience, arts and crafts workshops, VR swings and facepainting.

Becky Harris

If you are in the town centre, then you can visit The Willis Museum for free. The new exhibition GIZMOBOTS starts on Thursday 10 August 2023. Meet the quirky robot creations of artist Mark Haig, brought to life from recycled scrapyard and skip finds. There are workshops taking place as part of the exhibition, these cost around £3 per child and require booking in advance.

Also in the town centre are a number of free trails including:

Did you know that if you pay for entry once to Milestones Museum you can revisit for free for a whole year? Under five’s also visit for free. Make a date to visit and you’ll be able to pop back all winter and into the new year! If you’ve already been recently then why not revisit? They often have events going on to make the experience different every time. If you are returning ‘for free’ you don’t need to make a day of it, you can just fill a few hours. If you do want to spend longer they have an outdoor picnic area so you can take your own food.

Also at the Leisure Park, Odeon cinema is offering tickets for adults at kids prices every day over the summer holidays. There are also early morning kids screenings available for a reduced ticket price of £3.25.

In Festival Place, the Vue cinema offers mini morning screenings from 10am daily, where both adults and children pay £2.49 per ticket (online).

If you have a National Trust membership then be sure you are making the most of it. The Vyne and Sandham Memorial Trust are both located in the borough and a number of others are easy to reach, making this a great way to have a day out. Check their websites as they often run exhibitions, trails or activities to get involved in on your visit.

You can walk around Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre for free. You can also download an audio tour if you wish to find out more whilst you visit.

A family pass to Whitchurch Silk Mill covering two adults and three children is £22 for the full year. The Mill has a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year, covering a range of themes and media linked to the Mill so you can visit more than once and enjoy something different each time.

Credit Whitchurch Silk Mill

Enjoy the outdoors

We are so lucky to be surrounded by lovely open spaces, parks and play areas in Basingstoke and Deane. There are a variety of equipped play areas along with skate parks and outdoor gyms. You will also find some lovely outdoor areas. Crabtree Plantation provides a great view of Basingstoke town centre and has a free car park while Beacon Hill iron age hill fort is across the other side of the borough and offers wonderful views of Highclere Castle. You can also find lots of walks in and around the area. We’ve picked out a few in our walking guide.

You could always visit somewhere new!

Make the most of the library

You will find libraries in Basingstoke town centre, Chineham, Tadley and Overton. Sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge for free. There are many free events including rhymetime, storytime, Construction Club and Craft and Chatter. At the Basingstoke Discovery Centre there are several upcoming free craft sessions including make a sports wreath on Saturday 19 August from 2pm to 4pm. Visit the Hampshire Libraries website to find out how to join and what’s going on local to you.

Exercise for less

Exercise is good for the mind as well as the body. If a gym membership doesn’t fit into your budget then head to one of the local parks that has an outdoor gym. You can find them in Eastrop Park, War Memorial Park, Beggarwood Park, Chineham Park, King George V Playing Fields, Tewkesbury Close Open Space and Victory Park.

Basingstoke Wellbeing Walks welcome people of all ages to join regular, short walks in their own communities. These free walks are led by trained volunteers and enable you to explore locally, get a bit fitter and meet new people.

For those that love to hop on their bicycle for some exercise check out our cycling guide for some inspiration or a new route.

Other ways to save on food

Download the Too Good to Go App to find unsold food from businesses that you can purchase at a good price. It also helps you rescue food so it doesn’t go to waste.  OLIO works in a similar way allowing local people to offer up leftover food for free. Although both are aimed at reducing food waste, they can also help your purse too.

Join the Lunchbox Leftovers revolution. Cook in bulk at dinner and have for lunch the next day, waste less and save money.

There are 19 community pantries across Hampshire with three in Basingstoke and Deane. They provide access to discounted food. They offer access by membership where, for a small weekly contribution, members receive food to a significantly higher value.

Basingstoke Foodbank provides free emergency food and toiletries to local people in crisis.

Each week day there is at least one centre open for two hours morning or afternoon. All locations and times are on:

Save on things you would buy

To save on clothes take a look at the Community Wardrobe which runs from The Roger Morris Centre. There you can swap clothes or pick up something for a small fee. There are also a number of charity shops in the town centre and surrounding villages which often stock clothes. For school uniform see if your child’s school runs a second hand uniform shop.

When the kids get bored of their toys we often think about taking a trip to the nearest toy shop to buy new. But by buying second hand or borrowing we are not only saving pennies but the planet too. There are a number of marketplace groups where you can pick up toys for much less than buying new and some for free. There are also two toy libraries in the borough – one at The Roger Morris Centre and one in Tadley.  Here you can borrow toys to take home for a small fee.

If you have an item that’s broken take a visit to one of the repair cafes to see if they can fix it before forking out on a new one. You can find them monthly in Overton. The North Hampshire Repair café visits Sherfield on Loddon, plus Odiham and Hartley Wintney which are just outside of the borough.

If you are looking for a new bike then St Michael's Hospice charity shop, with the help of the Recycle Bike Hub, refurbish bikes ready to continue their life with another rider!

In need of new furniture? You’ll find a furniture shop in Chineham run by St Michael’s Hospice where you can buy something pre-loved.

If you are in financial difficulty, please do seek help.  You can contact the local branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau via the website.

Have you got any other tips? Drop us an email and we'll include them.

Please note the inclusion of any business within this listing should not be seen as an endorsement of their services. Whilst the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.

January 2023, updated August 2023

Share this article: