Side Street Style: Embracing a No-spend Weekend

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

05/11/2017

Embracing a No-spend Weekend


exploring outdoors



As much as we love to explore further afield it can become pricey so during our down time we love to embrace simple weekends staying close to home and taking advantage of all the amazing things on our doorstep here in South Wales. Living a stone's throw away from the city can mean that even local days out can end up costing a fair amount so taking steps to be more frugal especially on the weekends is important. Luckily we have plenty of outdoor places to explore in and around Cardiff which makes a great base for low-cost days out. We had recently been set a challenge by Scottish Friendly to get as much out of a weekend for as little as possible and who doesn't like a challenge?


autumn fun



I thought the main thing we would struggle with was the little extras we pick up when we are out and about, such as coffee, a cheeky piece of cake or a sandwich. I always pack some apples, snacks and water but as we are often out over lunch time we do end up spending on food. This usually has something to do with the fact I am on my own with the two boys for half the weekend as John works Fridays and Saturdays and because of this I can be time short when it comes to preparing for a day out on top of getting myself and the boys ready so that was certainly something to focus on. Another factor is boredom and this can occasionally lead to spending money. Whilst we do embrace boredom as a chance to get creative and imaginative, with two young boys you don't want that to be the case for too long so having a plan to keep them entertained for each day is key.


autumn fun



Friday

I came to school pick up prepared with some granola bars, fruit and plenty to drink especially as the sun was out and it was turning into a perfect Autumn afternoon so we decided to head to one of the many beautiful parks in Cardiff for a stroll. We found a hill to run down and big piles of leaves to throw up in the air, we also searched for conkers but alas didn't find any although the boys did find some good climbing trees. We stayed out until past 6pm and it was a great way to start the weekend.


climbing trees


Saturday


In the morning we took things easy, we did a little bit of baking and the boys watched a few cartoons. We decided to have an early lunch together at home before heading out and in the process saving some money. After a little research we found one of our favourite conservation areas - Forest Farm was having an open ranger day with loads of free activities including pond dipping and apple picking the apple orchard. Forest Farm is a great place for families, with loads of riverside walks and bird hides and also connects to the Taff Trail which runs all the way from Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons. We had a fantastic day (despite the occasional rain shower) especially as there was also a little model train which my youngest was somewhat obsessed with as well as woodwork demonstrations, learning about pound life and the chance to turn apples into apple juice. We remembered to take a tote bag with us and filled it with apples to take home to make some crumble and apple pie. As the ranger day ended at 4pm we decided to walk along the Taff trail for a while and play poo sticks over one of the bridges across the River Taff, as well as get muddy during a serious puddle jumping session. Best of all is we didn't pay a penny for a whole day of fun.


Street Art



Sunday

Sunday mornings are always a little manic as my eldest has swimming lessons first thing and then we usually pop out for a bite to eat but we decided to head home first for lunch before settling on what to do. We decided to visit one of our favourite National Trust spots - Dyffryn Gardens, now I know what you may be thinking, yes National Trust properties do have an admission charge but we were given a yearly family pass a while back and we are trying to get the most out of it as possible. Going after lunchtime was perfect as it was nice and quiet, I also remembered to pack our flask instead of buying coffee (pat on the back to me). 


National Trust


The boys climbed more trees and ran through the wildflower meadow, I wish I had that much energy! This weekend was good for all of us in terms of getting out, getting active and spending some quality time together and I was really surprised at how much we packed in and how little we spent, besides petrol money we hardly had any additional outgoing. I think with anything diversity is key so having an array of activities whether at home or out an about is a good idea as most kids don't really weigh up a day's success on how much money was spent but rather on how much fun they had and we certainly had a lot.

For more money saving tips, check out Scottish Friendly’s blog here.



19 comments:

  1. Wow! You did so well. I just don't think we could ever do a no spend weekend sadly!

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  2. This looks like such a lovely weekend! Best thing is family time and it doesn’t have to cost much x

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  3. I'm all about living frugally too. It's all about making the best of where you live, isn't it? Regardless of whether you live in the country or the city. I love weekends like this one. Fun and yet, relaxing too :)

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  4. I love the idea of this as I spend way too much and generally spoil my kids at the weekend!

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  5. What a fab idea I love this especially in today's commercially driven world...you can sometimes have the best fun without spending sometimes we just need to be gently reminded of how which this post nicely does.

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  6. That sounds like a seriously cool weekend. There’s always bits and bobs to do for free if you put some research into it! :)

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  7. Great idea. You got to get a lot done and enjoying the outdoors too. Looks like fun. I know if we go out it ends up costing a bit for food out and things to do.

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  8. You did a great job! We always think carefully about the money will spend. We are National Trust Members and that means we can always go for a day out knowing that we've already paid for it. But we do like a cheeky slice of cake when we are there!

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  9. Lovely post. Just goes to show that you don't have to spend loads of money to have a good time. I'll share this post with my wife 😀

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  10. I love the idea of this challenge and this it is a great way to find some of the simple pleasures in life. I'm going to try a budget weekend this weekend and see what we can get up to on a budget.

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  11. I love how you show you don't need money to have a good time!

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  12. Saving for a house means I have many a 'no spend weekends' unfortunately, hah!

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  13. Lovely post Hun. Looks like you all had a lovely weekend :) x

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  14. I have many no spend weekends. Learning to be frugal.

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  15. A no spend weekend is something I need to implement more although to be fair I spend money on rent, bills and travel and never have any money left over LOL. Btw loved the street art snail photo x

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  16. We are so lucky where we live that we have forest, heath and beach almost on our doorstep which are all free to visit

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  17. I don't think I'd manage a completely cost free weekend - but it seems like a good idea to try. There are some great free natural resources out there - really good to explore them!

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  18. Some lovely local places to explore. The parks around Cardiff look lovely and that free ranger day sounds educational and fun for all. It just goes to show you really can have a cheap weekend especially if you can cut down on the food and drink purchases out.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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  19. You certainly packed a lot into your no spend weekend! Food and drink purchases is always my downfall as well - your post makes me think that I really should be more organised with packing food. The puddle jumping and collecting leaves looks like fun :-) #countrykids

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Lovely comments

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