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This year is our first real summer holiday as last year Erin went to nursery all year round. I’ve spent a bit of time trying to plan our 6 weeks with a mix of bigger days out, free local activities and fun things to do at home. Planning the summer holidays can be really stressful, especially if you’re a family with not a lot of spare money (like us)! However, there are plenty of things you can do to save money over the summer holidays so I wanted to share some ideas with you.
Free local activities
Over the summer there are usually loads of free activities going on all over the country. If you want to stay really local then be sure to look into libraries, churches and community centres. I found a couple of days already where there is a playgroup happening. One of them is free and includes a picnic lunch (it’s run by the church) and another one costs only £1 and also includes snacks for Erin.
I know it might seem like the last thing you want to do over the summer but some time at home is often needed. A day at home doesn’t have to be long and boring though as there are plenty of things that you can do and even better that they don’t have to cost any money.
If you have a decent sized garden then this is a great place to spend some time. Younger children might enjoy painting outside, playing in a paddling pool or maybe having a picnic on the grass for lunch. Garden toys don’t have to cost a fortune as the great thing is that you can use them over and over again. Footballs, bubbles and bikes are just a few things that Erin likes to play with in our garden.
Erin is so used to seeing her friends at nursery on 4 days during the week so I know she is going to miss them a lot over the summer. Instead of paying to go for a day out somewhere you could save money by arranging play dates with your child’s friends. You don’t have to end up with your house being full of children though because a local park is a great place for the children to play and blow off some steam at the same time.
Look out for offers
We all know that days out can cost a fortune, especially if you have a large family. We are able to keep costs down a little bit if it’s just me and Erin going out but a family of 4 could end up spending more than they might need to on trips away and attraction tickets. There are loads of great places to find deals online such as Groupon or if you have a Kids Pass. You can save quite a lot of money on these kinds of things if you are able to book and plan in advance. Of course, available funds can sometimes stop you from being able to take advantage of these offers but Cashlady offer short term loans that could help to pay for things like this until you get paid again!
Save on food
I have quickly come to realise that Erin is probably going to try to eat everything in sight over the summer. A great way to save money on food over the holidays is to plan a little bit in advance. If there are foods and snacks that your child really likes be sure to keep an eye out for them being on offer in the run up to the holidays. A lot of things will have good dates so are likely to last for a while. I have stocked up on some of Erin’s favourite snacks to make sure I didn’t pay more than I needed to.
If you want to spread the cost of the food you buy for the summer then buying a couple of things extra on your regular shop will take a bit of pressure off when the schools do finally break up. An extra £5 spent on a regular shop could help you to free up money for days out and ice creams instead.
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