Love Basingstoke Logo

Ways to save in Basingstoke and Deane

Are you feeling the pinch a bit more after Christmas. Wondering how you might be able to save some pennies? We’ve put together this blog to highlight some of the local things going on for free or low cost and other ways to make savings.

Fun on a budget

Did you know that if you pay for entry once to Milestones Museum you can revisit for free for a whole year? Not only this but under fives visit for free. Make a date to visit and you’ll be able to pop back all 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.

If you are in the town centre then you can visit The Willis Museum for free or take part in the Streets Alive, Poetic Basingstoke and Heritage trails at no cost. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for our February half term Love Basingstoke Presents programme offering free activities. The Malls and Festival Place often run activities or events for free.

If you have a National Trust membership then be sure you are making the most of it. The Vyne often runs different events or trails and the gardens are great for exploring all seasons. Sandham Memorial Trust will reopen in March and it houses Stanley Spencer’s paintings.

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 while you visit.

A family pass to Whitchurch Silk Mill covering two adults and three children is £35 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 and 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. They often run events for free including Rhymetime, Storytime, Construction Club and Craft and Chatter. You can also borrow books, magazines and sometimes dvds for free. They have a webpage with resources for support during the cost of living crisis. 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. You can run or walk the weekly parkrun 5k around War Memorial park.


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. 

There are 21 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 using a voucher referral system. Each weekday there is at least one centre open for two hours. 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 and Chineham. 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 2024

Share this article: