Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • By COOLTRIKERCHICK 7th Jul 07, 7:48 AM
    • 10,422Posts
    • 58,367Thanks
    nearly summer hols how to have an os school hols
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 07, 7:48 AM
    nearly summer hols how to have an os school hols 7th Jul 07 at 7:48 AM
    not long before the kids are on their 6 week hols....

    i allways have mixed feelings ..about this.. i LOVE having the kids home i must admit.... even though most of the time i got to act as refere..( sp)...

    but this time of the year it seems as though their apetites seem to explode and my food budget is just totally blown out of the i end up not really knowing how much i have spend .....

    whether its because will all the arguing and bickering... and the plaguing i end up caving in more times and we end up eating more take aways ... going on days out..... and they are moaning that they are hungry all the time ....i dont know..i also used to buy more nibble things for the cupboards

    this year i have tried holding some money back so i will have a bigger food budget.. but some how i think that its just going to go out the window...

    my boys are 11 and 12 yrs.. but they eat like adults.... well more so to be honest i think they must have hollow legs

    so have any of you got any plans for budgeting etc for the school hols... and how much have you increased you food budget by ?

    i normally work on a week by week basis, but i think for the school hols i will take cash out of the bank put it into an empty tin.. and that will be it until they go back to school...

    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 10-07-2007 at 5:05 PM.
    Work to live= not live to work
Page 1
    • mumoftwo
    • By mumoftwo 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    • 1,907 Posts
    • 11,491 Thanks
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    It seems to me that you have already budgeted for this. Well done. I feel exactly the same, I have two girls 13 and 11 and they constantly ask for stuff, nightmare if I take them shopping. I ordered Asda online to stop them from filling my trolley with junk food and extras we don't need.

    Kids are already off school here in Scotland, we have had one week already!

    I baked some cookies yesterday and plan to involve them with some baking during the holidays especially since the weather has been rubbish. If your boys are not into cooking, maybe let them look through some of your recipe books and pick something they like you to make.

    I would love to hear too how other parents manage.. Unlike you I haven't even budgetted for the extra food bill. oh well, I am sure we'll manage, we always do
    • Becles
    • By Becles 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    • 12,894 Posts
    • 26,372 Thanks
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 07, 8:41 AM
    I stock up on Value crisps, biscuits, ice lollies etc., as my sons have a habit of offering them to various children they happen to be playing with!
    Here I go again on my own....
  • Queenie
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 07, 9:06 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 07, 9:06 AM
    My food budget doesn't alter - what gets used for packed lunches gets put into picnics for days out. Main meals this time of year are often salad based (rice salads, pasta salads, couscous), so they get put into picnics if a more substantial 'meal' is needed. Likewise with the bbq. Instead of a roast chicken, weather permitting, it will be spatchcock chicken on the bbq or chicken on a beer can.
    Instead of pizza's - it might be calzones.
    Instead of casseroles - it becomes kebabs

    My lads are 11 and 13 and I know what you mean about hollow legs Oat based biscuits and cakes (flapjacks, jam crumblies) do seem to 'stick' to their bellies a bit longer than say biscuits or crisps.

    Outings will be local - been checking out what's on and what's free/cheap; so menu plans will be tailored around that. So, lots of picnic lunches

    School days I provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and a couple of snacks (mid morn/afternoon)
    School holidays I provide b, l, d + 2 snacks. So, the 'budget' remains the same.

    Boredom and thirst are often triggers for feeling peckish, so by trying to keep those at bay, I feel I'm on a win-win
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
    • lil_me
    • By lil_me 7th Jul 07, 9:29 AM
    • 13,142 Posts
    • 115,691 Thanks
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 07, 9:29 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 07, 9:29 AM
    This year I plan to change things, I did do it towards the end of last years hols but not all the way through. I also provide packed lunches when they are at school for DS1 but DS2 usually has school dinner. Some schools of course in Scotland have aready finished, same with some effected by the flooding. I am working on spending less this month actually rather than more which is kind of scary, I haven't set the budget for August yet, going to see how this month goes first then work from there, but I am going to try to reduce it again to push myself more. Good point with the 'feeding the street' might do that myself, last week my DSs gave out my Magnums to half the kids in the street, need some cheap/hm lollies in there!!! Another hazard for popping to the shop or when the icecream van is there is the other kids expect to be bought for, I sent DS2 to the van for a lolly for him and his brother last year with a £10 note, he came back with £3 as other kids said 'I'll have xx, xxx and xxx' then he was left to pay for it. I will NEVER do that again.

    Plan so far includes
    • Packed lunches for days out, occasional treat for lunch out if I have vouchers etc. Drinks I find are the biggest extra cost on days out, I remember totalling up one day on a trip we had and we'd spent £15 just on drinks. I now have sports bottles for the boys and us that we fill up.
    • Have saved Tesco days out vouchers myself and bought some cheaply off ebay (shopping less in Tesco means less vouchers)
    • Searching for 2 for one offers etc on days out, free days out etc
    • Having Icecream and Lollies in so can say no when icecream van comes round, it's quite amazing that lately when I've said 'No there is some in the freezer' they don't want one any more!
    • Trampoline, swings etc in the garden so less having to drive to the park (isn't one for a few miles) Aswell as this bat and balls sets, footballs etc all there.
    • Rainy day box, this is coming along nicely with crafts stuff and bits and pieces for making pictures etc, packs of playing cards, will be making some play doh aswell. Also some kids friendly recipes for them to help with.
    • Online shopping when need supermarket stuff where possible, farm shop trip for meat last week of term as I will be running the freezer down until then, hopefully be able to fit enough for the hols in then.
    • Trying to stick to meal plan where possible, days may be switched but that is all.
    • Baking days, rainy days will most likely be the baking days, I will also have to 'hide' the treats, more so from DP usually than the children.
    • Saying no to other kids, I got very angry last year when some kids were here from 8am until late at night, inc expecting all meals and parents didn't even check where they were, youngest wasn't even 4 and I was having to take them home late at night, to find their ignorant parents either drinking in the garden, gone out so had to find grandparents etc or even in bed. This year I will be MUCH firmer, this isn't a babysitting service it's my home.
    Well that is the plan anyway, if it works or not is a different matter.
    Last edited by lil_me; 07-07-2007 at 9:36 AM.
    One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
    GC: £200
    Slinkies target 2018 - another 70lb off (half way to what the NHS says) so far 25lb
  • moanymoany
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:19 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:19 PM
    I think lil-me has the right idea. Plans are the key, not only for mum to have a less stressful time, but for the kids to have more fun. I remember that cry of having nothing to do!

    I have a couple of fairly healthy recipes that are quite easy to make and are good fillers. The other good old fave for my kids was sandwiches. Sandwich spread is easy and tasty and more especially, easy for the kids to do themselves.

    The 2 cake recipes:
    Jam buns
    8 oz SR flour 4 oz sugar
    3 oz marge milk to mix

    Rub the marge into the flour until it looks like breadcrumds.
    Add the sugar and mix it in.
    mix with a tablespoon of milk at a time until you have a stiff dough.
    get bits of dough the size of golf balls, make them round and put on a greased tin or baking parchment.
    make a hole in all of them.
    put in about a teaspoonful of jam.
    bake for 15 - 20 minutes at about 180c

    Rock Buns
    12 oz SR flour 4 oz mixed fruit
    6 oz marge 6 oz sugar
    1 egg milk to mix

    Rub marge into the flour as for jam buns.
    add the sugar and dried fruit.
    add the egg and enough milk to make a stiff dough.
    put into rocky heaps on a tin
    bake at 180c for about 15 - 20 minutes.

    You can use desiccated coconut instead of dried fruit.

    These recipes don't mind if the dough is not perfect and they are very good for kids to do.

    One idea it to get some scrap books and ask on freecycle for old magazines.

    Jigsaws from charity shops

    Books from freecycle or charity shops/boot sales
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:56 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:56 PM
    Through the holidays, I do more bacon sarnies or eggs on toast etc for breakfast, but as I always have these in they dont really cost extra.

    DD drinks mainly water or watery squash, but we do go through more fruit juice in the holidays.

    Wherever we go, even if its just to the shops (BW or Thurrock etc) to snack on (fruit, flapjack etc) and take bottles of water (from tap) everywhere!

    We go to Colchester zoo at least twice through the 6 weeks holidays as DD has a 2 yr pass, so she is free in OH & I get in for £4 each. Always take a packed lunch with us and a flask as their food is quite limited and pricey. We freeze bottles of water to keep the food cold in the bag.

    We go to the beach and parks a few times too and again take a packed lunch.

    I have vouchers for Burger King on their meal deals..2 meals for £5 etc as a treat if we go out somewhere and if we are out we try to find a local fish and chip shop as a large portion of Cod & Chips will do all 3 of us with a roll each and will onlt cost £5 roughly.

    My family live by the coast, so we will visit them a couple of times, which is totally free


    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    • lil_me
    • By lil_me 7th Jul 07, 12:59 PM
    • 13,142 Posts
    • 115,691 Thanks
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:59 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 07, 12:59 PM
    Oh yes, one of my 20 weeks challenge things will fit in well with this, the photos. Going to make some photo albums which I will get the boys to help with on rainy days.

    Thanks for those recipes, DP been moaning on for rock buns lately so I will make some of those.

    PP I've known me just to take rolls on a day out to do a similar thing, forgot about that, salt and ketchup sachets from places where it is free kept in the car aswell, went to one chip shop and was 25p a sachet! DS1 likes sauce but I wouldn't pay that for it!

    Freezing water is a great idea, even when we are just going to the quad tracks I usually freeze a 3 litre bottle with cordial and water in, this goes into the cool bag with the food, keeps the food cold and as it melts makes a lovely refreshing drink.
    Last edited by lil_me; 07-07-2007 at 1:06 PM.
    One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
    GC: £200
    Slinkies target 2018 - another 70lb off (half way to what the NHS says) so far 25lb
  • nearlynewbie
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 07, 3:42 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 07, 3:42 PM
    Hi > I love the summer hols with my kids as well! They are now 14,13,11 & 9 . The 13yr old is 6ft already and both the older boys eat like ravenous adults. I will try and keep up with making home made rolls- with home made jam/marmalade they always fill a few corners.
    We try and do our holidays OS (preparing them for everything the middle of the last century has to throw at them!)

    Big find of the day: My old boys have Wimbledon fever and the local courts seem to be free this year!!! DS 1 had friend over and the 3 of them played 3 hours of tennis (Home for lunch, baked beans on toast with optional fried egg on top - then large slices of water melon from market). All in all a cheap day.

    I agree about drinks. My kids have to take their own water bottles with them everywhere, You can spend a fortune without thinking about it otherwise.

    The reading challenge at the local libary has been a great source of OS entertainment in previous years.Both the younger 2 will enjoy it this year (stickers for each book you read klots of input from the librarians etc) DS2 is reading ravenously as well so frequent trips are definatey on the agenda.
  • Rachel021967
    My girls when they were younger loved going to a Pick Your Own during the summer holidays. I don't drive so we would take the train. I would take a lunch and drinks and pudding would be strawberries from the field.
    • lil_me
    • By lil_me 7th Jul 07, 7:10 PM
    • 13,142 Posts
    • 115,691 Thanks
    PYO is something I'd forgotten about, my son mentioned it yesterday, will have to think of something coax DS2 into thinking it's a good idea as he doesn't like berry fruits.

    Some sports centres (local authority ones that I know of but maybe others) do programmes of activities over the summer holidays, the one here charges but not a lot.
    Last edited by lil_me; 07-07-2007 at 7:14 PM.
    One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
    GC: £200
    Slinkies target 2018 - another 70lb off (half way to what the NHS says) so far 25lb
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 7th Jul 07, 7:20 PM
    • 20,569 Posts
    • 34,393 Thanks
    I got fed up of the demands for something from ice cream van a few weeks ago. I now keep in ice cream cones, ice cream, flavoured dessert sauce and hundred and thousands. The kids can then make their own ice cream up. I've found that I use less ice cream putting it on a cone than in a dish, so a tub is going further too.
  • dee mum of 3
    whilst food doesnt seem to be to much of a problem cos i home school 2 children with 1 at secondary altho that will change in sept 2 at secondary 1 at home,so my kids eat all the time anyway......i buy icepops and cheaper crisp and stuff melons off the market .......its the activities busfares and trips out are expensive so this year im hoping to visit various parks etc and have 1 planned trip each week so hopefully swimming one day and then parks and stuff the rest of the time funnily enough one of the daftest things kept mine and several other kids happy in the hols.......a huge box from a tv what fun they had!! in fact we were away on holiday and it was raining and my kids were worried about the box in the garden would it be spoilt? fortunately another child realising the rain would spoil it came and put it in his dads shed so the boxsurvived the whol;e summer holiday............remember when you used to wear ya swimsuit all day and spray water from a washing up bottle at each other for hours on end?
    dee mum of 3 "before you buy ...think,how many hours have i worked to pay for this?,do i need it? or can i get it r&r in tesco!! hee heee
    • dlb
    • By dlb 11th Jul 07, 6:15 AM
    • 2,482 Posts
    • 22,017 Thanks
    I have 4 kids and love having them at home but it is true you have to be prepared from school hoildays.
    We are lucky enough to have in laws that live by the coast so we will be staying with them for 5 days of my dh 2 weeks off,This is great as mil will not let me buy any food whilst we stay so i can use the food budget that week for extra treats whilst we are away. We are going to the maize maze near where she lives, its £12 for a family ticket and we take a picnic with us.It takes over 6 hours to complete the maze and there are clues to find around the maze so you can enter the prize draw.There are hiden picnic areas throughout the maze so once we find one we sit and enjoy lunch.
    This is one thing we love doing since we first tried it a few years ago, its loads of fun and the kids dont realise just how far they have walked so they always fall to sleep early!!

    Other chaep ideas im hoping to do if weather holds are bbq and water fights.
    It is true about investing in garden toys, they save you a fourtune in long run and provide hours of fun, we have a 10ft pool and trampoline and are full day activites if the sun is shinning.

    Im looking forward to your ideas on this thread as im determind to stick to budget this year!
    Proud to be DEBT FREE AT LAST
  • Quackers
    My girls are 12 & 15 now so finding activities is hard work!!

    ONe thing they still love doing & its suitable for all ages is a Maize Maze.

    You can find some locations here :

    They take ages to complete & you can start all over again if you really want to:rolleyes:

    We take a picnic & have even eaten it in the middle of the maze

    They are usually on a farm so can be included with a PYO session too.

    The mazes usually have a theme & you have to solve a puzzle by finding the clues as you go around.

    They are suitable for all ages. My 4 yr old nephew loved finding the dinosaurs last year. I always enjoy it too

    Most locations provide smaller free activities too to 'fill out' the day

    Never too expensive. A couple of pounds each for a day out

    And finally, really good exercise.

    The website I listed gives lots of locations but if you google search 'maize maze' & your area you can find more I'm sure. We always try and locate one for when we go away in the UK too.

    Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold...But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow...
    • earthmother
    • By earthmother 11th Jul 07, 2:43 PM
    • 2,535 Posts
    • 5,460 Thanks
    It's worth a look at the local museums too - many have free (or very cheap) summer activities for the kids - treasure hunts, quizzes, craft sessions etc.

    And the museums themselves are normally free - kids often think of them as boring - but present them the right way and they are far from it.

    DFW Nerd no. 884 - Proud to be dealing with have dealt with my debts
    • Crazychik
    • By Crazychik 11th Jul 07, 3:32 PM
    • 1,986 Posts
    • 17,302 Thanks
    Thanks to the OP for the mention of this! And helping us to get prepared.

    I work mon-fri 10am-2pm, so not only do I have to budget for food, but, pay a baby sitter also.

    However. Im hoping this yr, that my son will take up on the local leisure centre "schools out" activity, its from ages 8-14. It starts at 10, finishes at 3. They are fully occupied with various sporting activites,and looked after by trained staff, at the cost of £3.50 a day. All they need is a packed lunch.

    DD is not old enough to do this yet, so in between my mum's days off from work, and the baby sitter, that should reduce my outgoings.

    For 2 weeks, they are going on holiday with their dad, so that will help things here.

    I still make pack lunches for them, when Im at work. I dont buy crisps, for the reason,thats all they could happily eat all day anyway. But buy plenty of fruit, dried fruit or crackers instead! They get a cooked meal when I come home!

    Due to my working hours, its hard to arrange days out, but we do tend to have a drive to Matlock or Carsington Waters some evenings and have a picnic and play in the park (weather permitting).

    Have fun everyone!
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • LizD
    • By LizD 11th Jul 07, 3:37 PM
    • 1,482 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Nestle are doing their activities again this year. Unless, of course, you don't buy their products:
  • save to spend!!
    hi how is every1
  • churchmouse
    Hi Lil_me if you are planning on day away trips then keep them as a surprise because you can bet if your wee darlings let the other kids know what your'e up to then there will be a queue of them wanting to tag along . I had a similar problem one hols as we have a Shetland pony, i offered " a ride "to someones kids, they were duly dumped on me for the whole day and yes meals etc had to included whilst mum went off... so if something happened i was left in the lurch. Now i say i can spare an hour and funnily enough they don't seem to want to come out!!!
    So good on you all you parents who make an effort for the summer Hols i know it isn't easy if you work and yes child care is expensive but Don't get used and abused because of your good natures. Enjoy your freetime with the Kids.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,812Posts Today

7,333Users online

Martin's Twitter