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Let ASDA know your summer budget tips and have a chance to win £200 to spend at ASDA Groceries NOW CLOSED

(174 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 02-Aug-13 14:59:23

ASDA have asked us to find out what Mumsnetters top tips are for saving money while still having lots of fun in the sun this summer.

Here's what ASDA say: "We've just launched #SaveSummer, our answer to keeping the kids entertained this summer, without spending a fortune. Every week for the remainder of the summer we will be releasing a series of ideas and activities online with which you can keep the family entertained on a budget. We would love to hear what your top tips are to enjoying the summer on a budget, whether they be games, trips or arts and crafts!"

So how do you keep the little ones entertained in the summer? What are your top tips for family fun on a budget?

However you and your family enjoy summer whilst keeping costs down, please let us know. Everyone who adds their thoughts, comments and tips to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive £200 to spend at ASDA's online grocery shopping site*.

Please note that any comments posted on this thread may appear in an email Mumsnet will be sending out, and potentially elsewhere.


*The £200 evoucher will be uploaded into the winner's account. This will be in the format of 8x £25 evouchers that can be used within 1 transaction or against multiple, but the evouchers will expire after 3 months. If you are not already registered with Asda Groceries, you will need to register in order to obtain the prize. eVouchers are only redeemable online within the Asda Groceries site.

daisychicken Fri 02-Aug-13 15:21:11

Look for the free activities in your area such as the library reading challenge, play in the park (council run sessions), local heritage centres often do workshops, leisure centres sometimes do free sessions.

Explore the different parks - some are in walking distance but others need a car or bus - make cost go further by taking picnics and spending the day there. Meet with friends if you can - playmates for the kids, someone to chat with for you!

If you have a small budget then see if the leisure centre does swim passes - I got 12 tickets for the price of 10 for one child and a unlimited pass for the other (age dependent).

Get the kids baking for packed lunches or helping to cook a meal.

Get the paddling pool out or chalks to chalk picture on the path/patio

Plan a film "night" - hire from the local library - make your own popcorn or have pizza while watching.

Go to kids am at the cinema - costs about £1.75 per person (so less than £6 for one adult and 2 kids), take your own drinks and nibbles!

bamblolo Fri 02-Aug-13 15:37:47

We like to bake our own cakes and the kids have great fun decorating
them. We make a few sandwiches and take a bottle of lemonade
to our local parks. Whilst we're there we go on a wildlife hunt
and go raspberry/blackberry picking.

purrpurr Fri 02-Aug-13 15:40:23

Is this money that Asda will deduct twice the amount of as 'holding money' and then get all 'confused' when questioned and take an inordinate amount of time to return? Oh, no, wait, it's a voucher. The one and only time it is safe to use Asda's online shopping facility.

MimsyBorogroves Fri 02-Aug-13 15:40:51

We try to make sure we stretch a day's activities to last for longer than that particular day. So a trip to the beach, for example, will also stretch to cleaning shells we have brought home, decorating memory jars and filling them with the shells, painting some of the large stones we brought back with us, printing off photos and making postcards with them, etc.

I want to start scrapbooking too as a continuation of this. I had a real thing about writing diaries when I was younger, and I'd love my DSs to get in the habit (plus it's good for practicing writing!)

The summer reading challenge is a great incentive to get DS1 to read over the holidays. I just wish that the library did other events too.

Our library has some great craft activities which don't cost much, especially when the materials are supplied in with the entry fee (and I don't have to clean up afterwards)

YourHandInMyHand Fri 02-Aug-13 15:48:17

My summer saving tips:

Money saving:

Buy plenty of squash from the supermarket and never leave the house without a made at home bottled drink each.

Ice pops are much cheaper than ice lollies. wink

Stock up on plenty of picnic style food from the supermarket to take on days out, trips to the park, or even for quick meals at home that you can let the kids eat outside.

Younger children love this activity. One bucket of water and one decorating type paintbrush. Get them to "paint" the garden fence or wall with water.

Pitch your camping tent in the garden. Kids have just as much fun, costs nothing, and gets them outdoors.

Buy a roll of lining wallpaper and roll it out in the garden. Put some paint into empty plastic trays that can be thrown away (eg from food packaging). Get the kids to stand in the paint then walk along the rolled out paper. Be ready with a washing up bowl of soapy water and flannels for when they are done.

^ this activity can also be done with toy cars instead of feet.

craftynclothy Fri 02-Aug-13 15:52:17

grin at purrpurr

So how do you keep the little ones entertained in the summer? What are your top tips for family fun on a budget?

There's a few places near us that are free entry or fairly cheap. The Media Museum in Bradford is great because it's not only free but has a picnic room.

My gym membership lets me take the kids swimming at no extra cost so that's good if the weather is bad.

Look for free activities/places to go. Budget for transport costs too. Take picnics to save money rather than buy food in the cafe. Plan in some quiet days at home/in the garden. My kids are pretty happy with a big roll of paper and some paints or chalk. Have friends over/go to friends houses.

manfalou Fri 02-Aug-13 17:08:17

Go to local county parks where the parking is free during the week, take a picnic and a football to keep the kids happy. Or where it's £3 all day.

Get a big cardboard box and some colours... Let the kids decorate their own den, keeps my eldest occupied for hours. Then they can play imaginative games afterwards.

Collect things from the outdoors and make pictures with them.

Organise play dates at your local park.

Set up a room with small world play n have an imagination day

If you still have your baby b tag put custard' jelly, angel delight in it n let the kids have some messy fun! Spend plenty of time in the bath afterwards cleaning n playing smile

Lurleene Fri 02-Aug-13 17:12:28

If you are out in town never get an ice-cream from a kiosk or cafe - pop into the nearest supermarket shop and buy a multi-pack of ice-creams. These usually work out cheaper than buying a single,and if you have any left over give them away and make someone's day!

lougle Fri 02-Aug-13 17:27:52

Make every day experiences more exciting by making up a story. For example, walking over the same bridge we usually walk over. I say "I wonder if the grumpy old troll will get us...." Suddenly, the bridge is fun.

Try to encourage breaks in activity to split the day up.

MrsWeasley Fri 02-Aug-13 17:37:25

*Look around for places doing special offers and deals.
Plan your days out so that the day before you and the children are baking (they will enjoy baking knowing its for a special day out and they will eat it, knowing they made it).

*Film nights with homemade pop corn.

*if you have a tent how about a sleep-out in the garden.

*Buy some cheap flour and make play dough, if you don't want play dough in the house they can play with it in the garden. Who can make a 5 headed creature. Who can make a animal that stands on its own etc. (Older ones will groan at the thought of play dough but usually can't resist it when it on the table)

*Set challenges like a photo challenge(easier with digital), how many insects can u photo in an afternoon or during a walk.

*Take photos of local things at unusual angles and see if they can find what and where it is.

*visit your local library, in UK they do a fun reading challenge where as well as the actual reading of books they often have activities. Older children might want to get involved listening to the participants read for a morning.

*visit the local church. They may have a little holiday club running for part of the holiday. They often have leaflets about the town.

*if you go away and go on day trips, look at getting an annual pass as these are often only a little bit more money and you can either return during that holiday or use it the following year!

MrsWeasley Fri 02-Aug-13 17:38:51

Don't forget Museums (big or small) often have trails to follow or activities.

starlight36 Fri 02-Aug-13 17:47:18

On a rainy day buy a packet cake mix or for older children let them choose a baking recipe and combine a quiet activity and treat (eating the results!).

Put up a tent /sun tent in the garden, set up the paddling pool and lay out a rug for picnics and play.This keeps our toddler occupied for hours.

Making a picnic and taking it along to the park / theme park really saves £s. We've learnt this the hard way paying over the odds for basic food. Even adding in treat snacks this works out so much cheaper - as does always carrying water /drink bottles and little snack packets.

500internalerror Fri 02-Aug-13 17:48:39

Picnics are best, but if you do need to eat out, unlimited salad bars are the best! Harvester, garfunkels, Pizza Hut etc.

Always search for a voucher before you do anything!

Kids Week for theatre is fab - child free per adult. And The Scoop has loads of free stuff, with the trilogies starting with a child friendly one.

If you travel by train, going at odd times can save a small fortune. Try as its really easy to compare prices on there.

asuwere Fri 02-Aug-13 17:53:15

always take picnic when going away for day!
always carry bottle of water/juice!
always avoid gift shop at any attractions!
we tend to look out for 2-4-1 vouchers for places or use tesco clubcard rewards to make it even cheaper (I converted topcashback money to clubcard points to give good boost this year)
library is fab and often have activities
we have a free courtesy bus which goes to local asda - kids have loved a trip on that each week! plus asda have had free events which have gone down well (face painting, modelling, masks etc)
I also took out a free trial for nowtv which has been good for rainy days!
kids £1 screenings at cinema make a cheap treat.

gazzalw Fri 02-Aug-13 17:55:16

Set a weekly budget for out and about activities and intersperse with trips to the park/library/playdates/local free music events etc....

We always have the Kids Club films as a wet-weather back-up for if the going gets tough....

Save up Clubcard and Nectar points throughout the year to spend on trips to places you've never been before - or Legoland/Chessington, where you know the children will have fun but you've effectively had a jolly good day out for free!!!!

There's an awful lot going on that doesn't have to cost a fortune but it takes a bit of forward planning usually!

Also share ideas/free events with friends - if you are generous spirited about such things you will often find the favour returned....just in case you've taken your eye off the ball...

My current favourite for this holiday is the choose and cook the meals for a day challenge....Once a week each DC gets to avidly study the recipe books and choose some new recipes which they then have to cook with one of us, having gone on the hunt for ingredients.....It's fun and it teaches them a new skill too.....

bigreddrum Fri 02-Aug-13 17:59:57

Loads of stuff to do with little ones that are free round here. Blackberry picking, pond dipping, library, park, scooter/bike rides, a free museum

My two love making ice lollies with a bit of fruit juice, or cake baking.

Water play in the garden - painting the patio with water, paddling pool, watering the flowers.

A visit to the train station without actually getting on the train seems to be a big hit with mine also confused

nextphase Fri 02-Aug-13 18:02:38

Kids (well, my smaller ones) don't need massive great big days out.
My two adore a picnic blanket in the garden, or we have one of their teddies birthdays - they wrap up old boxes in pictures I've stashed over the year, but aren't in the long term keep pile. Then we bake a cake, and have party food and music one meal time.

Our local shopping centre has loads of stuff going on. Craft at a hobby store, and yes, ASDA living had a great big poster out today when I walked past. The library is also good.

And how can I leave this thread without saying, look at the local pages on MN for great advice and ideas.

JS06 Fri 02-Aug-13 18:13:00

Get hold of some brown paper sheets or a roll of packing paper and get the kids started on making their own wrapping paper for Christmas gifts - try apple or pear halves dipped in red or green paint and a sprinkling of glitzy glitter - hey presto, you're on to a winner. Doing this in the garden if the weather is fine means the mess is contained too.

How about an indoor tent for poor weather days - use huge duvet cover or sheet held up by 4 chairs - have a biscuit and juice picnic inside - do this with a couple of other children too and hopefully providing some play date time for other families may mean they reciprocate at another time

What about getting the younger children involved in chopping whatever veg you have knocking about the kitchen, fry off slowly with some adult supervision, add stock, blend and there you have a flask of soup for a walk over lunchtime. Theres something special about eating your own homemade food out on an outdoor picnic. Cheap and cheerful.

Maybe you have a neighbour with a friendly dog - try suggesting you'll dog sit for the afternoon and gently groom Rover in the garden - a treat for the dog, the neigbour, a lesson in animal care for the children to boot!

It's a lovely trip down memory lane to read all these wonderful suggestions, oh for some more time with my children before they actually fly the nest ......

Titsalinabumsquash Fri 02-Aug-13 18:13:06

We try to do things that are free or cheap with what we already have.

This week we've turned the front room into a cinema, the curtains were drawn and the kids made microwave popcorn. They drew tickets and programmes that we handed in to get into the 'screening' grin

The boys use chalks on the path outside and on the outside of the house, they make registers to ply schools and use it to make a score board for 'Olympics' that they compete in.

They drink Capri suns (or the supermarket equivalent that I stocked up on when on offer) that have been in the freezer to make slushy drinks that keep them cool.

We've also grown a lot of Strawberries, Tomatoes that they snack on straight from the garden (after a wash in a bowl of water out outside then later used to water the plants)

We make the most of local parks with picnics, we bake bread and muffins to munch (and feed to ducks)

Sometimes just running around a field with a football is fun enough and keeps them active.

A trip to the beach with a punned of fruit from a PYO farm is always a winner then what ever is left we mix with yoghurt and stick in the ice cream maker to make Frozen yoghurt.

As for food on a budget, we all look through the supermarket special offers for 1-2 meat dishes a week. Then the rest for veggie options.

We picnic a lot with family and friends and usually everyone rings one thing so we don't all spend ££££.

Allalonenow Fri 02-Aug-13 18:18:18

Explore your local church to find brasses to rub, the paper, tape and crayons need not be expensive. Pick smaller ones, as little hands can get tired, or all work together on a larger one. These can be good presents for grandparents too!

Put on a "show" with each child singing a song or telling jokes etc. a good dressing up box helps for this.

Have breakfast outside, just something a bit different from the usual picnic.

Decorate old/cheap photo frames with shells they have collected, another present for Grandma!

michelleblane Fri 02-Aug-13 18:21:16

Not sure if these are all repeats of what has already been said but here goes......
Baking and helping with meals. My children love making homemade pasta and decorate your own pizzabase.
Visits to local beaches, parks, countryside. Take your own picnic and drinks too.
If going to a restaurant or attraction, google online first and print out money saving vouchers (or check tesco tokens) Many restaurants have kids eat free offers.
When mine were younger, they loved going to the airport (only 15 mins away)to watch the planes flying in and out.
Photography! Many of us have old phones or cameras....pop in a cheap memory card and start taking photos. Children love downloading and printing the results.
Sort out all the old toys and books and pass them down to younger relations.
A train ride using tesco tokens converted to Red Spotted Hanky points can work out very cheap and great fun

directoroflegacy Fri 02-Aug-13 18:26:03

Check for vouchers before you leave the house
Competition between siblings- who can get the most rubbish out of their room/ donate the most to the charity shop (!!)
Pound shop treasure hunt- give £1 to find the best/worst/smallest item in the shop
Always go somewhere with drinks/snacks in yr bag

Labootin Fri 02-Aug-13 18:30:25

Enrol your children in every kids club you can find, it may not be cheap but it will save a fortune on your therapy bills.

MrsWeasley Fri 02-Aug-13 18:31:54

*Another one mine like is growing cress in different shapes using cotton wool or tissues.

*Also I look out for cheap crafts, online or in shops and save them for holidays.

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