Cut The Cost At Gift Shops This Half-Term

With half term on the horizon, many of you will already be pulling together ideas to entertain the kids. Listening to them telling you “I’m bored” and “I want this/that/the other”  is enough to drive anybody loopy, so days out at Theme Parks and the like, can be quite appealing.

What quickly takes the shine off these place is the cost. Before you have even done a full circuit of the place, costs have already racked up on travel and food. What doesn’t help is the ‘exit-through-the-gift-shop’ trail you have to adhere to!

My brother and his wife recently took their 2 boys to Harry Potter World.  The boys are huge fans so knew they would enjoy it there but I had also read that the products being sold at the giftshop were super expensive. A small Chocolate Frog will set you back £8 for one (slimy cretin), House Jumpers are £74 and basic Wands are £25 to name a few. That wizard has a lot to answer for…

This prompted me to get crafty in efforts to save them a bit of cash. This is something you could easily adapt to wherever you are going, just follow the theme.

Pentax Digital Camera   Pentax Digital Camera

I picked up these plain canvas goodies bags for around £1 each. I then used my vinyl cutter (you could use a simple craft knife) to cut out their names on heat transfer vinyl (costs around £4 a sheet). After ironing these on, I set to work on something to accompany the sweets I had bought to pop in.


I had spotted this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a shot! My very own Golden Snitch made from a trusty Ferrero Rocher! Who’s spoiling who now eh?!

A few chocolate mice and a jelly snake later……the completed goodie bags, which stopped pester power in its tracks (for one day at least).


Have you come up with any cheaper alternatives for gift shop loot you have to share? I would love to hear about them.

(There are many free activities ideal for half-term which I will  write about in the coming weeks). Keep your eyes peeled and Subscribe to this blog.


  1. Fab ideas – I love the golden snitch..really simple but looks great

  2. We took the kids to Harry Potter World last year and had heard the same about the gift shop so I packed chocolate frogs (unwrapped freedoes – Poundland) and Every Flavour Beans (Generic Jelly Beans – Morrisons). I put them in traditional candy striped bags (Ebay). I also packed a large bar of dark chocolate (Aldi) in case of dementors.

    The whole lot cost me less than £5 (12 chocolate frogs, large bar of chocolate and 2 large bags of beans). This price includes the £1 I paid for the 50 paper bags from Ebay (the extras get used for packed lunch treats). The equivalent would have cost £38 if I had bought it there.

    I wish I had seen the idea about the snitch and the bags before we went.

  3. Good idea. We usually take a packed lunch and lots of chocolate for a day out, or make sure we know where the nearest Pizza Hut or Harvester is, as they are so reasonably priced and have always looked after us well. Pizza Hut usually gives you a voucher off your next visit and now does gluten-free pizzas which are almost as good as the real ones.


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