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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.

BoyMeetsWorld Mon 12-Aug-13 19:38:39

I'm quite good at budget shopping - we shop for a family of 3 on £40 per week - not by going short on anything (we love fresh fruit, meat and veg) but by keeping very careful shopping lists, only buying things that we need or need replacing, looking out for special deals (but only on things we want anyway, not being tempted by random offers) & stocking the freezer with reduced meats. Regarding days out, I keep an eye on GroupOn and 02 moments - have had some great cheap family day outs via those. The dog is the best money saving purchase ever too (despite his cost in pet food!) as he gives a great excuse to go for a free trip to take him on a long walk

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Aug-13 17:14:09

Hi everyone, thanks for adding your thoughts to the thread. Congratulations to celestialbows who has won the prize draw! We'll be in touch shortly.

weaseleyes Sun 11-Aug-13 19:39:58

Reusable water bottles and picnics.

Visadiva Sun 11-Aug-13 18:21:05

Buy a season pass to the safari park/zoo/ national trust. Take a picnic and off you go whatever the weather. Saves a fortune and you've always got something to do.

gazzalw Sun 11-Aug-13 14:02:20

I have to say that activities with older children seem to be a lot more expensive to organise than doing things with under-fives..... The days of being able to totally satisfy them with trips to the park/library/local farm etc...are a by-gone age for sure.....

confusedofengland Sun 11-Aug-13 12:51:35

Playdates, playdates, playdates (& picnics)!

We have had playdates on about 10 of the 15 weekdays so far (3 weeks in to the holidays) & it has been great! We don't go to the same place twice in one week, so the DC don't get bored of any one place. Quite often we take picnics, too. This way, the DC are happy playing with their friends & I am happy chatting to mine over a coffee grin

Most of the places we go to are free - we live in Essex & near us have about 5 large parks within the town, the same again within easy driving distance, a farm with free entry & a duckpond in the local village. At one of the parks, a country park about 15 mins drive from me, they do a free 'Wild Wednesdays' sessions where DC are shown & encouraged to build dens, climb trees, catch bugs, make mud pies etc.

Also something the DC enjoyed was paddling in a ford near my friend's house!

All good, simple fun smile

VirtuallyThere Sat 10-Aug-13 23:31:10

Holidays focus around one organised activity a day which may be part/all day and free play. For days out my advice is to keep eyes peeled at all times for any suitable offers, always google for discounts and plan ahead. Tesco clubcard (topped up by topcashback) is great for days out and meals. Newspapers such as the sun for days out (we have 2 tickets to warwick castle from their awesome offers, check to see what deals are in the newspapers before purchasing). Also the train companies do some great offers if you travel by train (often worth just buying the ticket even if you're not going on the train).
Local papers also offer a good source of discounts.

For our quieter days at home we may just go to the supermarket cafe for a drink/cake or a local park to feed the ducks/ get an icecream. By mixing these with the treat days we have a nice balance of activities without too much financial hardship.

damppatchnot Sat 10-Aug-13 22:45:09

Use the local library and see what free events are on offer. Join the holiday book scheme for children to encourage them to read.
Days out to parks, halls and swimming pools with free admission

Let the children make their own picnics using things baked by themselves to save on eating out.

Adventures in the woods. Wet days wet weather gear and wellies splash in mud. Collect wildlife make collages

Lazy days in pjs watching old movies

Helping mum clean. Speed test who can tidy up fastest

ENJOY the time together whatever the weather. SEPTEMBER is not far away

sabretiggr Sat 10-Aug-13 22:41:22

Some local attractions have really good annual ticket prices - we got some to a local castle and have spent time there every week throughout the summer so it has saved us a fortune in other days out as it has lots to do there.

VileWoman Sat 10-Aug-13 22:12:16

Yearly membership for your favourite local museum. Membership plus a picnic lunch means lots of cheap visits, the more you go the cheaper it gets. EH membership works well too, especially if you holiday in the UK, we check out all the local properties when we go on holiday for £0.

GenericDietCola Sat 10-Aug-13 04:09:42

Look in the local paper for free days out. We've already been to two family fun days this summer, all free!

Register for sites such as raring2go and download money saving vouchers.

The library is free and we spent an hour or so in there yesterday doing a treasure hunt that had been organized for the hols.

if the weather is good, get to the beach!

LentilAsAnything Fri 09-Aug-13 18:36:30

Go to museums, they are free.

Beach, free (excluding petrol where necessary)

Camping, very cheap holiday, nice and back to basics.

Family bike rides.

Win ASDA money and spend that!

MummyBtothree Fri 09-Aug-13 10:14:25

We have been looking for free council-run activities nearby, and we bought our boys a two man pop-up tent in the sale and they have been having loads of fun in it. They have even set it up in their bedroom and pretended to go camping, sleeping in it.

shutitweirdo Fri 09-Aug-13 08:21:00

Throughout the year I have £120 a week for shopping. I take this out cash and any left over goes into the summer fund. We have one big outing as we don't go away. Then it is little things, especially things sold in the supermarket, footballs, paddling pools, blow up boxing gloves, tents. I put a tent up and change whats in it every day when the kids are in bed. There are lots of ways to transform a garden into a different play theme each week. My kids seem to love it as do their friends.

joolzy Fri 09-Aug-13 07:50:44

I stock up during the year on reduced books/toys etc, empty cardboard boxes, crayons, stickers etc. That way i always have something in hand for i'm bored moments.

dygranny Fri 09-Aug-13 07:38:56

We are lucky to have a zoo within 15 mins so we bought passes for £132 pounds in May. We visit a couple of times a week and bring a picnic. I converted reward points for tickets to the cinema and days out. We are also taking part in the reading challenge with the local library.

daisybrown Thu 08-Aug-13 22:39:23

Did my homework on all the free activity clubs being run by local schools and by the council education department.
Bought secondhand camping set-up earlier in the year and it is now paying dividends.
Making full use of relatives and friends so we can take turns on having a day to ourselves.

round2 Thu 08-Aug-13 22:14:09

I only know what we have been doing this summer on a limited budget,sor far.
We purchased a Trampoline (from Asda actually, brownie points?grin) this is providing hours of fun.
Baked a cake.
Completing the library reading challenge.
Walked up Snowdon.
Went swimming.
Had friends over.
Had cousins over.
Going to free museums.
One spending activity per week ie zoo/cinema
Writing a journal of the summer holidays.
Maths/science activity books.
Bike rides.
Day at the beach.
Lazy day at home watching television / Xbox / played with toys etc.
created a band/wrote a song/ made a dance routine....,performed to family.
Played magic tricks.
Asked Siri silly things.

The list goes on....

janekirk Thu 08-Aug-13 21:45:29

Plan to put money by before the holidays, forget all about it and then borrow and live on a shoestring at times. Encourage the grandparents to take the kids camping and on day trips.

celestialbows Thu 08-Aug-13 21:16:27

My little ones love water, anywhere there is water they are happy, the local park paddling pool, a big bowl in the back garden, a few different sized cups, pots and other receptacles in the kitchen if it's cold outside and bathtime is always a winner, apart from the water bill it's cheap and easy.
For treats out I buy a pack of four icecreams from the supermarket rather than buy one for inflated prices from the street vendors.
Picnics and treasure hunts go down well, spotting landmarks and having small treats as prizes.

Notfootball Thu 08-Aug-13 19:57:05

We are the queens/kings of the picnic and I make sure we always have something in for lunch that can be packed into the cool box and taken to the park.

We are enjoying going to the pick your own farms, surprised at how much fun we get from pulling up potatoes and picking corn & raspberries.

We have 'disco kitchen' where we turn up the radio in the kitchen and dance madly to whatever tunes are playing, the more inventive the moves, the better.

We bake a different cake each week so that we can try something new and take it to the picnic. These are brilliant for Cake Wednesday when we go to different friends's houses to chat, play and eat cake!

We only have one big trip a week - be it the cinema, the theatre or a theme park. All the other days have to be cheap and cost no more than £10 or nothing at all.

Of course, we try to avoid taking the car if we can so even though DC2 rarely travels in the pushchair, I take it anyway as a sort of trolley for the picnic and paraphernalia.

GetStuffezd Thu 08-Aug-13 18:46:42

Me and my brothers were an enterprising bunch - trying to sell passers by mashed up dandelion flowers/sugar/water, calling it dandelion wine. Naturally our mum put a stop to that before we killed anyone!

So, in an attempt to keep us entertained without spending any money AND getting us to tidy our rooms, she helped us set up a yard sale of all our unwanted stuff. It was good fun actually and we made a few quid which mum used to take us to the cinema (to see Fern Gully!)

The following years, we arranged with other families to do it on the same day and it became a regular village event.

BreakOutTheKaraoke Thu 08-Aug-13 18:36:20

We hit the £1 shop! Came out with frisbees, balls, skipping rope, foot jumper thing, bat and ball, water toys. Spent about £15, but had enough to keep DD, and toddler DN busy for a fair while.

We also have enrolled n the summer reading challenge at library, and will be taking advantage of the free swim when possible. Orange Wednesday next week, the Smurfs and a kids pack with drink/popcorn/sweet in it at Vue for under £10. A nice treat.

mum2eci Thu 08-Aug-13 17:58:07

Picnics at our local park are always enjoyed (if the weather is nice) nothing there to spend money on and kids can run around and let off steam!

Visit to local libraries to renew books or take part in free holiday activities.

Baking session at home always goes down well with my 3 little ones and they get to eat the end product, even better!

Making session using scraps of material etc we've collected.

HannahLI Thu 08-Aug-13 13:57:04

So Summer activities:
-Baking and cooking. My kids love getting involved and they can help pick and take ownership. I always try and tie making cakes and fun things (rather than meals) in with when we are visiting friends for playdates etc.. as I like to take something and it then covers two activities.
-Build things out of Junk! OUr recycling bin is always full of packaging etc, and we always have tons of boxes to build with. It can take hours and days to create something if you make it, then paint it, then play in it!
-Tents in the garden (or indoors). My children love building dens and the great thing is you can build over and over again
-Games in the garden - we forget that our own garden is a resource and that it has hours of playing in it just waiting. Create a goal from a washing basket, mark out a bowls pitch, use outside chalk to draw pictures, make a hopscotch.
-Find local walks and go out with the pushchair/bikes. Look for paths away from the road where the kids are safer and there are styles to climb over!
-Garden centres - they are free and most have got loads of animals to look at, outdoor activity playareas and a cafe. They are perfect for trips out!

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