Since we’ve just splashed out on our family holiday and we’re starting our home renovation in January, we’ve decided it’s time to tighten our purse strings in the run up to Christmas and start saving some money.
We were recently asked to take part in Scottish Friendly’s No Spend Weekend, which involved us attempting a weekend of free activities.
Our weekends can be quite costly and are usually made up of eating out, shopping, takeaways and visiting pricey family attractions. So I was looking forward to seeing what activities we could take part in and if we could still have the same amount of fun for next to nothing.
Saturday AM: A trip to our local farm park
For a low cost family day out, farm parks are a great option and they seem to be cropping up everywhere across the UK. I discovered that our local farm park is totally free during term time, so we decided to head there on the Saturday. Taylor loves animals and she had so much fun feeding them.
A lot of farm parks also have additional activities to keep the little ones entertained. Our local one has ride on cars, an obstacle course, a climbing wall and various outdoor games.
After our walk around the trail, we headed to the onsite farm shop where we bought a pumpkin for our afternoon activity…
Saturday PM: Pumpkin carving
Seasonal craft activities are a brilliant way of keeping kids entertained for next to nothing. Of course with halloween coming up, it seemed only right to spend an afternoon pumpkin carving!
Sunday AM: Nature Trail at Lickey Hills Country Park
We’re so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful countryside in the West Midlands. One of our favourite places to visit is the Lickey Hills Country Park, which is perfect for a Sunday walk.
We arranged to meet my sister/brother in law there and Taylor’s cousins.
I love how much fun kids (and adults!) can have outdoors with a little bit of imagination. We decided to create a nature trail for the kids giving them tasks and items to find in the woods. They had a great time on their mini missions and also learnt a few things away from the classroom.
We also took along some gold chocolate coins which we would ‘plant’ on the trail for them to find. We told them the trolls had left them behind – I’m not sure if they believed us or not, but at least they pretended too!
But their favourite task was building a den in the woods with twigs and branches they collected. The dads seemed to enjoy it quite a lot too!
Sunday PM: Home cooking and Disney
We usually head out for a roast every Sunday, but instead we headed home after our morning outdoors. I’d made a beef stew in the slow cooker and it was so nice to return to. We all sat at the dining table and tucked in – it cost us a fraction of the price we would spend eating out, it was just as tasty and we had just as much fun eating it!
I’m not much of a baker, but I decided to get the apron out and bake a chocolate cake with our toddler. She loves baking and chocolate, so this combination was a winner! I’m not sure if we enjoyed baking the cake more, or eating it whilst on the sofa watching Frozen. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
We had such a fun family weekend – and the only money we spent was £3 on a pumpkin! This is in comparison to our usual weekends when we definitely spend in excess of £100.
If you haven’t tried a no spend weekend yourself, it’s definitely worth doing. Not only did we save money but we also discovered new local attractions and had fun being creative with our time.
Would you try a No Spend Weekend? What are your tips for saving money?