Summer Sizzlers including £2ish sun cream, cheap fans & £1 disposable BBQs

Summer Sizzlers including £2ish sun cream, cheap fans & £1 disposable BBQs

With the sun shining across most of the UK and summer around the corner, we've rounded up the hottest summer and outdoor offers. Scorching deals include 5* UVA sun cream from £2.39, cheap electric fans and £1 BBQs.

Sun cream, incl 5* UVA from £2.29

In warm weather even in the UK you should be wearing sun cream. Staying safe needn’t cost the earth though. If you’re willing to ditch the brands you know, you could downshift and save with sun cream from £2.29 without giving up 5* UVA protection.

It sounds too good to be true, yet we've found a number of products available for £2ish-£5ish rather than the usual £6-£12 branded products will set you back. We've contacted skincare experts to find out how safe the lotions are. You can find the cheap sun cream below, after the important safety info.

Are they safe?

We've been in touch with the British Skin Foundation (BSF) charity and the Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) trade body. Both say people shouldn't be put off by low prices, as long as they check packaging for:

The UVA rating

This tells you how much protection the product is giving you from harmful long-wave ultra-violet UVA rays. Some bottles have a star rating (the BSF recommends four or more stars) – while others don't, they should at least contain a circle with the letters UVA inside, as this indicates the minimum level of UVA protection. Here are the logos you should be looking for...

The SPF number

This stands for sun protection factor. The higher the number, the greater the level of protection against harmful medium-wave ultra-violet UVB rays. The label should also tell you whether the product provides "low", "medium", "high" or "very high" protection against UVB. See the CTPA's section on sun protection for more info.

The BSF says: "When choosing a sunscreen look for a high protection SPF (SPF 30 or more) to protect against UVB, and the UVA circle logo and/or 4 or 5 UVA stars to protect against UVA."

You might be a bit sceptical about cheaper sun cream, we always are too, but we’re trusting that these big companies have done their own independent checks to ensure these sun creams are fully tested and are legit.

Important. As with any product, if you have sensitive skin it’s important to do a patch test before using any new skin care or hair care product and sun cream is no exception.

Note: Some sun creams can contain chemicals that hurt coral reefs and a few island countries ban them, so if you want to protect the environment and avoid them, watch out for ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. You can see the full list of 10 chemicals on the International Coral Reef Initiative's website.

How long will it last?

The period after opening (PAO) number should also be included on the bottle. This will be displayed as an 'open jar' symbol with a number inside indicating how many months the product will be safe for after opening, providing it is stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Don't automatically chuck old sun creams away

Most of the cheap sun creams we found are good to use for at least 12 months from the date of opening, so don't throw away your excess sun cream, check the PAO as it's likely you can use it again the next time you need it.

Own-brand sun cream for less than £5

At MSE we're always trying to get you to think about downshifting, so we've had a look for the cheapest own-branded sun creams on offer, all under a fiver:

Retailer/product Price UVA rating
Aldi Lacura extra sensitive sun lotion SPF 50+, 200ml £2.29 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Asda - Protect SPF 30, 200ml £2.39 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Lidl - Cien sun lotion SPF 30, 250ml £2.49 UVA/UVB
Morrisons - Nutmeg sun lotion SPF 30, 200ml (out of stock online) £3 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wilko* - Suncare SPF 50, 200ml £3.50 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Boots* - Sultan kids SPF 50, 200ml £4.50 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Superdrug - Solait SPF 30, 200ml £4.99 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Other low-cost branded sun creams

For those who just can't ditch a brand they know and trust, we've also compiled a list of the cheapest we've found some of the most popular products. When they are cheap, we found quite often prices elsewhere are only a few pence more.

It's worth remembering that sprays and special formulations (eg, clear/coloured/sensitive) usually cost more, so check to see if your chosen cream could be cheaper in a different bottle.

Product Price Next cheapest
Piz Buin allergy sun-sensitive skin spray SPF 30, 200ml £3.99 at B&M £7.99 at Superdrug, £8 at Boots* and Sainsbury's
Nivea Sun kids moisturising sun spray SPF 50, 200ml £4.49 at B&M £5 at Tesco*
Nivea Sun protect & moisture sun spray SPF 30, 200ml £4.49 at B&M and Savers £5 at Asda at Sainsbury's
Garnier Ambre Solaire ultra-hydrating sun cream SPF 30, 200ml £4.99 at Amazon* and Superdrug £5 at Sainsbury's
Garnier Ambre Solaire kids moisturising spray SPF 50, 200ml  £5 at Sainsbury's and Tesco*
£8 at Asda

£1 sun creams

We've not been able to get out and do the checks we'd normally do to find £1 sun creams, so the below might be slightly different to what you can find – so make sure you do the checks above. It's also worth noting these bottles are slightly smaller (40ml-120ml) than some of the better-known brands (norm 200ml). They may not be brands that you recognise, but all have the UVA rating symbol to indicate they meet at least the minimum level of UVA protection. 

🧴 Poundland - Anovia Tropical

🧴 Savers - EAD sunscreen

Cheap electric fans, from £9

As soon as a heatwave hits, we start seeing fans flying off the shelves. If you've not already got one, you might want to beat the rush before they're out of stock later on in summer. Here's our round-up of the three main types of fan.

Small desk fans (6in-9in)

These small fans are a good size to sit on your desk or table. They're usually powered by either mains or USB. Last year, we saw B&M sell these cheapest for £7.99, with the most expensive being around £10. However, we've not spotted any that cheap yet this year. Here's our round-up of the best prices from big retailers:

Retailer Price
The Range £8.99
B&M £9
Currys*  £9.99 
Wilko* £10
The Works* £10

Medium desk fans (12in)

This is probably one of the most common size fans, but also probably the ones that sell out the quickest. Last year we saw Screwfix drop the price of this fan to £9.99, but they became very hard to get a hold of. Prices at other retailers were around £14-£16, so now could be a decent time to buy based on the prices at the moment:

Retailer Price
Home Bargains £11.99
Screwfix £12.98
B&Q £14
The Range £14.99
Wickes £15
Homebase £15

Large pedestal/standing fans (16in)

Last year, we saw Screwfix selling the cheapest pedestal fan for £14.99, but it went out of stock very quickly. At other retailers we saw these selling for around £17-£19, so the prices now aren't too expensive. They could drop lower later on in the year, but there's the risk of them selling out.

Retailer Price
Home Bargains £14.99
Screwfix £17.99
B&Q £18
B&M £18
Dunelm £20

Cheap BBQ deals, incl £1 disposables

With the weather getting warmer recently and us spending more time at home, now could be an ideal opportunity to light up the barbecue. We've rounded up some of the cheapest barbecue deals we could find, including disposables from £1 and 5kg bags of charcoal from £4.

£1 disposable barbecues

Disposable barbecues often sell for up to £5 in some supermarkets, so if you're going to one of the stores mentioned below, it could be worth taking a look if disposables are in stock.

You should check the quantity of charcoal and burning time if you plan to cook for a few people, as there's a lot at steak (sorry), and you may need to purchase more than one. If you buy a disposable BBQ make sure you dispose of it responsibly, recycling wherever possible – or risk a grilling.

£1 in store at Poundland

£1.99 in store at B&M

£2.50 at Tesco

5kg charcoal  for £5 or less

The hottest deals we found on 5kg bags of charcoal, which are sure to get you sizzling, include:

Retailer Price
B&M £4
The Range £4.99