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Tell us how you save money in the school holidays & WIN!


***This competition has now ended and the winner has been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered, there were lots of great tips so it was a difficult choice. Congratulations to our winner Julie with her tips on free Facebook events!***

Check out the tips below.

Win a Garden Games Set - contact us with your top tip on how to save money during the school holidays!

We all know that the school holidays can be super expensive, so wouldn't it be great if you could save a few pounds here and there and still make the most of the Summer with your kids? From meals to days out and everything in between, we want to know how you grab a bargain and save yourself some cash.

To enter for your chance to win this Garden Games Set:

  1. Tell us your money-saving tip on how to save money during the school holidays
  2. We'll gather all the tips and choose our favourite
  3. The winner will be announced here!

save money on school holidays sports day set


About the prize:

You can win this fabulous Garden Games Set. Complete with 4 fun sacks, eggs & spoons and bean bags, 2 ankle straps, start and finish lines, this will keep your kids entertained for hours. What's more, your tip will be featured on our site in a series of upcoming money-saving tips - how exciting!

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Top tips on saving money during the school holidays so far:

We are lucky as we're not too far from Mersea, where there is a great big green for the kids to run about and play their games. They can also walk along the beach looking for fossils and sharks teeth and rock pools to find all sorts of creatures. Then we go crabbing where they love to see who catches the most, then back to picnic in the field cooking bangers on our camping stove and more games before we fall, worn out, into the car, absolute heaven of a day. All for the cost of the carpark fee which is about £4 for the day. The salt pool at Tollesbury is another good find, where children can swim safely all day in a pool that is filled with sea water and there's plenty of sand to build sandcastles and play in. There is also a purpose built barbecue so you can cook your own burgers etc. and tables and benches to sit at. Lovely scenery and its great relaxing and watching the kids really enjoy themselves and apart from food, its free!! - Jan 


Never pay full price for anything . Use coupons / money off making money go further :) - Coupon Mum of 3 


Look out for free local events on Facebook. For example we've been to free Beach Day events and the kids went on bouncy castles, trampolines, donkey rides, did crafts and played with sand on a giant sandpit. All for free and it was local. The kids got plenty of exercise and fresh air - Julie 


Always plan ahead, take packed lunches with you to cut down on food cost and use the internet to research your local areas events there are always lots of free or cheap events put on during the holiday times - Nakita


Always save coupons from cereal boxes or go on line to find good deals got flamingo land buy one get one free plus meal fantastic offer and saving - Ray and Kath 


Get a group of parents together to visit local activities. Share the transport and buy group tickets. The kids will play together so there will be fewer arguments etc. - Lynn


Find lots of free things in the area and limit it to one paid thing a week - Eleyne 


I set goals for all my three kids, house chores, doing their holiday package work and making sure their rooms are tidy. By the time they are done, they are always too tired to want to go out. We also plan picnics so they are not in the house the whole day and play dates with their friend so that keeps our budget low for holidays but having fun together as a family - Leah 


Take snacks and drinks so you are not tempted to spend money on these whilst on a day out - Caroline 


I plant vegetable and fruit seeds early in the summer (tomatoes, peppers, etc.), and they're ready to enjoy rather quickly if you look after them properly :D  - Rowena


Take turns holding play dates and dinner with your children's friends, swapping parent duties everyday with each parent taking a day to provide food, fun and supervision :) - Renee 


The great outdoors cost nothing take kids on nature trail with pen and paper and write down how many different animals/creepy crawlies the can find/see winner receives a wee treat or take a picnic down the park and play rounders hide and seek skittles etc. Just some old fashioned games to keep your little ones happy if its raining play in door games paint or even do a rainy day treasure hunt the list is endless and cost nothing but your free time - Michelle 


Budgeting on the shopping , finding discounts for days out - Iain


Plan events for the family in advance. Create treasure hunts in the garden/local park - costs nothing more than a small prize. Have fun making pizza at home - healthier and fun. Never take your children shopping - share childcare with friends/family, to stop the 'I want.' Purchase uniforms from second hand sellers and most of all go out puddle jumping in the rain - Carol  


Take drinks and food/snacks whenever you go! Everything costs a fortune if your buying when your out - Lauren


My biggest tip is to always take a picnic and plenty of drinks out with you. If you end up coming home before lunch, then the kids get a carpet picnic instead. Food and drink is so expensive, use what you have at home and just treat the kids to an ice cream - Anonymous 


To save money we do things that are free, so we do crafts, trips to the park, walk into the woods to explore, bike rides, picnics :) There's loads to do where you don't have to spend money - Anonymous 


Make fun at home instead of going to the cinema, have an outdoor movie night in the garden, instead of going out to eat, make a delicious, special and fancy meal at home, etc. - Julie


My kids love to go exploring, try new areas you haven't been before, walk in the woods to see different wildlife or plants. Just remember the route you took, mind you, part of the fun is seeing who took the most notice and can direct the route back again. Doesn't cost a penny to go roaming but may find a nice place for a small picnic at the same time. Remember to take drinks though, can be thirsty work especially if hot - Jane 


We always take a picnic rather than buy food while we are out. The kids get to make their own sandwiches with whatever filling they want and we take a 2 litre bottle of fizzy drink and plastic cups so we don't need to buy expensive cans - Anonymous 


Pack a picnic, it's so much cheaper than buying food when you are out - Katrina


I use the website "TrustedHouseSitters", which means we get free accommodation on holiday in exchange for looking after someone's house and pet, which is great because my family love's animals! Certainly helps with the high costs of holidaying during the school break - Julie


You cant beat nature walks, picnic in the park or just days playing in the great outdoors - fun doesn't have to cost anything - Jodie 


Buy a cheap end of line roll of wallpaper (for 50P) and let the kids go art crazy. In good weather you can pin it to the fence outside and let them use rollers and big brushes to create amazing art work or indoors you can cut into smaller pieces and the possibilities are endless... Paper dolls, road maps - Judith


I save money by thinking up activities that are free to do. A walk in the woods with a checklist of insects and plants to spot is fun. Helping around the garden and general running around games in the sunshine. If the weather is bad there are loads of free things to occupy little ones. Noughts and crosses, hangman, stories etc. You just need imagination - Emma


My kids eat a ridiculous amount of lolly ices during the summer holidays, so we make our own. Buy one set of moulds, and freeze any kind of juice - Catherine


The local Library is a great place to visit on a rainy day. Plenty of 'free' books and children's activities, all year round, not just during the school holidays. So, sign the kids up for a library ticket - Rob and Nikki 


Prep the kids for back to school! I like to buy folders bulk online for lower prices and decorate them with recycled bits and bobs! Cost effective, environmentally friendly, time consuming and PRODUCTIVE! - Holly


Plan in advance to book things at a discount and turn chores into fun games for cheap entertainment  - Mrs Sardines


Walk to places instead of driving, don't use car parks - Anonymous  


Pound shops are great - Anonymous


Wait for the sales - Anonymous 


Picnics let the children participate in making the buttys choosing the drinks. Always have a frisbee football kite with you. Look at local events usually advertised in your library. They offer free activities through the holidays - Lin  


Make own bubbles with w up liquid and make a wand for it with pipe cleaners toilet tubes and glue make binoculars and see what the kids can see and write it down make own water guns with plastic milk bottles there is loads u can do make your own sports day - Anonymous 


I make lots of time with my children, making models doing lots of arts and crafts with egg boxes cereal boxes etc. They love cutting, sticking gluing and even glittering things. I make time and play out with them they enjoy parents company and when we give them time they love it Their favourite game is tig. I bake cakes with my little ones instead of quickly making it my self I encourage them to join in and make it with me we have picnics outside in our tent they enjoy this a lot we make everything home made and the kids help we make home made fruit and cheese sticks, sandwiches, pizzas and ice pops for later

We make ice pops they enjoy making different colours and flavours and we also enjoy time at the park, which they love the best.  We enjoy watching movies together at home with popcorn

Maintaining these ways helps you save money but also they are brilliant ways of spending time with your children with the things they like to do
Which doesn't cost a lot.  - Syeda 


I go to the local library for free activities for the kids and free books to borrow . Take sandwiches and drinks from home so we don't have to buy them and walk a lot so the kids can explore and also have fun. - Anonymous 


Always take some snacks (fruit, treats, etc.) and drinks with you from home and throw in your bag. Buying the when out and about is usually more expensive and the fun doesn't have to stop to find a shop! Just stock up with multi packs when at the supermarket. - Anonymous 


We save money in the school holidays by going to free places like the park for a picnic, making camps in the garden. Batch cooking with the kids is a good idea too. - Anonymous 


Set up play dates at different people's houses so it feels like an adventure. Include assault courses and areas to hide in. Suitable for all weathers and ages. As mine is about to start school it enables him to get to know those he will go to school with and can stay in touch with those he was at nursery with. This works best if you are rotating houses so one parent does not go insane ???? - Anonymous 


Go out with your family for beach walks and take packed lunches. NEVER buy ice cream at the beach, it's a total rip off! - Daniel 


When I go shopping I put my savings in Demi John Bottles, one is full on to the 2nd now. Example last week, my regular teabags had x £2 off the box only £3.50 instead of £5.50p, I bought x 2 boxes, so saved £4 on tea bags, when I got home the Teabags went away and £4 went into my bottle. Its good as you don't really miss it.. I didn't really need the teabags this week, so the boxes were put away till I need them - Audrie


Stay at home with the kids get some snacks rent some DVDs sit in front of the telly and enjoy, it won't cost a fortune. - Hazel 

I saved money by using coupons and free events - Jess

Keep informed about all the local attractions as many tend to be free, or at least very cheap - Anonymous