This is a GUEST POST by Kirsty Lamont, Mozo.com.au‘s money expert.
Autumn is well and truly upon us, which means the leaves are beginning to turn and the first school holidays of the year are almost here. While trips to the cinema and bowling alley might be popular with the kids, they are less so with your bank account – especially when they can run into the hundreds of dollars when you add on with food and drinks. So why not make the most of the remaining warm days before winter with these guaranteed boredom busters that won’t break the bank these school holidays.
1. Plan a fruit-picking day trip
These holidays why not try something different by organising a school holiday fruit picking adventure with the kids. Not only is it a great way to get of the house, Autumn is also the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal delights like apples, stone fruit and even strawberries.
You’d be surprised just how much your kids will love the feeling of finding and picking their own fruit and given that many orchards won’t charge an entry fee for children (or around $5 if they do), you’ll be paying far less than you would for a family trip to the cinema – plus the snacks are a whole lot healthier! You’ll just need to pay for the fruit itself which, if you buy in bulk, could end up saving you money, or spur on a money-making spinoff for your kids like making jam and selling it at a street stand.
2. Get planting in the garden
Even if you can’t plan a berry picking adventure, why not nurture your children’s own green thumbs by getting them into the back garden these school holidays. This time of year is great for planting vegetables like beans, broccoli and spinach and if you’re short of space you could even set up a small herb garden on your balcony with favourites like coriander and parsley (which are also optimal for Autumn planting). Best of all, seeds and seedlings shouldn’t set you back more than $5 and you’ll get the added bonus of homegrown produce.
Aside from nurturing their gardening skills, spending a day planting outside could encourage your kids to get off their tablets and consoles which will help you cut down those pricey winter energy bills.
3. Host a backyard campout
There’s no beating a classic like the backyard campout – especially while it’s cold enough to deter the mozzies, but not too chilly to wake up with a layer of frost on the tent. Given that all you’ll need is a tent, some sleeping bags and a portable stove top, camping is an easy idea that won’t break the bank.
Of course nothing makes an authentic camping experience quite like toasted marshmallows, so why not give your own little campers a bit of control over their camping supplies by giving them $5 each to put towards choosing their snacks and drinks. But remember that pocket money is best earnt, so feel free to come up with some creative ideas for your campers to earn their feed – like stacking some firewood, cleaning up their supplies (doing the dishes) or getting their horses to trim the grass around camp (mow the lawn).