A Mothers Ramblings: Family Fun on a Budget

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Family Fun on a Budget

Reading this blog you might think that we don't know about having Family Fun on a Budget as at the moment it seems that every other weekend we are at a show or at the cinema, or on a day trip as a family and it must seem like we have money to burn, but its not true. Its just that with a bit of careful planning we are able to budget for events like I have mentioned but we intersperse them with events and days out that cost nothing or next to nothing, such as the ones that I have talked about before in my post Eight things to do on a small Entertainment fund but are still packed full of fun! This weekend we don't have anything major planned, but you can be sure that we will be doing a few of the following!

We love to bake together as a family, and this is a great way of doing something fun on a small amount of money. Plus you get to eat it afterwards! Something that I love to do is to make cornflake cakes (melt chocolate and stir in cornflakes, put a generous spoonful into a cake case and leave to set) and then whip them out whilst we are waiting for our cup cakes to cook.

We love going for walks, we are lucky that we have a great local Parks Trust that maintains local parks and green areas. It could be though that you just walk to the local shop and buy everyone a small sweet, or take a walk to the local park. If you all have wellies why not even go if it has been raining and puddle jump at the same time?!

The local park is really great for burning off some energy and is a great way to have some fun. Top Ender and Baby Boy love when we get on the roundabout or the swings or slide with them and so do we! Plus according to that study that Brainiacs did (It was Scientific!) a half hour in the park on the equipment burns more calories than a half hour in the Gym.

Going round a Shop or a Supermarket might seem like an odd place for Family Fun, but most Supermarkets these days have aisles dedicated to toys and household goods. Its a great place to window shop for things that you might like... not that we do that in Ikea or anything!

Search the Internet for free things to do, there are lots of sites that list places such as Skillscape, and Silver Cross Days Out that list places that other parents have recommended. It might be that you get to go to an Outdoor Cinema, an Airshow, or pick some fruit but there is bound to be something to suit your budget!

I don't know many people who pay much attention to flyers and vouchers in the UK. It seems to me that our friends in the USA and Canada are much more savvy at this sort of thing, but there are savings to be had on most days out. There is a funfair at Willen Lake at the moment, and at £1.50 per person per ride it soon adds up but a flyer I found in a local pub gives vouchers for 50p off any ride. I picked up two flyers (one for Top Ender and one for Baby Boy) and now Top Ender and Baby Boy will be able to go on two more rides than we would of originally budgeted for!

Make use of cinema discounts (such as Orange Wednesday, half price Tuesday or movies for juniors) or have fun and make your living room into the cinema. Shutting the curtains, making movie tickets and having Cinema style snacks is a great laugh, and a good way to have a sneaky snooze or snog when the kids aren't looking...

And if you get really stuck for something to do why not try looking for ideas on Disney's What shall we do today. We love the ideas on the website and quite often have a quick visit to get a game or idea!