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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.

MrsGeologist Fri 02-Aug-13 18:47:00

I've bought my children some cheap waterproofs from ebay, so we can go to the park even if the weather is awful, and I always always always take a packed lunch out with us. Eating out is extortionate.

Structured activities aren't my DC's style, so sometimes only a runabout outside will do.

My friend told me his dad used to draw maps of the house and hide sweets, marking their position on the map, and the kids have to then find them. I did it with DS1 and he loved it.

Chocolateteabag Fri 02-Aug-13 19:10:12

My tips

* Register with Groupon and other deal sites to get cheap offers on local attractions like farm parks and soft play

* Depening on where you live, the Historic Homes Association annual card will give you access to lots of NT, English Heritage and other historic homes - currently £70 for a couple, £21 for additional family members over 5. Link here considering it can be £10-15 per person into most places, this is something which doesn't take long to pay for itself. There are loads of places with big gardens and playgrounds rounds us which accept it.

katiewalters Fri 02-Aug-13 19:18:27

do free activities, such as visit big parks like kingsbury water park, where you can take a picnic and games. making things at home; crafts and cakes. our local library has various fun family events running over the summer, which are free. use coupons to save money, such as the ones which are on the kellogs cereal packets, buy one get one free. most places if you book online, you save money. we have playdates, so my friends come round, bring their children round.

MadMonkeys Fri 02-Aug-13 19:25:20

Look for money off vouchers before going to any attraction.

Take a packed lunch and drinks.

For little ones a paddling pool, trip to the park, swimming etc will be just as much fun, or better than a trip to a venue.

Use Mational Trust membership for great days out.

Garden centres offer great free entertainment - purs has a massive sand pit and play area, pets corner and aquatics department, will easily keep toddlers occupied for hours.

Vajazzler Fri 02-Aug-13 19:27:53

I try to budget our entertainment to one 'paid for' activity every week with free or super cheap activities the rest of the week. That way there's something good to look forward to each week.
Our free activities are found via the l

poppy1973 Fri 02-Aug-13 19:28:38

Budget ways of entertaining the children in the holidays are:

walking to the park.
walking in the local woods
kite flying
making cakes on a wet day
colouring in activities - printing off sheets from the internet to colour
hiring a £1 dvd from the library for the children to watch and eat homemade cakes.
Treasure hunt around the garden
camping in the garden if you can't afford to take the children on holiday
filling a pool with water or using the hose and sprinkler to keep the children cool

Vajazzler Fri 02-Aug-13 19:28:55

Via the local council website. They list all the local activities and what age range they are suitable for.

MollyBerry Fri 02-Aug-13 19:29:56

Find your local free attractions, in London the Science Museum and Natural History Museum are FANTASTIC for those rainy days and as they are in a posh area you can also explore the area

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 02-Aug-13 19:36:55

We do lots of things in our garden, making dens, picnics, chalk drawings and water play. Or go to the local swings & slides then feed the ducks.

We are on the mailing list for the local Surestart centres, which run reasonably priced activities.

We use social media to find out what events are on locally to us, many of which are free.

A trip to the park with a packed lunch can last nearly a whole day.

I always check for vouchers before going to any major attraction.

InMySpareTime Fri 02-Aug-13 19:40:54

-Giant chalks, make race tracks or just colour in the paving.
-watch DVDs with the curtains closed, make your own popcorn
-go out on bike rides.
-pick blackberries or other local fruit (ask permission if on private land)
-library reading scheme
-build dens in the house or garden
-make up stories to tell each other.
-fashion show with all the clothes you rarely wear.
-get ridiculously overdressed to do mundane tasks such as post letters/buy vegetables.
-water bomb fight
-use water and paintbrushes to "paint" walls and paving on sunny days
-do mad science experiments
-go for a walk on footpaths
-make scarecrows
-go on a bug hunt
-do backyard archaeology
-make puppets
-make your own books and fill them with imaginative stories
-clean and valet the car
-plant "cress heads"
-decoupage things (bottles, picture frames, furnituregrin)
-do "makeovers" using up ends of bottles of products in the cupboard
-do "ready steady cook" using your own store cupboard ingredients to create culinary masterpieces.
-get DCs to race each other round the block.
-get DCs to bake stuff and sell it to neighbours.
I'm going to run out of summer before I run out of stuff to dogrin.

Snog Fri 02-Aug-13 19:48:52

Den building in the woods/garden
Water play
Making BBQs from dried leaves/twigs instead of firelighters and charcoal
Making a scrapbook
Running your own restaurant from home
Pond dipping

mrscumberbatch Fri 02-Aug-13 21:21:20

We've been making use of a lot of the free vouchers that you can get with groceries.....

For instance- kids go free at Sea World with a branch of juice cartons, half price entry for theme parks, money off crayola items etc.

We've done lots of things this summer that we didn't think we'd have the money to do- we haven't even changed any of our grocery shopping to benefit from deals, I just don't normally pay that much attention to the packaging etc!

TiredFeet Fri 02-Aug-13 21:21:30

check out your local authority's website, ours is running loads of different free events for children of every age over the summer, from free football coaching to a bouncy castles and a petting zoo.

with younger children - go on a trip to a different park, it doesn't have to be far away at all, my son gets so excited when he goes to a new p ark

Hopefully3 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:28:17

I let them go the library, to borrow books and go on the Internet. I can also find fun activities for them there, from looking at dinosaur bones, to nature walks!

bluebump Fri 02-Aug-13 21:36:47

We tend to do one big thing a week, last week we went to the Mid Devon Show which is in our town but not particularly cheap entry, this week we went to the local theme park but we economised at both by taking a packed lunch etc. Next week we are getting the train to see the Gromits Unleashed in Bristol.

We have the paddling pool up which my DS loves, it is also great for inviting friends over as the kids all get to play and I get to catch up with other parents.

My DS is just as happy visiting friends for a few hours or meeting up at the park etc.

We cut out all the vouchers for local attractions in our Primary Times magazine and the local paper - this also introduces us to some other places to go that we might not have already thought of going to and with good offers that make it cheaper than normal.

scripsi Fri 02-Aug-13 21:43:53

picnics both away from home and in the garden (these often have themes which the DCs invent themselves)
church group events
rediscovering old games from the attic
fancy dress competitions at home (don't ask)
online vouchers
each DC has their own patch of garden to tend/water
flower pressing (and card making)

sharond101 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:51:18

We keep costs down by packing our own lunch, snacks and drinks which saves so much money. We also spend alot of time doing free things like walking in the park, admiring the plants, watering our garden, playing in paddling pool, playing in the sand, going to the library, going to the play park etc.
we look out for local events and managed to get tickets to the opening evening of a new restaurant in our area which gave us 50% off and free drinks. We are signed up to seefilmfirst which offers us invites to screenings of new movies for free.

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Aug-13 21:52:33

Pick up those free magazines like Primary times in your local library for the whats on - for instance my little town has a festival all August with free events most weekends, nearest city has a festival with loads of free events from face painting to music all month, and theres lots of farm open days etc which are free.

mamamidwife Fri 02-Aug-13 22:06:36

Make a treasure hunt using a local map, pack a picnic (supplies from your local Asda of course) and off you jolly well go!

Scrap book the summer hols, so bits and pieces are picked up along the way to make memories, tickets, photos, leaves, or whatever

Theme a day, jungle adventure, tents up, dress up, tropical fruit etc

To be honest my kids happiest memories are the ones I've usually spent little money but we are on an adventure all together smile

GetKnitted Fri 02-Aug-13 22:08:24

Nottingham Contemporary art gallery run free activities for kids, they are just brilliant. They are every day in the summer and weekends all year round with a different theme every season to complement the proper art. this season is aqua topia with an enormous projection of an aquarium on one wall, and another projected on the floor, with fishing nets for the kids to go fishing, dress up like a pirate and have your picture taken, make fish to line the walls, or just play in tents, pretend a sandcastle and read books.

I don't know which other places are good as this, but sure that some museums in London run similar.

delegate203 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:10:59

Our current one is to get a handful of DCs friends together, who all play different instruments, and give them the challenge of writing and performing some songs together which they can then download onto youtube. They're not very advanced (grade 2-3) but play keyboards, sax, guitar, trumpet and drums, so with all those combined, they can make a really original sounding racket - all for free. They are surprisingly keen on it so far. Then come hours of designing band logos and the band's 'look'. Keeps them occupied for hours.

Outdoor fun: we bought half a dozen car sponges and cut them up, then filled a huge trug with water. Seems they are never too old to have a water fight. Finish off with cheap ice pops and big jugs of iced squash or juice and sparkling water mixed, to cool them down.

Turnipvontrapp Fri 02-Aug-13 23:41:29

Picnics, walks in the woods, up hills.
Buy ice creams and ice lollies to keep in the freezer.
Playing out on their bikes, scooter rides.
Kids a.m films at Vue.

Good weather helps.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 02-Aug-13 23:51:26

Our indoor/bad weather summer budget tip:

We write/draw letters to send to gran, cousins and friends. When the weather is better or the next day they love to go to the real post box to post it. But in the mean time we make our own post box - either a cardboard box with back door and letter slot cut into it and let them paint/decorate it or a mini letter box which is a decorated tissue box (the opening makes for a realistic letter box slot and involves no cutting - easy/lazy), if you don't have any stampers about we have made stampers to stamp the letters out of potatoes (potato printing) just cut a square or triangle for simplicity!

Our outdoor summer budget tip:

Bug hunting. I love the fact that it's doable near enough anywhere - we do this in the park or at home in the backyard. They love moving small logs, plant pots, rocks and searching in bushes and plants for all manner of creepy crawlies. And it's as cheap as you want - we use old jam jars to scoop them up (then release them of course!) and if I'm organised I print out some work sheets with pictures of bugs and ticky boxes for them to tally up all the bugs they've seen. Fun and educational without them realising!

melrose Sat 03-Aug-13 00:05:11

Always take a picnic! Amazed how many friend but food and drink at places we go for days out, I always take a picnic lunch, a few snacks, big drinks bottles for he kids and flask for me. Never pay more than the entrance fee and an ice cream.

Also never set foot in a gift shop, my kids have never bought anything from a gift shop at an attraction, at aged 2, 6 and 9 they seem airily unscarred

jojane Sat 03-Aug-13 00:10:33

i try and spread days out over the summer so 1 'expensive' day out, 1 cheap day out and on e free day out, with 1 pjama day, abd a couple of play dates etc. per week.

buy ice lollies and stock the freezer so when the ice cream van comes by (eveey night in our street!!!) you can give them one from the freezer at about a 6th of the price!!

use supermartket points/2-4-1 vouchers etc for days out

search websites such as mumsnet etc for free days out, eg this year i heard about mr blooms roadshow and applied for tickets and got allocated some so a free day out the kids will love

i buy cheap activity and crafts packs and then whip them out on a bored day as something o do.

large cardboard boxes some paint and some gaffa tape can keep kids amused for a long time, the pirate ship we made lasted a couple of weeks.

£ cinema rather than full price showings, normally on everyday in the hilidays so a good rainy day activity

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