Much of the UK has been sweltering in the sunshine over the past few days and it's not over yet, with Wednesday predicted to be the fifth day in a row when temperatures top 30°C. To help, we've compiled a list of MoneySaving ways to survive the sizzle – with some help from MoneySavers who've offered their own tips and tricks.
Here are a few ways to help you keep cool on the cheap – let us know yours in the comments, in the forum or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Grab £1 sun cream – factors 15-50. Right now it's a must at home, never mind abroad, and we've found it for £1 rather than the usual £6-£12. The British Skin Foundation says they check out on safety too – see £1 sun cream deals.
2) ... Or simply turn your old sun cream bottles around. If you do, you should find a 'period after opening' number on the back, which tells you the number of months after opening it should be OK to use. You may find you can simply use yours from last year's holiday – see Turn your sun cream around for full info.
3) Refill your water bottle for free if out and about. Website Tapwater.org has a handy tool that allows you to find places that provide free tap water. It's a little clunky, but worth trying – it lists more than 1,000 free "refilling stations", including pubs, cafes, cycle shops, even bakeries. Just type your location into the search bar.
4) Turn a hot water bottle into a COLD water bottle. A few MoneySavers put this forward as a low-tech way to stay frosty. Sarah on Facebook said you should fill the bottle with cold water – Jennifer went one better and suggested sticking it in the freezer.
5) Train delayed by the wrong kind of sun? Know how to claim. There may be speed restrictions due to the high temperatures, which can make journeys longer – not fun if you're sweltering in the heat. Most will be able to claim though. See our Train Delays guide for each company's policy.
6) Do you have a right to free water in restaurants? Many are likely to be thirstier than usual if sitting down for a meal – but the rules are a bit more confusing than people think. See Tap water rights.
7) Close the curtains... and open the windows? If a room gets direct sun, closing the curtains even during the daytime will help keep it cool. Ross on Facebook suggested doing this after about 10am. "Much better as you trap the cool air in," he wrote. There's some debate though about whether you should keep windows open or closed – keeping them open allows a breeze to circulate, but also lets warm air in.
8) Cheap electric fans from £8. There have been reports of a surge in sales and stocks running low – but there are still bargains to be had. For example, we found 12-inch desk fans from £11 and 16-inch pedestal fans from £16. See our full round-up of fan-tastic deals. (Plus, see below for how to turn your fan into a budget air-con unit...)
9) Turbo-charge your fan to make staying cool a breeze. Thanks to MoneySaver Carol for this suggestion on Twitter – putting a bowl of ice cubes in front of your fan, for instant homemade air-con.
9) Put your bedding in the freezer (no, really...). A couple of MoneySavers suggested this one – though it may depend on the size (and cleanliness) of your freezer. Clare tweeted: "Pop your duvet in the freezer if you have a chest freezer... Also tip a bag of rice into a pillow case, seal the top and freeze for bedtime."
10) Know your rights – is it too hot to work? There's no set maximum working temperature, but employers must stick to health and safety law which requires the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings to be "reasonable". The Health and Safety Executive has more information on what your employer should do.
11) Slash the cost of hay fever tablets. If you're suffering, at least make sure you don't pay through the nose. Switching from branded medications to generic equivalents can yield savings not to be sniffed at – for example, 120 tablets of a Piriteze equivalent can cost just £2.80.
12) And finally, look out for others too. Remember some people are more seriously affected by the heat. So look out for neighbours, family and friends too – particularly those who may be isolated or may struggle to cope and keep cool.