6 September 2018
10 tips for back-to-school savings
Kitting your kids out for the new school year can be expensive business.
Aside from Christmas, back-to-school shopping has made this time of the year one of the most expensive periods on the annual calendar.
But it doesn’t have to be such a toll on your finances. Here are ten tips to make school spending a little easier on your budget and a little more fun at the same time…
1. Budgets & Lists
We’ll get on to the fun stuff shortly, but before all of that, the place to start is with a budget.
It’s important to plan ahead and make a budget so that your bank account doesn't get too much of a shock when it comes to spending. Write down a list of everything you will need for the start of a new term and use it as a checklist to keep you on track.
2. Check around the house first
Before you go shopping, check if you have anything on your list around the house. Are there notebooks and pens in any drawers? Can last year's lunchbox be reused or upcycled? These are quick ways to reduce the financial sting.
3. Nearly new can be just as good
You could save plenty of money by swapping with siblings or friends if the items you are looking for are nearly as good as new.
With items like books, in particular, it is well worth asking the school if they have previous book editions that you can purchase. Alternatively, searching eBay and Amazon is a great way of finding pre-used books that are in good condition.
4. Pop in to charity shops
It’s always worth trying local charity shops near your child's school for uniform - they may well have stock at a snip of the price you would normally pay. Charity shops may also stock new stationery, lunch boxes and other back-to-school items on your shopping list. You’ll be surprised at what you might find.
5. Bargain hunting
Supermarkets and high street stores are often busting with school deals and offers at this time of year.
Meanwhile, coupons can also be a great way to save money on school supplies – it’s well worth taking a look at what shops offer reward/loyalty programmes.
6. Buy plain and then customise
Buying unbranded items or plain supplies is not only cost-effective but it also inspires creativity!
You and your child could use stickers to spruce up a plain lunchbox or water bottle, while an old book could be given a fresh look with funky wallpaper or pictures of a favourite character. It’s something you can do together and is plenty of fun!
7. Bulk buying
If you come across a real bargain or items in sales, then why not stock up?
You could make a drawer of 'spares' for when your child goes up a size in clothing or loses something at school. And if you have more than one child in school, bulk-buying stationery is much more cost-effective than buying individual items.
8. Packed lunches
Making lunches rather than buying school dinners every day could save you a lot of money in the long run, whilst also ensuring ingredients go much further.
Plan your meals a week ahead to streamline your shopping costs before cooking food the night before to feed the whole family lunch for the following day. One big pasta bake will cost a fraction of what you would pay for individual lunches.
9. Go online
Go online and do some research – the internet can be a treasure trove for bargains and tips just like these!
There are also some fantastic price comparison websites on the World Wide Web, while special discount codes are also waiting to be found.
10. The school run
One of the simplest ways to save money is by walking instead of taking the car on the school run.
Of course, this can only be done if you live in close proximity to school and at the appropriate time of day, but it will save you money on fuel provide you with a bit of extra exercise – not to mention the positive effects it has on the environment.