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20 Ways to Save this Summer

You might be surprised at how many ways to save this summer… while still creating memories with your children over summer.

1. Go to bed early and wake up with the birds.

Go for a long day hike and pack a picnic to eat along the way. And remember these safety tips.

2. Camp in the backyard.

Use whatever camping gear you have or borrow what you might need from friends or neighbours.

3. Tree swings cost a lot less than swing sets and create life long memories.

Take on the challenge of making one and finding the perfect spot for it with the kids.

4. Find your closest council pool and head there on the hottest days.

Pack a picnic (if you are allowed) and it can be a low cost way to spend the day. Find a public swimming pool here.

5. Invest in a sprinkler head (check what your local water restrictions are).

Turn the sprinkler on each afternoon when the grumpies set in from the heat.

6. Did you know your local council library has DVDs?

You can borrow them for free, pop your own popcorn and make your own pizza for an inexpensive movie night.

7. Visit one of the free aquatic parklands in and around Brisbane.

The best time to go is in the early morning.  Take a pancake mix for an easy BBQ brekkie. Our favourite free swimming places around Brisbane – click here for full details.

  • South Bank Parklands, South Bank
  • Robelle Domain Springfield Central Parklands, Springfield Central
  • Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe
  • Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks
  • Wynnum Water Park, Wynnum

8. Have a family garage sale.

Let the children decide what they would like to sell and for how much.  They can use the money they make on a special experience.

9. Go to the beach

Keep a bag of swimmers, towels, binoculars and buckets ready for an impromptu romp at the beach.

10. Make sun tea.

Buy bulk quantities of black tea bags, remove the tags from 10 to 12 bags, and leave a large glass jug in the sun until the water turns amber.  Create your own tasty versions with flavours such as ‘Raspberry Zinger’. Try our other recipes too!

sun tea banner

11. Go pond skimming.

Take a small net and a clear plastic container and dip it in the water. You will be amazed at what creatures you find!

12. Kids love to contribute.

Put a list of jobs on the fridge with how much you are prepared to pay for them, and let the children choose what they would like to do.  Jobs could include – washing the car, sorting out photos, weeding and sweeping out the garage.

13. Let children paint favourite words on wooden boards and rocks with smooth surfaces.

Set these around the yard for inspiration.

14. Consider buying a yearly pass to a theme park, zoo or museum, or ask grandparents to buy them for the kids for their birthdays/Christmas.

Then if you pack your own food, you will enjoy a very reasonable day out over and over again.

15. Challenge your family to a ‘no spend weekend’.

You will be surprised with the ideas your kids come up with if you get them involved in the planning of the weekend.

16. Have a pyjama day.

Everybody has to stay in their PJs ALL day, so they will have to think of lots of things to keep occupied – board games, movies, baking etc.

17. Go Geocaching!

This is basically an outdoor treasure hunting game where you try to find hidden containers, called geocaches, using a GPS-enabled device. With more than 1.5m geocaches worldwide, you’re bound to find one near you or in an area you’re visiting. Learn more here.

18. Have your own personal Tour Guide for FREE in Brisbane!

Brisbane Greeters are locals who love living here so much that they are enthusiastic about introducing you to their city, and sharing their intimate knowledge. There are two types of greets offered through Brisbane Greeters: Greeter’s Choice or Your Choice.

19. Get your craft on.

Purchase some Christmas themed stamps at a Discount Shop and stamp them onto rolls of brown paper.  It will keep the kids occupied and save money on Christmas wrapping paper. Check out our craft activities here.

20. Check our online calendar & vouchers for heaps of free or low cost activities.

You can find our discounts codes and coupons article here.

We have links to your local Council sites, which offer a huge range of free activities. We also add events daily so you can plan your holidays and save as much money as possible. Click here!

This article was published in Issue 13 of our print magazine, December 2015/January 2016.

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “20 Ways to Save this Summer”

  1. My kids are a bit old for some of these but you can’t beat a pool or free Council activity that’s for sure. And as teens they love PJ days, just sleeping in, late breakfast/brunch, and watching telly/movies with the pets. Sometimes it is the simple things. I’m loving the vouchers too – bonus! Thanks for sharing.


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