From bouncy castles to hot tubs, how Brits are splashing out during the coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

WITH most of us no longer spending out on lunches, daily coffees, shopping trips and Friday night drinks, if you’re one of the lucky people whose income is still intact you are saving money during lockdown.

But our spending habits are changing. Online bank Revolut has recorded a 21 per cent boost in Amazon sales.

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We might not be going out, but many of us are making the most of being in – from splashing out on hot tubs to forking out on expensive home gym kits.

Here, Jenny Francis speaks to five women who say the global pandemic is just what rainy day savings are there for.


AIRPORT transport coordinator Charlotte Sturge has blown a fortune creating an inflatable fun park in her back garden for her children Lottie, seven, and ­Cooper, three. Charlotte lives with husband Daniel Sturge, 34, a construction manager, in Broxbourne, Herts. Charlotte, 32, says:

"The night Boris Johnson announced lockdown, we were driving to Clacton-on-Sea for a caravan ­holiday.

"When we got there, the holiday park refunded our £250 and sent us home.

"We had also booked a ten-day family holiday to Tenerife for May, costing £3,000, which we knew would be cancelled too.

"But I was determined not to let the kids down.

"Once in lockdown, I started looking at garden games and paddling pools, but I soon found huge inflatables."

"They were amazing and when I looked over at my kids and how sad they were about the holidays being ­cancelled, I just added them all to my basket and clicked “order”.

"Three days later, they arrived.

"The kids thought it was Christmas as we unpacked an inflatable bouncy castle, an inflatable water-slide, a pirate paddling pool with an attachable water cannon and a second inflatable pool."

"I got sun loungers and new plants to smarten up the garden.

"It’s like being on holiday every day.

"The children love it and it’s only the start of summer.

"It is a lot of money but it’s our own little bit of lockdown luxury."


WITH new decking, a hot tub and a surround-sound speaker system, beautician Sam Ward and husband ­Matthew, an admin assistant, have kitted out their garden to keep the family entertained. The couple are both 34 and live in Salford, Gtr Manchester, with children Jess, 16, Jenson, eight, and Jonah, two. Sam says:

"When lockdown struck, our family were gutted to lose so much outdoors time.

"We love taking the kids away and spending our weekends outside, but that all had to stop.

"One night Matthew and I were on our phones and I saw an offer on hot tubs.

"At first we joked about it, but the more we looked, the more we convinced ourselves it was a good idea.

"That night we spent £3,000."

"We found the best hot tub we could, with built-in surround bluetooth speakers, and ordered it.

"I knew we couldn’t just plonk it in the garden, so Matthew ordered decking too, costing £500.

"We are self-employed so it was a big spend, but we just thought it would help keep the family happy during this ­miserable time."

"It’s been worth it.

"It’s a permanent hot tub with five seats including two recliners and comes with “chromotherapy” – different- coloured lights.

"It suits the kids during the day and at night it’s like being at a five-star hotel in my garden.

"It’s a bit of excitement for us and that’s worth the cash."

£2,300 ON HOME GYM

CIVIL servant Molly Davies was shocked when her ­husband Dan, a ­leisure centre assistant, turned their dining room into a gym. She and Dan, both 28, live in Bristol with their son Joey, three. Molly says:

"Dan is very active but usually goes to the gym for his workouts rather than exercising at home.

"We had a family holiday to Lanzarote planned for early April that was ­cancelled.

"Dan managed to get all the money back, which I thought we might save for later in the year.

"But not long afterwards Dan came into the kitchen and said he’d ordered some things online.

"I assumed it might be food or cleaning products, so when he told me it was a home gym, I was shocked.

"Over the next few days huge boxes arrived and I wondered what was going on.

"Then Dan showed me into our newly decorated dining room to unveil his ­creation.

"The pictures were off the walls, the table and chairs were gone and instead it was a fully fledged home gym.

"He spent £600 on special gym-quality matting to protect the floor, £300 on a full-size squat rack, £450 on weights, £700 on lifting bars, £150 on a gym bench and £50 on ­resistance bands.

"The room is unrecognisable but I have to admit, I love it.
"Whenever I can’t find Dan, he is in his gym.

"I don’t think I’m ever going to get my dining room back."

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FORMER advertising executive Joanne Nutkins, 40, has spent £1,000 on accessories to stop her dogs Merlin, eight, and Ripley, two, getting bored. Joanne, lives in Clacton-on Sea, Essex, with husband John, 40, a community police officer. She says:

"Our Norwich terriers are our world.

"We love taking them for long walks but when ­lockdown struck we were limited to only one hour of dog walking a day.

"I was worried they would get unfit and be miserable, so I started looking at home exercises for dogs.

"Within a few minutes, I’d found a website selling all sorts of at-home dog agility equipment and just kept adding it to the basket.

"I bought tunnels for them to run through, plastic balls and ball pits, a dog maze and even an outdoor dog ­paddling pool.

"I’ve never spent that much on my dogs the whole time we’ve had them but being in lockdown, I just went a bit crazy and ordered it all.

"I also brought agility jumps, training ramps and ­layered steps so they can run around on them.

"And I couldn’t resist new outdoor blankets so they can relax in the sun."

"I spent hundreds but the dogs love it.

"It’s like having their own luxury dog park.

"Since then, I’ve also stocked up on treats, beds, food and new bowls to ensure Merlin and Ripley feel special.

"In total, I’ve spent more than £1,000.

"It’s all been huge impulse buys and our garden looks like Crufts.

"But our animals deserve to be happy."


MUM-of-three and grandmother Paula Llewellyn, 49, has spent £2,500 on the latest vacuum cleaners, steam mops and hi-tech cleaning equipment. She insists she’s investing in her health. The personnel manager lives with husband John, 60, in Barnsley, South Yorks.

She says: "I’m incredibly houseproud and always make sure the house is cleaned daily.

"We were planning a big family holiday this year, but instead of saving the money we would have spent, I started thinking of what cleaning equipment I could buy."

"I follow Mrs Hinch on Instagram and she had been raving about the new Shark G-Tech ­vacuum.

" can even vacuum in the dark because it has lights on the front!"

"I was sitting at home bored during the first week and in one click I’d spent £500.

"The excitement of a package coming four days later was amazing.

"That night I ordered the newest steam cleaner for £400 and a set of handheld Shark vacuums for curtains and sofas."


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"After they arrived I wanted more.

I bought a Dyson Vacuum the next week for £250 and four new handheld vacuums for all four cars."

"Part of it was wanting the house to be free of germs, and part was to entertain myself with the shopping and the cleaning once it arrived."

"Last week I bought a new Minky ironing board and replaced old rugs with new ones. John thinks I’m bonkers but I see my new hi-tech kit as an investment."

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