Though it’s not quite summer yet, we can all see the signs of sunshine and BBQ’s lingering in the distance. Fashion stores are starting to show off their new selection of bikinis, and families are beginning to daydream about the concept of a holiday. Of course, while there’s a lot of fun to be had in summer, there are also a few concerns that you’ll need to address as a frugal family too.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet, or you’re living on a tight budget, summer means a month and a half of days where you have to figure out ways to entertain your youngsters for free. While you can probably get away with the occasional movie day, and let your kids spend plenty of time on the Xbox, you’re eventually going to find yourself searching for ways to stay frugal this summer. Here are a few tips that could help.
Plan your Family Dinners, and Get Help Making Them
Planning your family dinners means that you’re less likely to spend cash on a takeaway when the weather’s hot and you can’t be bothered to cook. When you know there’s something delicious waiting in your fridge, it’s much easier to avoid temptation. What’s more, you can even plan to buy items in bulk and spread them out over the week. For instance, you could have sausage and mash on Monday, then toad in the hole on Saturday.
Once you’ve planned your dinners, keep the kids entertained by asking them to help you cook. Not only does this stop them from getting bored, but it also gives your youngsters a chance to learn a valuable life skill too.
Take Advantage of Free Events and Experiences
Every summer, there are groups out there that deliberately put experience days on to keep kids entertained during the six weeks they’re away from school. While some of these activities might be more expensive than you’d like, there’s bound to be a couple of cheap or even free things to do too.
For instance, look for any museums that might be free for kids in your local area, or simply think about taking your kids for a trip to the beach or a walk in the park. Summer activities don’t always have to be expensive.
Host Movie Days
While a trip to the movies might be unaffordable, streaming a recent addition to Netflix can be much cheaper. Ask your kids to invite their friends around for a movie day and create a list of must-see movies you want to watch. You can always grab some cheap popcorn to make the experience more authentic too.
This way, your kids get to watch something interesting, spend time with their friends, and avoid causing any mischief outside of the home.
Get Out into the Garden
During the summer months, your garden isn’t just a place to go when you want to set-up a BBQ or escape the indoor heat. It’s also a fantastic way to spend some lucrative time with your family. Gardening can be fun for children of all ages, particularly if you grow something edible like fruits and vegetables. Ask your kids to help you out with something simple, like growing potatoes, and let them enjoy the fun of getting dirty in the mud.
When your seeds or veggies are planted, you can also keep the kids entertained for a little bit each day by sending them out to water the plants and check how they’re doing.
Go on An Unplanned Adventure
Thanks to things like Google Maps on your phone, and GPS, it’s never been easier to get out on an adventure with the kids. You can simply start walking in one direction and see where your feet take you, capturing pictures of the journey along the way, and gathering mementos like stones or shells that you find to help you tell the story of where you went.
When you get back home from your adventure, you’ll have another entertainment opportunity available, because you can put all your photos together into a digital collage on your computer or stick things together on a piece of paper if you prefer!
Learn Something New
Finally, thanks to things like YouTube, it’s possible for families to learn new things together. There are plenty of people out there who can teach you how to make your own slime, perform exciting marketing experiments and more, without spending a huge amount of money. You could even try learning a new language together!
Not only is learning a great way to expand your youngster’s mind, but it’s also a wonderful way to bond together during the summer holidays.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.