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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.

Cluffyflump Sat 03-Aug-13 00:12:16

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.

If you really do need to make every penny count, I wouldn't gamble with using ASDA for online shopping!

hermancakedestroyer Sat 03-Aug-13 08:29:45

Picnics (weather permitting) are a great way of taking lunch outside and building some walking and exploring into the day. Indoor picnic if necc!
Library book reading challenge is great with little prizes along the way for books read.
Geocaching is a nice idea as well - look it up on the internet. Most smartphones have gps now. You need to take small little trasures ie plastic toy, bracelet, marbles etc to exhange for another treasure in the box that you find. It gets everyone walking with the benefit of exchanging trasure at the end.
Also walks to the local park (if you have one) taking an empty matchbox or small container to collect as many little bits and pieces on the walk as you can. Maybe small prize for the winner.

Punkatheart Sat 03-Aug-13 09:07:48

Locally we have a lovely garden where they have a charity kiosk selling tea, coffee and cakes. When the weather is fine, it's certainly less stuffy and expensive than a cafe.

I had an elderly relative who used to befriend anyone with a swimming pool so that she could drag her grandchildren around to their house in the summer - she was quite a character.

But for me the summer is for encouraging reading and odd as it sounds, sorting out stuff at home. The latter can have unexpected benefits - when you find things that are joyfully rediscovered - we found lots of old photos and some funny old pictures that my daughter wants to frame. It's all about being busy for us and also finding a way to spend time with my quite difficult daughter.

use up any past its best fruit by blending with a pot of fruit yoghurt and freezing into lollies, yummy and healthy too.

Dylanlovesbaez Sat 03-Aug-13 09:25:56

Always take water out with you. I'm amazed at how much I've saved by not buying water when out and about.

ataraxia Sat 03-Aug-13 10:56:27

Fun in the sun at low cost? Bubbles - kids can't get enough of them!

gazzalw Sat 03-Aug-13 11:16:46

On a wet day do a DVD/board games swap with friends/family so that you can watch some unseen films and play some untried games!

k8thegr8 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:44:44

Prior to the school holidays I like to collect free booklets from local stores, and visitor information centres.

Then look through and see which are the best value or free.

We have picnics for lunch when out and about and always take our own drinks where ever we go. If its a hot day like it has been recently and the children would like a ice cream, we head to the nearest local store and get a own brand box of corneto style for no more than £1.50 saving all the time!

We have house days this might include:

Spring cleaning ( re designing their rooms)
Movie day- DVDs, pop corn maker, chocolate machine,
Making our own pizza
Junk modelling
Fashion parades.
Camping in the garden
Crafty days ( crafty items from asda throughout the year)
Play days with friends
Sports competitions is a favourite

We head out to the free local activities, local parks, clubs etc and enter all the free competitions to hopefully win days out that we wouldn't normally afford to go to smile

We collect vouchers through out the year as well

Often check online at "" and see if there's anything we fancy doing.

Thatsinteresting Sat 03-Aug-13 12:08:36

Plan, plan, plan! Before the holidays start we make a big calender showing all the days we need to fill. Everyone can name one thing that they really want do. I then look for vouchers, book things in advance, use cashback sites and special offers so all the 'must do's are as cheap as possible. I then arrange playdates and see when relatives are available for a visit. Any outstanding days are filled with trips to the library, baking, picnics, story writing, dvds and just playing in the garden.

Blatherskite Sat 03-Aug-13 15:17:10

I'm always amazed at how many free activities can be found if you look hard enough. Our local council runs Play days with crafts and even bouncy castles that are totally free.

Otherwise, we improvise - a couple of our local garden centres have fish, chickens, ducks and even micro pigs, one even runs a cheap crafty session for £3-ish. Between the craft, looking at the animals and the pretty flowers, we can generally fill enough of the afternoon that they're happy to amuse themselves for the rest.

One of my plans for this summer is to visit a local Pick-Your-Own centre. Not necessarily super cheap but my plan is to pick out a recipe or two beforehand and take the children to pick up the fruits and vegetables that we need to cook a meal meaning that the cost will also feed us for the day as well as teaching the children exactly where their food comes from.

The ultimate cheap/free activity is a play date with friends. Going round to someone else's house always seems like a day out for my kids and if you take it in turns, everyone only has to clean up the aftermath once or twice smile

wibblyjelly Sat 03-Aug-13 15:42:07

Ds is currently only 10 months old so manages to entertain himself by playing with his toys, and lots of stuff he shouldn't. In the future, we will make dens in the living room and garden, DVD and duvet days, and baking days.

hytheliz Sat 03-Aug-13 18:07:23

My two young children love anywhere we go if it involves a picnic! The money we save by going somewhere locally by bike or foot as well as bringing our own food means that we can splurge on ice cream as a treat while we're out. The kids love it and so do we!

SaltySeaBird Sat 03-Aug-13 19:41:31

Lots of walks in the countryside

Freeze bottles of water so when you go out they slowly melt, giving you cold drinks that last a long time (saving a fortune)

Looking for Geocaches

babsmam Sat 03-Aug-13 19:50:31

Take snacks and drinks with you saves a fortune.

Keep it simple a free pic nic in the play park entertains kids for hours. They don't need fancy expensive days out

Hopezibah Sat 03-Aug-13 22:02:56

We make regular trips to our local Pick Your Own farm. Strawberries and raspberries are great fun for little ones to pick and can be either eaten fresh or made into lots of yummy treats. So the kids will stay entertained both picking the fruit and then also making yummy food with it like ice cream, smoothies, fruit kebabs, muffins (white chocolate and raspberry muffins are a favourite!).

A great budget way to entertain the kids and the only cost is for whatever fruit you pick at the PYO farm!

Hopezibah Sat 03-Aug-13 22:05:18

Don't ever underestimate how much fun you can have at the beach! If you pack up a picnic and take plenty of your own drinks, then there is virtually zero cost involved! Yet tons of fun to be had.

My children can just spend hours playing in the sand, finding pebbles, shells and other 'treasures', making beach 'art' using driftwood, seaweed and stones, rockpooling and so much more to explore and enjoy.

A fantastic budget day out!

Hopezibah Sat 03-Aug-13 22:07:14

Here's another tip to keep the costs down on days out... We often stop at our local ASDA to pick up a multipack of ice-creams en-route to our destination for a day out whether that be a park, playground or the beach.

We just make sure we have a cool bag with an ice pack to keep the ice creams or ice lollies cool until we get there.

It saves a fortune compared to the overpriced ice-creams they sell in ice-cream vans and at beach outlets.

aristocat Sat 03-Aug-13 23:11:53

Two words only needed - Planning and Picnic.

Always plan where/how to visit. Discount vouchers may be available and taking your own food/drinks can save so much money.

magentastardust Sat 03-Aug-13 23:22:10

We are making the most of the great weather and doing lots of walks and picnics. We always take snacks and picnics with us now as so expensive to eat out.
We keep an eye out for free events at the library , council and art galleries etc. So far kids have taken part in wii challenges, zorbing and football and basket ball events and crafting events all free.
If we do go to cinema or lunches we go to the early morning cheap kids viewings and look for vouchers for chain restaurants for lunch.
Making Dens in bedrooms and tents in the garden also seems to keep them amused for ages!

Wheresthecoffee Sun 04-Aug-13 06:48:35

Picnics! The weather determines where we go, but we always have a great time rain or shine :-)

JulesJules Sun 04-Aug-13 09:06:48

On days out always take drinks and snacks from home - water bottles filled with tapwater and chilled in the fridge overnight, fruit, homemade flapjack.
Cinema trips on Orange Wednesday or kids viewings when much cheaper
Vouchers/money off vouchers for pizzas out etc.
Buspass which give cheaper travel - in our area all children can apply for a free travelcard which gives cheaper travel and a card which gives cheaper swimming sessions.
Check out local library for free events and summer reading challenge
Tent in the garden and picnic/bbq
Evenings in with DVD and popcorn
Make your own pizza evening - I make the dough in the bread machine and have a selection of toppings
Free museums/art galleries - these also often have free events on in the holidays
Water fight- this is DH's favourite - he's got a super soaker water gun grin
Grow rasps, strawbs, runner beans etc and have picking/podding sessions.

JulesJules Sun 04-Aug-13 09:09:36

Oh and holiday challenges - to learn a new thing - dd1 is learning to knit (she wants to contribute a square to a woolly hug) dd2 wants to learn to draw manga grin

Babycarmen Sun 04-Aug-13 10:12:14

There are lots of websites such as daysoutwiththekids that show you all the local activities and places to visit, there might be things in your local town you don't know about and a lot of them are free.
Swap your Tesco clubcard points in the voucher exchange for days out tokens. We got a £20 voucher for £5 points for somewhere we were planning on going anyway!
Look out for deals on the internet such as groupon, and deals on cereal boxes etc for tokens to attractions in the UK.
The internet is FULL of crafty things to do on rainy days which don't cost a penny. Kids love things like picnics too which might seem boring to you but they will love it.

namechangeforaclue Sun 04-Aug-13 10:29:22

Buy empty plant sprayers. They are cheaper than water pistols, come in a good range of colours and get a good spray on them.
You can also save your cleaning spray bottles, flash, cif etc and use those, once they have been cleaned out sufficiently.
You can get the children to decorate them if you have glue and glittery bits lying around.
Then let the water fight commence.

psynl Sun 04-Aug-13 13:28:19

Have a family sports day in the garden - obstacle race, egg and spoon, 3 legged race etc
Picnic in the garden
Bike rides and walks - just go randomly and see where you end up
Bubble painting - water and paint, make bubbles with a straw and use to create pictures
Film and junk food day
Make dens in the living room with furniture and blankets

Play 'Come Dine with Me' - each family member takes it in turns to create a 3 course meal on a budget. The 'guests' record their comments and their score. This one kept us going for a week with the menu planning, shopping, cooking, planning of entertainment, getting dressed up etc

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