There’s always plenty of activities on offer for families, but the costs soon add up. If your budget is at breaking point, try these excellent ideas for free or almost-free family fun from North Shore Mum Tricia McKay.
Living in Sydney is expensive as it is, and since we became a one-income family, I’ve realised just how easy it is for the budget to spiral out of control. With a bit more time spent on planning though, I’ve been able to find cheap alternatives for outings for our family of three. Here are a few fun family ideas on a budget – less is more has never been so exciting!
1. Explore Nature
We’re so lucky to live in the North Shore so close to the National Park where there’s an abundance of natural beauty and exploring it doesn’t cost a thing. We live near the bush so we’ve been enjoying leisurely bush walks on the weekends.
Tip: Getting the kids involved to look after a veggie garden is another fun, cheap and easy activity that you can combine whilst having them help you cook.
2. Get the kids in the kitchen
This one is cheap, easy and sets children up to be safe in the kitchen as they grow older. It’s easy for kids of any age to enjoy this timeless activity (my son loves to stir cake mix and lick the spoon!) while older children can even do some of the cooking themselves. Try choosing a theme for the day, e.g. Mexican Feast, so the whole family can work together before enjoying the meal when it’s done.
3. Go Bargain Shopping Together
Shopping with the family can be expensive, but setting a $5 limit per person and seeing who can buy the most creative/weird/funny item in a timeframe is a great way to save money, spend time together and laugh until your stomachs hurt.
4. Look into a holiday package
With the range of free activities available it’s easy to forget that taking a trip away can still be done on a tight budget. When we traveled to Fiji last year, we booked a package which included flights, accommodation and all our meals. Exploring the range of holiday packages available can mean finding a great deal at a great discount allowing for quality family time on a budget. The payoff is an unforgettable holiday experience.
5. Learn something new
This is something my friend does with her kids and I can’t wait to try when my son is older. Basically, you pick a type of exotic food your kids have never tried then find a cheap takeaway shop to get their tastebuds tingling. Whether it’s Chinese or Italian, when have the family research that country and find it on a map. You’ll be helping to expand their palate and their education in one cheap and simple swoop. Brilliant!
More on money matters…
Do you have any ideas for budget-friendly family outings too?