Panic! There’s been a run on paddling pools

Heatwave crisis: The UK is running out of cheap, family paddling pools

Paddling pools sell out

The heatwave has left us stunned and somewhat stifled. In a desperate attempt to get cool, we hit the shops for a family paddling pool big enough to cool us all off. And that's when we discover the astonishing truth: the UK's high streets are running out of affordable family paddling pools.

See also: How just doing the weekly shop can win you prizes

See also: Odd things you didn't know you could get cashback on


Sold out

Asda's enormous family pool with inflatable chairs - which cost £30, but saw its price slashed to just £20 - went viral after a bargain-hunter posted a snap on social media. It sold out overnight.

Wilko's family pool at £25 suffered a similar fate - despite not having either chairs or a social media campaign - as people were inspired by the Asda pool and hunted for a cost-effective alternative.

Very has also sold out of its £19.99 family pool, and although it is expecting more stock on Friday, we're also expecting more unsettled weather by then too. The Range has sold out of a very similar looking pool at the same price.

There's no use trying the £15 bargain family pools at Dunelm or Tesco either, because both have sold out - as has The Range's smaller family pool for £12.99.

It seems that the stores were unprepared for this level of family-wide enthusiasm for dunking ourselves in water in the back garden - leaving families hot, bothered, and tempted to splash out over £100 on one of the more expensive family pool options.

Fortunately, there are still some impressive deals to be had. We've tracked down seven of the best - complete with insider tips that will get you an extra discount on most of them.

Family paddling pools
1. One store with a family pool on a budget, which is still clinging onto some stock, is the Argos Chad Valley family pool for £31.99. It's marginally more expensive than the others, and has sold out in some stores, but if you're prepared to take a detour for a few miles, you should be able to find one locally - if you're quick.

Insider tip: If you buy through cashback site Quidco.com, you can get 4% cashback on home delivery or collection in store.

2. Alternatively there's the Intex Inflatable Swim Cente - with a built in bench seat for less active members of the family. The Range says it still has some in selected stores - so it's worth checking your local one before you make a special trip.

Insider tip: If you buy it through Topcashback.co.uk, you'll also get 2.62% cashback on your purchase.

One for the kids
3. Asda is selling a decent alternative for kids, which is 6ft by 4ft, and costs just £12.

Insider tip: If you buy through Quidco.com you also get 2% cashback on all home and garden purchases.

Inflatables

If you can't take a dip in the back garden, it might be worth heading to your nearest safe body of water with an inflatable for company. There are some really fantastic deals to be had here.

4. Inflatable whale
Nothing says summer more than kids scrapping over an inflatable ride-on Killer Whale. This summer you can snap one up from The Range for just £6.99.

Insider tip: If you buy it through cashback site Topcashback.co.uk, you'll also get 2.62% cashback on your purchase.

6. Inflatable pizza slice
Lidl has a range of inconceivable inflatables for lazing on in the pool - for just £6.99. Perhaps the most baffling is the slice of pizza - although the squashed ice cream cone is something to behold too.

Insider tip: This is a Special Buy, so once it's gone, it's gone. It's worth getting down there sharpish if you want a slice of the inflatable action.

7. Inflatable flamingo
The flamingo was the inflatable that kick started the trend - when it appeared in snaps of Taylor Swift and her crew. New Look has one of the cheapest around, at £19.99. It also has a fairly show-stopping unicorn inflatable at the same price.

Insider tip: If you buy them through Boom25.com, you could also be in with a chance of having the entire cost refunded - because the site refunds every 25th purchase in full.

Save money on shopping: ten great tricks

Save money on shopping: ten great tricks