SUMMER holidays are expensive for all parents, but when you're Sue Radford, the mum of Britain's biggest family, keeping them entertained is bound to send you broke.

Which is why the mum-of-22 has a few budget-friendly tricks up her sleeve which help keep the family busy without the added costs.

Noel, 50, and Sue, 46,work hard for their money and famously don’t rely on benefits. Instead they make money from their bakery business, YouTube partnerships and recently appeared on a Channel 5 documentary.

The Radford family live in a 10-bedroom former care home, which they've spent the last year renovating, so summer holidays at home are filled with bumper activities.

Additions to their back garden mean the family can enjoy their very own resort-style space – with a hot tub, pizza oven and outdoor bar – which is a great way to keep the costs down.

What's more, Sue's year-round budgeting and cost-cutting means they can still go big for Christmas and birthdays with mountains of prezzies, and enjoy lavish family trips.

Our tip for entertaining the kids is to be flexible, listen to them, and know that their imaginations help a tonne in keeping them amused.

"Our tip for entertaining the kids is to be flexible, listen to them, and know that their imaginations help a tonne in keeping them amused!" Sue told Fabulous recently.

"We can simply have a day in the garden or have a day in the park and the kids will make the most of the free time.

"But it also helps to have something big to look forward to and keep the kids excited."

Bumper picnics

The family love spending quality time together – particularly when all the kids are home from school.

They aim to head out three days a week during the summer, but not everything costs them loads.

"We love going for walks to the park, the beach or going for a picnic with the kids," Sue previously revealed.

"There's a lot of days out that don't require spending money."

Sue also revealed what's inside the family's extensive packed lunches – which allow them to cut costs on days out.

The family have to take 48 packets of crisps, as well as sandwiches, pork pies and healthy snacks like cherry tomatoes, bananas, satsumas, bananas and apples.

We make up loads of sandwiches and just take a packed lunch with us because if we eat out anywhere it can be really pricey.

She said: "We make up loads of sandwiches and just take a packed lunch with us because if we eat out anywhere it can be really pricey.” 

And added: "Depending on where we are going will determine whether we take a pack lunch or not.

"If we are going to a theme park, we won’t take one as none of us want to be carrying that around with us.

"If we are going for a walk in the lakes, we will take one as we can sit near the cars."

Home cinema

It's pricey to take 22 kids to the cinema – so why not take the cinema home.

At least that's what parents Noel and Sue decided to do after revealing to the Daily Star in 2014 how important home cinema was.

"Family cinema trips and DVD rentals are becoming pricier these days so we take advantage of our TV package which often has the latest films, on the same day as DVD release," he said.

"It’s the same with football, we can watch the big games at home – there are enough of us to recreate the atmosphere."


The family set up a projector in their garden, which had recently been given a dramatic transformation with fake turf.

Sue arranged a snug area using the outdoor furniture and plenty of duvets, creating a cosy atmosphere with the help of fairy lights which she strung from the parasol.

She later raved about it saying: “That was absolutely brilliant the kids absolutely loved it. I can’t believe how good the projector was. I didn’t think it would be that good but the picture was really really good.

“I would definitely recommend it, if anyone is thinking about getting one, Heidi slept the whole time.”

Holiday at home

Last year, the couple embarked on a massive DIY project, transforming their garden, including ditching real grass in favour of artificial lawn, to try and stop their kids from getting muddy in the garden. 

They also have a luxury entertaining areas with comfy seating, a pizza oven a hot tub and a bar, and in the warmer months the kids enjoy an inflatable water park.

They continue adding fun bits to the garden creating their very own resort-style space, and in the summer they spent hours outside, substituting expensive days out for fun in the garden – saving huge amounts of cash.

Bulk buy

While it's not exactly a summer activity, Sue buys in bulk year round to allow them some extra cash to treat the kids on special occasions.

Sue told Closer magazine: "We buy in bulk things like wash powder, toilet rolls and we shop about for things and see what's on offer.

"It's all about planning and being savvy."

Meanwhile, Noel is no stranger to using cheap products to whip up meals for as little as 40p a head.

And the dad regularly shares his simple recipes on the family YouTube channel to give inspiration to fellow families.

Fun days out

Although it can cost a lot for the entire family, Sue doesn't shy away from treating the kids to a fun day out.

the mum-of-22  recently took her bumper brood to the trampoline park so they could blow off some steam.

Sue shared some of her youngsters enjoying the indoor trampolines and making the most of their weekend.

The Radfords, who are Britain’s biggest family, are often seen having a lot of fun together, and recently have been to Center Parcs, Alton Towers and hosted a garden dance party. 

We shared how mum-of-22 Sue Radford lives millionaire’s lifestyle with a £30k Range Rover, outdoor cinema & hot tub.

In other news, the Radfords revealed the chaos of going on a huge family walk during lockdown.

And Sue revealed the £30 grey paint she uses to achieve her Mrs Hinch style home.

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