It’s National Picnic Week, so pack up your hamper and head for a gastro adventure in the great outdoors (or just a food-filled afternoon in your local park). The perfect picnic doesn’t have to be fancy, just easy to pull together, easy to eat and easy on your wallet! Here are 9 tips to give you a head start.

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1
it's in the bag

Is the grass a bit damp? Save everyone from wet bums by laying several sturdy re-usable shopping bags on the ground, then place your blanket on top. This picnic blanket is perfect if you don’t already have one.

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2
pick 'n' mix

Cut down on mess and cutlery by including lots of finger food from old favourites like cocktail sausages and sausage rolls to something a bit different like mushroom arancini or feta and spinach parcels, as well as nibbles such as nuts and crisps for easy grazing.

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3
keep bugs at bay

Want to stop bugs diving into your drinks? Place an upside-down cupcake case over your cup and hold it in place by threading through a paper straw.

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4
bottoms up

Make up delicious salads and pop individual servings into jars – put the dressing in first so the leaves don't go soggy. When you’re ready to eat, simply shake the jar to mix the dressing with the salad.

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5
high five

Want to make sure everyone gets their five-a-day? Fruit kebabs will help towards that. Get the kids involved when you're making them by letting them cut out fruit shapes using cookie cutters.

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6
fun and games

Kids get bored easily? Bring a football or frisbee, do a scavenger hunt so they can explore the surroundings, or have a contest to see who can pick up the most jelly beans with a straw.

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7
go for a dip

Summer dips like houmous or tomato salsa are a must – they’re great with breadsticks, crisps and crudités like crunchy pepper slices or carrot sticks. They’ll add extra oomph to sandwiches too.

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8
it's a wrap

Take a DIY approach. Put out a pile of wraps along with a selection of fillings like leftover chicken, ham, grated cheese, lettuce, chopped tomatoes and more, and let everyone make their own wrap.

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9
homeward bound

Remember to leave no trace of your picnic and take all your litter with you. Get everyone to help – save a final sweet treat as a reward for when everything is packed up.