As we draw ever closer to the summer holidays, many of us parents will be wracking our brains thinking of the different ways we’ll be trying to entertain the children. After all, 6-8 weeks off for a summer break is a long time to kill!
A recent stat came out from the Post Office that says parents will spend £468 this summer to keep their children entertained! That’s a lot of money! Just on entertaining the children.
When you combine this financial drain with trying to come up with ways to keep them busy, it can cause a rather stressful time. For us, we simply couldn’t afford to spend £468 keeping them entertained which means we have to be more savvy and more resourceful.
So we’ve found 10 money saving tips to help you get through the summer on a budget :)
Regardless of where you live, there’s bound to something going on nearby. Check out your council website, library, children’s centre or other community venues to find out any info. You’ll find information on child-friendly places to visit and things to do; everything from museums, library reading schemes and sports camps to woodland walks and swimming – and the majority won’t cost a penny!
Head to the hills, woods, forest or coast
Search ‘local walks’ or ‘cycle routes’ online and if you’re close enough, make the most of our amazing coastline; track down sea creatures in rock pools, jump waves or take to the coastal paths. Visit the Forestry Commission, National Trust or filter beach preferences at Nearest Beach and discover where to have adventures in the great outdoors.
Become a nature detective
Hunt for Treasure
Kids of all ages get excited when they find something that could be ‘treasure’. I know Ted does, that’s for sure! Organise a route and see what you can pick up along the way or join in the geocaching craze and download the free app that directs you to a geocach haul in your area.
Learn more about how to observe The Plough, Orion’s Belt and the other constellations above you. Download information from the British Astronomical Society and if you have a tent and your garden’s secure, combine star-gazing with camping. This is high on our list of things to do this summer.
Give the children their own area where they can plant flowers, grow herbs and learn to garden for wildlife. The National Trust gives advice on how to make a home for a wild animal and the RSPB has a free Welcome Wildlife to your Garden guide. If space is limited, grow plants and herbs in window boxes/pots or contact your local council about allotment spaces. And there’s always my garden that is in desperate need of some TLC – send them over :)
Fruit picking is a great way to use up excess energy, show children where their food comes from and keep costs down. The season lasts until the end of August, so, simply search ‘fruit picking farms’ in your local area.
Having picked the fruit and veg, encourage the kids to turn it into a meal or use to bake cakes/biscuits. Take the end product on a picnic or make jam or chutney and sell to relatives and friends.
If you and your family love animals, why not advertise your services as a dog walker or pet sitter? Advertise locally on Gumtree for example, or join one of the dedicated sites such as Borrow My Doggy; you’ll get plenty of exercise and earn some money at the same time.
A grand day out
Search online offers and make huge savings. National Rail for example, is offering 2-for-1 on 150 of the top UK attractions, English Heritage allows members to take up to six children free to many of its places, cinemas offer reduced-price morning screenings over the holidays and at weekends and numerous restaurants run ‘kids eat free’ offers. If you shop in Tesco, swap Clubcard points for theme park and attraction tickets.
There you have it! Plenty of ideas to keep the kids entertained and keep the money in your wallet! Summer holidays don’t have to cost the earth and you can still have so much fun.
Be sure to let us know how you get on with these top tips – feel free to share photos with us via our social media :)