Asda has this week launched an online money-saving advice hub to help cash-strapped parents struggling with the cost-of-living crisis who face a new financial challenge this summer – how to keep children occupied during the long school holidays when budgets are squeezed.
Asda’s ‘Essential Living Hub’ is a one-stop website where customers can access a wide range of hints, tips and hacks, which go beyond the weekly food shop, covering how to save energy, budget better, buy and cook smarter, entertain the kids for free and even eat out without paying a penny.
New research from Asda reveals the tough choices parents face as they prepare for the school holidays. Despite their best efforts to create a fun-filled summer, more than three-quarters of parents (78%) admitted they would have to cut back on holiday activities such as day trips, cinema visits and eating out because they are struggling to afford these treats.
More than two-thirds (67%) plan to take on extra work and almost half (47%) plan to borrow money from friends and family so that their kids can enjoy some holiday treats.
And 14% said that any kids’ activity that costs money this summer is unaffordable.
Cutbacks to holiday treats and activities will be felt the most by low-income families as they continue to be disproportionately affected by the cost-of-living crisis. The latest Asda Income Tracker shows that 20% of UK households now have negative disposable income because their take home pay no longer covers spending on essentials such as groceries, energy bills, transport costs, mortgage or rent.
The hub is the latest initiative from Asda to help customers save on their essential living costs, so they have more money to spend on other things. It follows the launch of ‘Just Essentials’ – a new range of almost 300 budget-friendly products in all categories of the store, including fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, fish and poultry designed to help customers enjoy nutritious food on a budget.
The retailer also announced today, as part of the government’s Help for Households campaign which was launched at No 10 this morning, that children aged 16 and under can eat for just £1 in Asda Cafes across the UK until the end of the year. The offer is available seven days a week during Café opening hours, and no minimum adult spend is required. Asda previously launched the deal for the summer holiday period, but due to demand has chosen to make that commitment to customers until the end of 2022.
Sam Dickson, Asda’s Acting Chief Customer Officer, said: “We know things are tough for many families as our latest Asda Income Tracker shows the average household is a record £175 per month worse off compared with this time last year. This makes it harder to find the money to go on holiday or keep the kids entertained while they are off school.
“We know that despite the budget pressures – parents and carers want to do the best for their kids, which is why we’ve launched the Essential Living Hub to help them through the holidays. And with our Just Essentials range offering over 300 products at the lowest possible prices, we’re here to help them make their budgets stretch further so they will have more to spend on doing the things they love.”
Earlier in the year, the retailer also launched its ‘Dropped and Locked’ initiative – dropping the price of family-favourite products and committing to keep the prices down until the end of the year. Asda now has 100s of products price locked until the end of the year.