11 July 2007

School holiday savings

So far these holidays have been very, very frugal for us. Everything we have done (and we have done plenty) has been free or very low cost.

I put away (as part of our budget) $5 a week for school holiday treats so that extra food or videos or movies don’t eat up our entire entertainment budget and it works quite well.

So far we are half way through our two weeks and until today we hadn’t touched the treat money. I have been fighting the flu for about 10 days so the kids have had to keep themselves amused. And they have done well.

Hannah has had girlfriends over to play and have afternoon tea. They decorated some straw hats and filled them with pot pourri from the craft cupboard accompanied by lots and lots of giggles.

Then they helped to make the scones for afternoon tea (lemonade scones, 3 ingredients and really, really easy). With jam and cream and hot chocolate (made with powdered milk) they were a hit with the girls and the boys who came out of hiding as soon as the scones were out of the oven.

Of course Thomas had his sleepover with the boys and they almost ate me out of house and home but I didn’t have to do a grocery run, we made it through with food to spare. J

Today we splurged and went to the movies. We have a cinema about 10 minutes from us but tickets for the four of us there would cost $60, plus nibbles and a drink.

A quick look online and the movie we wanted to see was also showing at a cheaper cinema about 15 minutes from us. This cinema sells adult tickets for just $8.50 and children are children’s price until they are 15, so $7.50. I was able to get four tickets for $32, almost half price.

This worked out really well. I was able to buy my petrol from the independent discount service station (saved $2.80). We took drinks and popcorn to eat from home, avoiding the outrageous prices at the Candy Bar – saving about another $40.

While we were there I was able to run into Safeway and pick up two tins of Nescafe for just $12 a 500g tin, an excellent saving of $7 a tin. Wayne drinks instant coffee but he’ll only drink Nescafe and it can be expensive.

When the movie ended I was tempted to stop off in the food court and buy lunch. It was crowded and the selection didn’t really appeal to us so the kids decided mini pizzas at home would be just as good. Potential savings there about $30 and I was so proud of my three kids.

I have really enjoyed the holidays so far, in spite of the flu. And I have really enjoyed the fact that they have been very low cost.

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