TGI Friday! Well, almost. We all look forward to some down time at the weekend, a time when we enjoy a night out, a day’s shopping, a movie or other treat, after all it is the weekend, isn’t it?

We love letting our hair down, it’s only natural, but when it becomes a regular habit, does the shine dull?

The whole point of a ‘treat’ is that it is something extra, something different and something to look forward to.

When it stops being one or more of those, it’s time to think again.

What do you want out of your weekend?

Time with the family?

Time to relax?

Time to visit the gym or maybe an extra long walk with the dog?

Time – we have so little of it, but spending our weekends with friends and family can pay off big time and is a welcome change to the weekly trudge around the shops.

Family days out for a fiver

Here are my top weekend money-saving ideas

1. Have your very own ‘Bake-off’ – get the kids involved and stock up the fridge and freezer for the week to come.

2. Valet the car, younger children love joining in on this one, especially if there is a reward when they have finished.

3. Pop a picnic in the bag and walk – a flask of coffee and a few biscuits may be all you need to turn your regular walk into something special.

4. Get out in the garden, make it a family affair and bring the hot chocolate out at half time.

You may think that all of the above is a bit ‘mother and apple pie’, but doing ‘stuff’ together really works and you can end up with some wonderful results: exercise, fresh air and even a full freezer, without ever touching your credit card.