We may have only just said goodbye to Easter, but it will be the school summer holidays before you know it, and any parent of school-age children will know that the school holidays are the time to stock up on their new uniform requirements so that they’re all ready for their return to class in September. However, buying school supplies can be expensive if we’re not careful, with everything soon adding up. Take a look at these great tips if you’d like to stick to a more favourable budget – if you’re careful, you’ll be surprised at how far your pounds can go!
Why wait until the end of summer to buy everything they need? There’s no reason why you can’t stock up earlier, when there are sales on last season’s gear. If you see a good bargain on uniform essentials, buy them in different sizes and put the bigger sizes away until they fit. Similarly, school supplies such as back to school stationery tend to go on sale at the end of the summer, so stock up for next year while you’re at it!
Choose where you shop
Rather than heading for the high street to pay high street prices, opt to shop at the local supermarket, such as George at ASDA, instead. School trousers from George at ASDA, for example, will be far cheaper than they would be on the high street, and the quality of them is just as good.
Make sure that you shop around for everything you need, rather than buying the first thing you see, too. School trousers, shirts and shoes that still fit uniform guidelines will usually be available in other shops and supermarkets, besides the specialist supplier the school recommends.
If there are things that you know your child will need, and you see something in a sale, buy it. Lunch boxes, backpacks, paper, pens – if you know that your money won’t be wasted, stock up when things are cheap! Buy in bulk when possible too – especially on things that you know will run out during the year, because buying in bulk is often cheaper than buying individually as and when replacements are needed.
If you have a list to work from, make sure that you read it carefully. While this doesn’t pose much of a problem with younger children, older kids in high school may be required to use specific ruled paper, or a certain colour of ink – make sure that you don’t waste money on supplies that won’t get used.
Reuse where possible
If their lunch box or school bag from last year is still in good condition, why bother buying a new one? They’ll probably want a new one, but they should understand if you explain that you’re working to a budget. If you buy high quality things in the first place, that aren’t too ‘trendy’, they should last another year or so. It helps if you don’t buy character items, such as Moshi Monsters or Monster High, which they may not like in a year’s time.
If you’re careful, stocking up on back to school supplies won’t cost as much as you may expect, and your finances will thank you for being frugal.