1: Only buy wellies. The cheaper and more hideous the better. It’s all kids ever want to wear anyway, and saves time, (and arguments) in the morning.
2: “Smash” (instant mash potato) is cheaper and quicker than peeled, boiled, painstakingly mashed organic spuds, which your children will only refuse to eat it anyway.
3: Don’t bother with Pritt Stick glue. Just use the dried Weetabix from the highchairs. Works a treat. Can also be used to repair cracks in brick walls.
4: Pom bear crisps are always on offer at the supermarket. No, they are not organic, but they are cheap, and buy you ten minutes of peace and quiet (even longer if you sit on the packet first so they get all smashed up).
5: Use your children’s poorer drawings as wrapping paper. Grandparents love it and you don’t have to store them any longer. Win win.
6: Rather than booking costly swimming lessons, time your weekly visit to the pool with someone else’s lesson and (discreetly) copy what the teacher is doing with your own kids.
7: Wrap up toys they already own for Christmas. NB: This only really works for under-twos, where the real joy of a present lies in the wrapping paper.
8: Teach your children that if an ice cream van has its music on, it means all the ice creams are gone.
9: Of course Macdonald’s is a bad place to take children. There is no harm in taking the kids for a Mcplop in their loo however, and taking a (free) balloon with you on the way out.
10: Dress your children in too-big-clothes, thus making them look smaller. They get in all the “Under threes free” places for much longer this way.