When you think of summer what is that first thought that comes to mind? Sunny beaches? Sand on your toes? Long nights outside?
Not me. I immediately think of long days of arguing and fighting. You see, when you have 7 kiddos all very close in age, things tend to head south quickly around here. All of my kids are 10 or under. Lord help me!
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One of the first priorities I think of that is needed for Summer break is supplies. What do your kids consume over summer the most? This will differ for everyone, but give it a good thought.
If you are low income, like we are, summer can be a struggle financially. One way this past year we have saved a ton is by buying the "off" brands and stocking up on essentials through Amazon.
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I like to stock up on cereal and oatmeal for breakfasts. My kiddos qualify for free hot lunch during the school year which also includes breakfast, so they always eat breakfast and lunch at school. When school is out not only do I have to account for lunch but also breakfast. Yikes!
Eggs and pancake mix are essentials in this house. I buy a 5 dozen box of eggs that will usually last til the end of the month and they are cheap! Usually under $4.
Lunches usually consist of sandwiches of some sort. I get a big pack of lunch meat, tuna, mayo, stock up on jam and peanut butter, and a whole bunch of bread. Don't forget the mac & cheese!
Dinner's are planned for the entire month. I found this to be much easier to do now that we have a chest freezer, but if you don't have the room just plan out the month and only shop for half at a time. 😁
See related post: How I Meal Plan for my family of 9 on a Tight Budget
I'm sure the majority of you don't have as many kiddos as me so planning a month should be pretty easy comparatively.
I also like to make sure I have plenty of snacks. String cheese, carrots, crackers, fruit snacks, etc. Think grab and go and items that will keep longer.
Holy moly do we go through a ton of toilet paper! Costco is amazing if you have the space to store a bunch of stuff! Our little rental is not very well organized at the moment or are the storage spaces, but slowly getting there.
Items I like to make sure I have extra on hand besides toilet paper are things like shampoo, soap, hand soap, paper towels, sunscreen!(this is very important to me)I mean enough to have one with you at all times, and zip lock bags. I use the bags for lots of things, but mainly snacks for in the car or walks.
I've added this because just thinking about the amount of laundry I did this last week is enough to make an average person scream!
Be sure you have plenty of laundry soap and dryer sheets on hand. I've found a really mild soap at Costco that is Eco friendly and it's only $12 for a huge jug. We usually buy 4 at a time. Kids tend to get dirty more often when they play outside. LOL!
I also like to keep things like some good ole toilet bowl cleaner, garbage bags, and some good every day cleaner on
hand as well. Did you know Amazon has a brand called Solimo? So far all the products we have tried as a family have been great!
So you have your house stocked up. Now how do you keep them from driving you insane?
I wrote another blog post about boredom busters that you can read HERE, but here are some suggestions for getting your kiddos outside.
Go for a walk! This can easily be turned into a scavenger hunt or a game of I spy. (Get your free I Spy Printable here!)
Ride bikes. Have them draw maps and then try to follow them around your neighborhood. If your kids are older perhaps they can ride around the block.
Get them some bubbles or make your own with some dish soap!
Sidewalk chalk is a must! We go through a box a week around here if I'm not supervising! LOL!
Some kind of water play... We had a big blow-up pool from Costco last year and it served us well. Our little round sprinkler works well too!
Go camping!! My kids had the best time last summer being out of our element. (Camping with 7 kids...yeah, there's a blog post coming on that!)
Go to the local park or pool!
Have friends over for a barbecue.
Host a play date.
There is plenty to do inside as well. I have found what works the best in our house is rotating or having centers. This keeps the arguing and fighting to a minimum. These could be as follows.
This list could go on and on. I'm sure you know plenty of activities that your kiddos enjoy doing. You can decide on a time that works the best. I usually go for 15 - 30 min each activity.
I also want to note I still have a little one that takes a nap during the afternoon. During this time I have the other kids have "quiet" time and either go outside to play or lay on their beds and read etc.
The one other category that keeps my house running smoothly in the Summer is daily chores. I know that isn't fun, but something that actually needs to get done each day. Work before play!
I made a list of morning chores that my kids rotate through each month. During the school year they are only responsible for after dinner chores. I find this extra effort very helpful!
The other night my girls all sat on the living room floor and paired socks. Of all the laundry, the socks are my least favorite and I always save them til the end. We called it a sock party and that seemed to help keep them motivated. Well, that and my grandma offered them a penny for every pair they could find. LOL!
I think the trick to Summer when you have a limited budget is to make every moment count. I recall many moments from my childhood growing up and hope my kids will someday as well.
Have you joined my Jolly VIPS group on Facebook yet?
If you haven't CLICK HERE so you can help me pick whats next! I also have a poll posted in there right now about the next idea for my etsy shop!! I'd love your input!
Looking for the free printable? Grab it Here!
And please leave a comment with activities that work for your kids in the comments! ♥