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Keeping summer spending under control

The summer holidays can be expensive. especially if you have day trips and outings planned.  It can be hard to say no to children who want things and easy to give in to avoid the nagging. My children are learning that I do not give in to pester power.

So I want to share with you my tips for trying to keep summer spending under control.  It does involve planning, but I think that most saving does involve planning and a little time, but they are more than worth the effort.

The ice cream van - I detest the ice cream van, it is the scourge of hot summer days.  Initially I told the boys the music was to say that it had run out of lollies!   Now I make sure I have a stock of lollies, ice cream and cones in the freezer and when they here the van I let them have one from me.  Initially they were reluctant, but when I gave them pocket money and let them make the choice between buying from the van and me, they soon realised that Mummy can make their money go further.

Picnics - I am a super fact picnic packer.  I make sure that we always take a picnic and drinks wherever we go.  We also have a flask that I put in the car for tea and coffee, along with some milk in a freezer bag.  Picnics do not always have to mean sandwiches.  We take hotdogs in a flask to make hot dogs in rolls or even take salad and cold new potatoes.  

Provide your children with pocket money and a realistic budget for days out.  I make sure the boys know how much they have to spend and once it is gone that is it.  It teaches them money management and also takes the onus off me.  My children have had pocket money since they were around five.  I am a great believer in learning to budget and to have a bank account.

Food shopping - If we are going away then I do not buy any perishable  food the week previous (other than milk and bread).  I make sure I use up all I have in the fridge, so that nothing goes to waste and also it means that we have that weeks food shopping to spend on our holiday.

It pays to remember that our children are often happier with our time than our money!


  1. Thanks for these lovely summer ideas. We love making our own lollies and I need to try and get those fab lolly moulds you have. We recently made ice lollies using custard and those were actually the best ones I've ever made! Got the idea from Faye Ripley's cookery book :)

  2. So glad I'm not the only one who does this with the ice cream van! We do have some pennies set aside for a visit to the van at least once in the summer, but most of the time, we grab one from the freezer and enjoy it on the front step. Plenty of times we keep them in business when we are on outings anyway.


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