Getting the children back to school can be a costly time for families. But with careful planning and budgeting, you can ensure you get the best deals, and save yourself some money. Here are 16 Top of the Class Money Saving Tips for Back to School, guaranteed to help save a penny or two!
- Shop around and compare prices on specialist school book websites and local stores.
- Look out for offers from suppliers for early purchasing discounts. Many book suppliers offer a discount on books bought before the end of June.
- Check if your school runs a book rental / lending scheme.
- Buy second hand when you can, either from a bookshop or from the school. Do check you have the correct edition.
Uniforms are often the biggest back to school cost for parents.
- As with books, stores often offer a discount on uniforms bought before the end of June, remember you usually have 28 days to exchange them for a larger size if your child grows before the new school year starts.
- Buy generic when you can. If your school has a crest these are usually reserved for tops and pinafores. You don’t have to buy shirts, PE gear, polo shirts, skirts, tights, socks etc. from the same store as you buy your crested goods. Shop around and make sure you are getting the best value.
- Alternatively see if you can buy the crest and sew it onto an generic jumper or top.
- Check if your school sells lost property or includes uniforms in the annual bring and buy sale, or runs a swap system for uniforms, where children from older classes sell uniforms to children from younger classes. If not consider asking them to implement one.
- School shoes can be expensive too. I usually leave these to the last minute. For the past 2 years I have purchased boots for my children to wear from September as I had found that they only wore their school shoes for the first month and moved into boots early so the shoes became redundant and they grew out of them.
- Look out for 2 for 1 deals on runners and PE Gear and check stores like TK Maxx for school shoes and boots.
Buying in bulk is the key. As your child gets into older years, the same copy types will generally be required year after year, so you can hold on to any unused copies for the following school year.
- Supermarkets or discount stores will sell bundles of copy books, pencils and pens.
- Discount stores often offer better value for hard back notebooks, folders for art or display folders, glue sticks and crayons. They often sell rulers, geometry sets and calculators too.
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- Check if your child’s current schoolbag will last another year. If you have invested in a good school-bag they will often do for more than one year.
- Keep an eye on sports shops as they often offer 2 for 1 on sports bags that will work as school bags.
- Can be tricky wondering which school bag to buy – you will want one that offers good support and lasts. Here are Our Pick of the Best School Bags for Kids.
You may also like Be Ready for Back to School with this Handy Checklist and Back to School Supplies Checklist.
Before you go to buy a new lunchbox or lunchbag this year, see if your child’s present one has stood the test of time! They are often quite robust, and you may find that a good scrub with a wet cloth and disinfectant will transform their old lunchbag.
- If not shop around. Discount stores will often have non-branded lunch boxes.
- Or if you go away on holidays look out for lunch boxes / bags that will be unique.
Top Tip: Be sure to label everything from uniforms to lunch boxes and stationery.
Do you have any cost saving tips to make going back to school less expensive? Please share them in the comments box below.