Britain's Coupon Kid: World Book Day on the cheap – money saving hacks and freebies

Last modified on Thursday 22 February 2024

World Book Day costume / sign 'free stuff'

It’s perhaps the only day that you’ll see Harry Potter, Alice In Wonderland and Gangsta Granny roaming the streets together. It’s World Book Day of course!

The big day is coming up on 7 March this year. And while it’s still a couple of weeks away, it’s a good idea to start getting ready for World Book Day and seeing what deals are out there.

The day itself can be a lot of fun, dressing your kids up as their favourite characters, and discovering new books. But it can also add some extra expenses to your budget.

Instead of leaving all the planning until the last minute, here are some deals and ideas for you to get right now to make the most of the day without breaking the bank.

Free Books

World Book Day £1 books
Some of the books available for just £1

There are a few places where you can pick up a free book right now, which are pretty simple to claim!

FREE kids book voucher

You can’t beat a freebie – this voucher allows you to get a free kids book from a number of retailers.

The World Book Day website has its own digital token for £1 off a kids book, that you can take to an Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waterstones, The Works, WHSmith or an independent bookseller.

You’ll need to print out the token from the website, or ask your teachers to print you one off for your kids if you don’t have access to a printer at home.

The freebie is available to be claimed until 31 March, so you can even claim it after World Book Day has ended!

Claim your free World Book Day voucher

McDonalds happy meal
Head to McDonald's on World Book Day

Free Mr Men book + World Book Day token at McDonald’s

If you’re taking your kids to McDonald’s, you can actually get the same World Book Day token on every Happy Meal.

You can also choose between a free toy or Mr Men book in aid of World Book Day. These both come as standard as part of the Happy Meal.

There’s also an extra deal with this too!

If you order through the McDonald’s app, you can pick up a Happy Meal for just £1.99 through its ‘offers’ section. That’s valid until 25 February.

Happy Meals usually cost around £3.79, so you’re getting £1.80 off, a free Mr Men book, and a token to get another free book! Not a bad little deal.

World Book Day costumes

It’s not World Book Day without dressing up, so here are some offers on at the moment for kids costumes of their favourite characters:

20% + 10% off fancy dress at Sainsbury’s Tu

Whether you need some inspiration, or you know the exact costume you want your kids to wear, it’s worth looking at Tu.

Everything is 20% off at the moment, and discounted automatically at the till.

You can pick up a Peter Rabbit costume for £14.40 (was £18), Cat In The Hat for £12 (was £15) or Goldilocks for £10.40 (was £13).

You can find similar deals at Argos too.

Cat in the Hat costume
Cat in the Hat costume from Tu

And what’s more, is that if you order online, at the bottom of the webpage, there’s a sign up form that gets you 10% off your first online order if you enter your email address. I did this, and it came through straight away, to get an extra 10% off.

So with the automatic 20% off, and the bonus 10% off, you can stack those deals to get full costumes from £9.36 (based on the Goldilocks costume).

If you order online, you can pick it up in store for free, or choose delivery for a fee. The deal is available in store too, but you won’t get the bonus 10% off on top. You have until Wednesday 28 February to get it though!

Shop the deal

Dorothy Wizard of Oz costume
Wizard of Oz costume from Matalan

20% Off Matalan Costumes

Matalan currently has a deal on kids clothes, including character costumes that would be perfect for World Book Day.

You can find a Snow White costume for £14.80 (was £18.50), Mary Poppins for £13.60 (was £17) or Dorothy from Wizard Of Oz for £12.80 (was £16).

All of these offers are available online and in store. The deal says it’s a ‘Half Term Sale’, but has no end date. So I recommend going quick if there’s something you want.

Shop the deal

Get even MORE money off World Book Day costumes

If you’re getting a costume or books online, even from websites mentioned above, you can get cashback on your purchases.

Websites like TopCashback and Quidco offer you a percentage back on what you spend, so long as you click through their website before you go ahead and buy.

Both Tu and Matalan have cashback offers, giving you up to 8% and 11.5% cashback respectively.

Plus if you’re buying books, shops such as Waterstones offer up to 4.44% and WHSmith offers up to 8.88%.

Be aware though, if you use a discount code on an order, you may not be eligible for cashback.


Want to save £1k this year? Yep us too. 🙋‍♀️ Which is why we're following Every. Single. Tip from @couponkiduk in his first ever Netmums money saving hacks series 💷 Airtime Rewards – average yearly saving £120* The app that gives you cashback automatically – so once it’s set up, you can just watch the money come in. Once downloaded, link your credit and debit cards to the app. From then, if you shop at any of its retailers you’ll earn cashback. 🍩 Jam Doughnut – average yearly saving: £500* This one allows you to buy gift cards for one of 100s of brands. These gift card purchases give you an amount of cashback instantly when purchased. For example Starbucks gives you 9% back, so purchasing a £100 gift card would get you £9. The range of retailers here is huge, too. Lots of supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi; restaurants including Nando’s, Toby Carvery and Pizza Express, and holidays including Airbnb, LastMinute and hotel bookings. 🛍️ Shopmium – average yearly saving £200** Gone are the days of physical coupons – they’re now all in the palm of your hand. Shopmium offers cashback on supermarket items, if you buy them then take a picture of the receipt. It can be 50p back, £2 back, or all of your money back – depending on the offer. 🥪 Too Good To Go – average yearly saving £150** At the end of the day, instead of throwing away excess stock, supermarkets and restaurants offer ‘surprise bags’ of food for a fraction of the price. You can go and pick up a bag of expiring fruits, vegetables and ready meals from an M&S Food for £4, or get some leftover toasties and cakes from Costa for £3. 🍯 Honey – average yearly saving £100 How often do you see the ‘have you got a discount code?’ box on a website? If it exists, then there’s a voucher out there somewhere. But instead of searching the whole web for one that works, Honey tries all the codes it knows about at the click of a button, and applies the best one. Find out, including the links for each app, in the 🔗 in bio Happy saving! parenting moneysaving costofliving couponing money

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Free World Book Day events

Usually on World Book Day, local libraries and bookshops put on special events and parties to celebrate the big day too.

Sometimes you might see authors come and do readings, or free book swaps can take place to start reading more.

Have a look on your local library and book shop websites to stay up to date with those.

Deal of the week

Free porridge and hot drink at Asda

Fancy a brekkie out with kids?

If you’re near an Asda cafe you can pop down there for free breakfast every day until 20 March.

There are no vouchers or coupons required, and there’s no minimum spend. Just ask the cashier for the free porridge and hot drink before 12pm every day to get it.

You can choose between a tea, coffee or hot chocolate as your hot drink, and you can choose between Quaker Oat So Simple Original or Golden Syrup flavours. Find out more here.

What are your thoughts on World Book Day? Do you have any tips to cut back the cost, or any costumes you’ve made on the cheap? I’d love to know on the Netmum’s Instagram or TikTok, or email me

See you next week!

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