Every parent knows that entertaining the kids can be a costly exercise, especially during the summer and long school holidays. That’s why it’s vital to take notice of where your money is going during your family excursions. For many families, trips out mean busting the budget on expensive, unhealthy take away food. But with a little planning, you can cut your food costs in half while out with the family, leaving you with more money to spend on the things that count.
1) Do Your Research
A simple way to save money when out with the family is to do your research. Head online to look at the deals in your area. Many restaurants and cafés offer school holiday and afternoon specials you can take advantage of, including two for one deals and discount vouchers. If you’ve got a little one, keep an eye out for establishments where kids under 5 eat free.
2) Bring Drinks from Home
Free musical festivals and events often provide a great atmosphere for the kids. However, their drink prices are also notoriously high. Don’t pay $5 for a bottle of water or a weak coffee. Instead, prep your own drinks at home. Using Easy Pods, you can whip up your own café quality coffee in the kitchen in a flash. For the kids, recycle pop-top containers and fill them with water or fruit juice. You can even pop them in the freezer first for a thirst-fighting summer refreshment.
3) Eat Before Leaving the House
Studies show that shoppers who shop hungry spend more and make more impulse purchases. Think of your outings with the family the same way. If you leave the house without filling up on a hearty breakfast or lunch, you’ll be more willing to splash out on expensive snacks later in the day. Resist temptation by having a fun family brunch before you head out the door. Foods with slow-release carbohydrates, such as fresh fruits and steel-cut oats, will keep everyone feeling full for longer.
4) Combine Food and Entertainment
Generally a trip out involves both activity costs and food costs. You can combine the two by planning an event that incorporates both. Take the family out for a picnic at a free location, such as your local Botanic Gardens. Not only is there stacks to see and do, but you can also make memories with a picnic lunch in a picturesque courtyard or under a lush tree. Save money by using left-overs from the week’s dinners as food and cashing in on produce and deli deals at your preferred supermarket just before closing time.
Entertaining the family on a budget doesn’t need to be stressful. With a little forethought and a sprinkle of creativity, you can stop wasting money on food while out with the kids and use the extra cash to pay off a credit card or plan a family vacation.