The great “how to save money when you’ve more than two kids” hunt



  • Hi this is my 1st post. My water company, Severn Trent, cap water reates at the regional average for families with 4 or more children. It is called the vulnerable household schems - which sounds a bit sad- but saves us considerable cash.
    They do not advertise this very well so you have to phone and enquire about the scheme.
    I do not know if other water companies do the same thing but it may be that it is an offwat requirement???
    Good luck money saving.
  • With regards to TOO expensive hols abroad, yes they can be, but we found that were very cheap if you book well in advance. I took my three kids (8,15,17) last year to Majorca, self catering for 2 weeks in October for £500, for the four of us,inc flights and transfers and inc the October half term week. The tip we found was to put down as three adults and one free child place, brings the costs down. Hope this helps.
  • oramgepekoe
    oramgepekoe Posts: 574 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    aplegjnf wrote: »
    Has English Heritage membership been mentioned? For £62 a year for joint adults, upto 12 children can go into an attraction for free. Each adult membership at English Heritage lets 6 under 19s in too. They don't have to be a part of the family, we have often taken our children's friends with us. Sometimes there are additional costs if a place is having a re-enactment, but usually just £5 -6 to include anyone on the family ticket.
    If you also read the small print, a 16 - 18 yo can use their parent's membership card to gain entry on their own.

    You can buy English Heritage annual membership using Tesco clubcard deals which makes it even cheaper.
  • I have 7 kids and the best money saving item I have found this summer is with Scot Rail when you buy an adult ticket you get 2 kids free so I bought 2 Adult tickets and got 4 kids free and my other 3 kids are under 5 so I dont pay for them anyway!! We had a great and very cheap day out:T
  • HalfPint
    HalfPint Posts: 646 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I know exactly this problem. We have 4 children ranging from 11 to 2. There are not enough places to go that cater for 2+4 family tickets. Days out are usually limited to free places and making our own free entertainment. We've found a few places that do 2+3 tickets, but next year (and even now with some places) we have to buy an extra ticket for our 2 year old!

    Holidays - we, like others on here, took up camping but are finding it increasingly difficult to find sites that don't charge per person or again they accomodate the 2+2 family and we have to pay extra for the other children, or the larger tent.

    Last year and this year we've taken holidays with "in laws" for a week in the summer, so the kids can see family and we do beaches and parks etc, and taken another week either early in the year or in late October. Just a few days ago we managed to grab a bagain luxury caravan in cornwall for the October half term for just £200 (and the dog comes free too!) We did this by a lot of searching on line and booking direct with the owner - as opposed to booking through the park. a lot of people complain about the weather in october but we never let rain stop us doing stuff, we just get wet lol.

    We don't do holidays abroad yet but are looking at budget ways of achieving this - any tips are more than welcome! (I like the house swap idea tho we all live in a 2 bed flat!)

    The in laws are always sending us the vouchers from tesco for free days out and of course the latest Kellogs free swim, so we make the most of these offers.

    This year I've taken advantage of a local club, run by the church for a week, for ks1 & ks2 kids. It's free, they get to do lots of activities and even go on a day trip, and Im not having to worry about childcare for this week.

    Childcare is another holiday expense where we save money. We still have to sort out the little one but we are very lucky as we both have jobs where we can be fleixble (and an understanding boss), The kids stay with me at work (with things like drawing & stuff to do) for a couple of hours in the morning, they are then collected by my other half, a local postie, and they go out on his round, walking with him and getting play in the play park which is halfway round. This usually only happens on a couple of days a week due to rotating days off for my oh and cause I only work 3 days a week.

    We try and educate the kids that you don't always need to go to a theme park, zoo or other attraction to have fun. Walking and exploring the local area and beaches can be great fun (as long as you dont mind getting dirty and/or wet)

    We have to have a people carrier but try to save on it by walking where we can and making sure its serviced regularly so that is remains as economical as a pc can be. We've looked at getting 2 smaller cars but dont think that we'll be any better off.

    I take any hand me downs i get from friends and family. I use the school's end of year "lost property table" to get their branded items, and search the second hand stores too. The kids do get new stuff but very rarely a "branded" or "designer" item. Asda and Tesco do a great range of budget clothing for kids.

    Eating out - at the moment I never pay for the littlest. I ask for an extra plate and he gets some food from each of us. We take sandwiches and a couple of bottles of squash with us whenever we go out for the day. When we do go for lunch or meals we try to take advantage of any offers that may be on.

    Anyway rambled on enuff, I think we should start a MSE campaign to get places to make family tickets at least 2+4 and raise the age at which we have to pay for toddlers. a 2 or 3 year old very rarely gets the same out of a theme trip/national trust visit as a kid aged 5 upwards. (I know there are exceptions to this which is fair enuff)

    I hope this helps and I'm gonna keep on reading to pick up more tips from the rest of you.

    PS: the website we found the caravan on was,

    DEBT FREE DATE: 05/02/2015!

    Those things in life that we find the hardest to do, are the things we are the most thankful we did.
  • kimnhol
    kimnhol Posts: 61 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have 4 children and find my children dont miss out they just have to be a bit more patient :rolleyes: I cant afford to buy ice ceams at an ice cream van but we always stop of at a supermarket on the way home and buy a pack normally bogof and they are more than happy as it seems an extra treat at the end of the day.
    We shall be using the cereal vouchers to take them swimming for free, walkers brit vouchers to visit stately homes (complete with picnic). Tesco vouchers to do a theme park and zoo. Ive also done them all a comic subscription with tesco vouchers so i dont feel bad keep saying no in the shops.
    I shop at asda as I found this cheapest but collect tesco points by having my gas and electric with the company conected to tesco and use the extra points vouchers when the come through the door. Car boot sales for clothes and toys although my children would never admit to there school friends this is the case :rolleyes:.
    Caravan holidays and lots of forward planning ;) .
    2013 the year to be more organised :p
  • With three children of our own this a problem we know only too well! So much so, we set up a website to help families find holidays as we found that trying to book a hotel room for five was becoming a big problem - in some countries it is not permitted by law (depending on the type of room) and in other countries they will try to have you believe it's illegal (when it isn't).

    We would love to hear from you if you have recommendations on where to stay, what to do etc. if you have two or more children. Please visit the site and use the 'contact us' page to email us.

    A tip for anybody flying from Heathrow - book direct with the Renaissance, where you can park really cheaply, it's next door to the airport and they have plenty of interconnecting rooms - often at 2-for-1 rates!

    Note: the website carries affiliate links - I have to make it pay for itself somehow! MSE Admin, please let me know if this message is inappropriate.
  • We visited Colchester Zoo yesterday thanks to Tesco Club Card deals. I have 3 of my own and 3 step children ages from 21 months to 15 years.

    We're lucky enough to live 3 miles from the beach, so each morning I pack some drinks and biscuits up and go there till lunch time, I find this is long enough. Then home for play/meeting with friends.

    I have a plan of action for rainy days, thanks to News Of the World, and an extra treat 50% off Pizza hut.

    I also find it annoying about the age/pricing. At 15 my eldest step daughter is not legally an adult but is expected at some places to pay adult price!

    I look forward to any other ideas people have for days out etc.

    Also the library are doing there summer read challenge, the children read 6 books and get stickers and stuff through the summer hols, my love it, if only for the stickers!

    best wishes
    Toughest form of moutain climbing is climbing out of a rut
    I WILL be debt free!
    I WILL be happy!
    red pen member 4
  • burgers3
    burgers3 Posts: 21 Forumite
    Hi we have 5 kids :rotfl: , 1 lives in a wheelchair so we find it vey hard to do holidays but when the last 2 came along (yes twins):beer: , we had to make some very big changes so we started camping which we have been doing for the last 5 years now and have found this is the best way to go, for us we tend to only use the sites that we can put as many tents up as we have but only pay for the amount of people and so far this has worked well but we also need disabled amenaties so we strugle to find good sites. There are plenty of web sites to get started in camping, we got our main tent a 12 berth with a Hydrostatic Head: 3000 for £175 and we just wait until there is a sale on if we need to upgrade. (if you need/want any advice just give me a shout) Make sure you get the right tent for you! English Heritage membership is a great way for us to save as we usualy have my kid brother wife and the 2 boys :j come for a couple of days so we go up to a 11 family wich is very expensive. Food is a problem (we have to feed the kids :D ) but we will go to any suppermarket that sell cooked chicken and get some bread rolls we can feed the lot of us for less than £10 and we do this once or twice a week, aldi/lidel they are good places as well. We are going for 3 weeks this year for £600 for the 7 of us and the site is great nothing for miles but great walks and just sitting and talking the kids range from 15 yrs down to 6yrs. Have a good summer.:D

  • manhater
    manhater Posts: 80 Forumite
    I have 5 kids and the cheapest way to get an abroad holiday is through friends or friends of friends as EVERYONE will know someone who owns an apartment abroad this is what we have done this year £500 for the apartment, £500 for the car hire for 5WEEKS and the apartment has it's own pool and with a Lidl just down the road what more could you ask for? i got budget flight seats at £47 outbound and £18 inbound, my partner can only come out for a week because of bill commitments but hey thats a bonus a free holiday from each other, lol.
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