Young boy cooking with mum and dad

Keeping Kids Happy Without Blowing the Budget

School holidays throw all sorts of unexpected costs into the mix. Luckily there are lots of ways to get the most out of your summer without spending a fortune

After another school year disrupted by Covid, the long summer is stretching out in front of deserving kids. Fortunately the government has extended its Covid support scheme until September. Councils in England now have extra funding to support families on low incomes.

Part of this funding will go towards holiday clubs and healthy food for children over the summer holidays. If your child receives free school meals, it’s likely you’ll be able to access food vouchers. And they may automatically be offered a place in a holiday club.

Speak to your local council who can help you with the application process.

Fun with Food

If your finances are stretched, the last thing you want is for precious food to end up in the bin. But, as parents know only too well, getting children to eat what’s in front of them can be tricky. Search out some cash-savvy cookery bloggers and websites and get the kids involved in cooking. They’re far more likely to eat a meal they’ve had a hand in preparing, plus it’s a great opportunity to discuss things like the cost of different foods and healthy choices.

Quids in! Top Tips:

Meal-planning is vital. Start with any items you have in the kitchen that you want to use up, then do a quick check of what you’ll need for the week. It’s a good idea to draw up a recipe bank of the meals you return to again and again – it can be really handy for planning.

  • Love Food Hate Waste is a great resource packed with ideas for creating new meals out of leftovers and scraps. You can sort recipes by cooking time and skill level – and you may find yourself squeezing an extra meal out of your weekly budget.
  • Keep an eye too on Olio, which lets people give away food they’re not going to use to others in their area. That could be another meal taken care of!
  • Sometimes, though, we just want a treat. Apps like Too Good To Go share details of food that outlets need to get rid of – for a fraction of its usual cost. You won’t know exactly what you’re getting but you could snap up a bag of pastries and sandwiches from Costa for around £3 for example.
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