Lifesaving holiday hints

Posted July 5th, 2006 by Penny Wise

School holidays are here again and thank goodness I listened to the Simple Savings radio show last week! Naomi and Debbie reeled off a huge range of fantastic low cost ideas to keep the kids occupied. Perfect timing and exactly what we needed – while I am always drilling into my kids how lucky they are to have a Mum who works from home, I am still guilty of letting the days pass by without really doing anything with them. Not these holidays though! We are currently on day three of the Alphabet Holiday Program, recommended by Naomi and the mastermind of Briony Cross. You’ll find it in the Vault under Children>Activities and the title is ‘Cheap Holiday Activities as Easy as ABC’. It’s simple yet brilliant! On the first day of the holiday, you and the kids think of things you can do beginning with the letter ‘A’. We chose Art, Athletics and Apple bobbing – I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much! We looked through our activity books for inspiration for our art project and the boys decided they wanted to make papier mache heads. The kitchen bench was soon smothered in newspaper and gooey paste – and so were we! Two days later we are still waiting for the darn things to dry so we can paint them. Athletics in the back yard was hilarious, with events in high jump, long jump and gumboot throwing (we didn’t have a discus!) We decided to take the alphabet theme one step further and plan our meals around the day’s letter as well, so we had Apricot Chicken for dinner!

Yesterday was all about ‘B’ but our planned ball games and bike riding didn’t quite go to plan due to the rain. Luckily I had a flash of inspiration about seeing a recipe for bubble mix in the Vault (I think it’s called The Best Bubble Mix ever or similar – 10 cups of water mixed with a cup of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of glycerine) and we mixed it all up and found things around the house that we could use or modify to make bubble wands. The recipe made almost three litres, so it kept us all busy for ages. We tipped the leftovers into screw-top jars to use again later and the dregs were wonderful used after dinner (Burgers in Buns of course) for sparkling clean dishes!

After listening to the show I think I had better go and refresh my memory on some of the cleaning tips in the Vault. I had just gone out and bought a new bottle of wool wash that very day so I cringed later on to hear that I could have saved a heap by using a bottle of cheap shampoo instead! With a new puppy around I have certainly saved on buying expensive carpet cleaners thanks to the Vault – she’s actually very good in that department but the odd little accident is pretty much unavoidable. I found Dr Ian Billinghurst’s guest spot on the SS show the previous week very interesting and am looking forward to learning more about the BARF diet. With Ella’s ongoing arthritis, Dudley’s regular skin, ear and eye irritations and Tui’s garbage guts I’m willing to give anything a go to keep them happy and healthy and reduce those vet bills. I did actually have the books some years ago and I have to admit they never looked better than when on the BARF diet, but at the time I had nine dogs and we did find for that amount of animals that it was too time consuming and costly. However, times and circumstances have changed and I’m certainly willing to give it a go again if it benefits their health.

Anyway, I must depart, we’re off to start our ‘C’ day, which is going to see the movie ‘Cars’ – the boys don’t know yet, they’re going on a mystery tour! We always go to the small town cinema, it’s almost half the price of going to the bigger ones and of course we have learned through the Vault to take food from home – Corn (popped of course!), Chocolate and Coke – I think I’m going to need to go on the Cabbage diet after this!

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