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

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  • aitch-aitch
    aitch-aitch Posts: 243 Forumite
    We have 3 children and have struggled to get the standard package holiday finding that we have to use 2 apartments on many occasions which is not appropriate with young kids.

    We therefore took the plunge and bought our own apartment in Bulgaria and rent it out when we are not there. It works much better.

    Of course we are fortunate to be able to do this. The following website has thousands of holiday homes available for rent (and quite often you can get less than the advertised price - especially last minute). Apartment owners will often prefer to have someone in their apartment rather than leaving it empty and as long as the cleaning and fuel costs are covered with a little bit of profit that's all it needs. Try https://www.holidaylettings.co.uk .
  • HopeElizzy
    HopeElizzy Posts: 608 Forumite
    :TOur local library has a summer reading scheme called "team read" - are other counties doing this? It's free to take part and they're running lots of morning activity sessions which are also free though you have to collect tickets from the library beforehand. So, check out your local libraries!

    :TI also receive an information booklet from the local council every quarter that lists all the activities happening in the area. Not all are free but it's worth looking to see what's going on if your area has this information available. This afternoon I'm taking my children to a local Manor House where they are running a "medieval madness" afternoon for 4-12 year olds which is free. So, check out what your local council has planned!


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    "all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."
  • cazbie16
    cazbie16 Posts: 94 Forumite
    We have 4 kids ranging from 9mths to 11yrs so are always on the lookout for cheap things to do. We have used our Tesco clubcard vouchers in the past for Legoland and Chessington, and taken a picnic with us. We also go by underground to London during the school hols because kids under 11 go free and then go to the museums which are also free. Haven't done this year because of baby and eldest looks way older than 11 so may have trouble getting her on for free.

    Finding food getting expensive so now split shop between Tesco and Asda, looking for all the BOGOFs and other deals. Buy kids clothes in Tescos mainly when sales are on and will gladly accept hand me downs from friends and relatives, kids love opening up bags and seeing whats inside. Also buy bundles from Ebay.

    We have been on quite a few Sun breaks and have borrowed a tent/equipment to try out camping, we all enjoyed this so bought a tent in the sales, just need to buy cooker now.

    To keep the kids entertained during hols I look around for craft stuff going cheap and fill a bag with bits to pull out when they start getting bored.

    For christmas this year I'll soon be on the lookout and getting them to make a list, with every additional child the christmas shopping starts earlier :rotfl:.
    This site rocks and has saved me loads -
    thanks to all those that post on the forums and have saved me money
    ;)
  • clarew
    clarew Posts: 501 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    I have 4 aged 6yrs and under (twins included!) and am finding the same problem. We are never a "family" according to hotels/theme parks etc, so its really pricey. Apart from the usual caravan holidays,tesco deals, and picnics in park etc, i would love to be able to take them abroad or to stay over in a family hotel room where we are all in together. What gets me is in premier travel inn, a family room sleeps 5...2 adults,2kids and 1 in cot. Yet my other twin shares the cot but as we hit over the 5 in a room, this is not allowed. Depsite it costing them no difference in laundry/food as at 8months they don't eat full english breakfast!!!!!!!

    I back the mse campaign for larger family discounts (over in france a lot of family tickets are for 2parents and 3 children).
    Next-a mse campaign not to hit parents of multiples like us, who had to buy a people carrier to fit our twins plus 2 kids in, with a large tax bill.....!
    Original mortgage 185k. 2003
    Current mortgage. 65k Jan 2020
    OP £321/month-Aiming to finish August 2025 instead of October 2028 (whilst keeping the 4 dependents fed,watered,clothed,sheltered and paying for school/activities paraphernalia):rotfl:
  • foreversomeday
    foreversomeday Posts: 1,011 Forumite
    manhater wrote: »
    EVERYONE will know someone who owns an apartment abroad

    Really?? I don't!

    Maybe I should make some friends in some more affluent places :rotfl: any tips??
    I don't believe and I never did that two wrongs make a right
  • bekki0405_2
    bekki0405_2 Posts: 37 Forumite
    We have just had our 4th baby, and as he was due in June, we thought we would have to forego the annual holiday abroad this year. My oldest 2 (7 and 5) are at school, and they are getting funny about taking time off in term time, but I really believe the time spent on holiday as a family is as important as other experiences they have at school. Anyway, after my son arrived a few weeks early, I was desperate to get away with my family. My hubbie said there was no way we would be able to go away in the school summer holidays, and this was enough of a challenge to get me ressearching. We love to go to France, as we can drive down, and take as much stuff as we can carry in the car, no baggage allowance!

    After much searching I have found this little known company call Vacance Soleil. They are abta bonded, and have offices around Europe, but do not seem to advertise, or have big call centres, so keep there costs down. We have booked for the 6 of us, in a luxury tent, which is one of those fixed ones with a stove,pine beds, lights, bbq,fridge etc. The site looks great in the Vendee with various swimming pools,restaurants,bar etc. There is even a kids club on site.We are going from the 21st Aug-31st Aug, for 10 nights for £309. We also saved money by booking our own ferry, which took £90 off the origianl price of £419. We booked a Dover-Calais ferry with P&O for £60. The only down side, is we will be travelling at midnight on the ferry, and the trip back is also a night crossing, but for £369 we have a 10 night holiday for the 6 of us, in the school holidays. I have put a link to the website here.
    www.vacansoleil.co.uk

    :j :cool:
    Trying to get out of debt......it's a slow but satisfying road! :j
    Hubby now converted to MSE :beer:
    MEAF charge reclaimed = £50:T
    Energy switch to capped rate + free case of vino
  • pamelab21
    pamelab21 Posts: 341 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I don't have kids yet but has anyone heard of the Camping and Caravanning Club? When you are all talking about camping holidays etc and the cost of a pitch I thought I could chip in.
    You basically pay to become a member and I think its currently 30.00 per family per annum. This entitles you to use C&C Club sites at members rates (we find these quite high though) what they do have though is regional meets which basically means that if you live in say Glasgow then they have a 'Glasgow DA' who have weekends away around that area...thats not to say that you can't travel further afield...
    for example we go away in the summer for two weeks when Birmingham DA have a Temporary holiday site in Cornwall and it costs us 12.00 per unit per night. (the site does have a pool, bar, snack bar, shop, toilets and showers etc.
    we are just back from a weekend in Ayr which only cost us 5.00 per unit per night, has basic amenities such as toilet and shower etc....bargain for us!
    we had a weekend in Stirling for 4.50 per unit per night with Renfrew DA.
    There are normally other kids which helps as they all tend to make friends and its a safe envirnoment

    Hope this all makes sense!
  • lazim
    lazim Posts: 13 Forumite
    Hi

    I have 3 children I have the same problems as all of u!!! Anyway, surely 2point2 children isnt the average anymore, maybe the theme parks and zoos etc.... need to update their family classifications.

    Anyway, I find that when going abroad it is sometimes cheaper to book a holiday apartment to rent from a private owner. I find holidaylettings.co.uk a good site but there are many more...... Then book you're flights way in advance through easyjet or ryanair or other budget airlines. You end up with a really good deal that way!

    Also, try going for picnics at local park, visits to local library, go and feed the ducks at you're local river/pond and check out you're local council website for discounts in the summer holidays! Some things you can do at home are making cakes, arts and crafts and story reading. Also, get together with you're friends who have kids similar ages to you'res and take it in turns to visit each others houses. The kids will be busy playing together while the mums can catch up!
  • Tigerpants
    Tigerpants Posts: 47 Forumite
    Hello!
    First post here but just wanted to say that I totally agree with vacancesoleil, we went on holiday with them last year to France and they were great and the accommodation is very good too if you are staying in one of their tents. We stayed in three different sites and the standard was great in all of them. Another great company we have used is Eurocamp and their caravans can accommodate the larger family with very competitive prices too. The french are very good at offering discounts for larger families at touristy places too - the bayeux tapestry and futuroscope being just two that I can think of.

    We have travelled with the boys a fair bit recently and I am very sad to say that it is much easier to travel with them abroad than it is in this country. A lot of hotels abroad were happy to give us a rollaway bed in the room to save us having to book two separate rooms which as another poster said isn't always the most practical with younger children.

    I wanted to say thanks for the Hilton tip though we might give that a go!

    Also wanted to ask if anyone else has any experience of having more than two children in a travelodge room? We have always had to book two and were wanting to go up to London for a couple of days and it would be much easier and so much less expensive if we could book one room.

    Thanks in advance and I'll be watching this thread closely for hints and will give any if I can find them myself.

    TP
    In house moving hell :eek:
  • I have three kids now but as a child minder in the past i know how expensive days out can be so i have a good group of friends and we plan our days out together with so many adults and kids we can always get a group save to zoo's and theme parks alike most places only require a minimum of 9 to get a group save (and this works out cheaper than family tickets) you can check group requirements online. I find this works well as the kids get to have a fun day out at a fraction of the price which often means a visit to the other wise banned gift shop plus there with there friends so they all have someone there age to interact with and i have the other mums to keep me occupied as my partner is self employed so doesnt get paid to spend the day out with us! We also have various water play areas in Berkshire and around one being by the library in Windsor so you only pay for parking, another by the river at Runnymead and a new one that opened last summer in Staines. Again Sun holidays are always good especaily if you choose a park not to far away saving on fuel.
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