Kitting the kids out ready for a new school term can cost a small fortune. Here are nine money-saving tips to make the start of term a little easier on your wallet.
Avoid doubling up
Before you start shopping, do a stock check to see what you actually need. Try on last year’s uniform and coats as you may find they still fit.
Make a list (and stick to it!)
Once you’ve gone through your items, make a list of what you need to buy and stick to it. Be wary as there will be lots of tempting offers, i.e. bogof deals. While these might be worthwhile if stocking up, be careful not to overstock.
Grab a bargain
If you can wait and you’re not trying to get something too specific, shops will want to get rid of their school stock before the start of the new term. So it can be worthwhile hanging on for the school supply sales. Stock up for the following year (just remember to do your stock check the following year – see tip one!).
Stock up throughout the year
Basic school uniform and supplies are easily available now, so rather than rushing out at the beginning of the new term, spread the cost throughout the year.
Try the discount stores
These are great places for basic stationery supplies and basic school uniform but make sure you’ve got your list, or you could be coming out with more than you bargained for! Be wary, though, as sometimes going cheap can be a false economy. Ask around or search on the internet for reviews before making those bigger purchases such as school shoes.
Most schools will have a secondhand uniform shop selling hand-me-downs and unwanted uniform. Or you could try looking in local charity shops near your school or put a shout-out on local selling sites on social media.
Name school uniform
There’s nothing worse than forking out for new uniform only for it to disappear at school a couple of days later. You don’t need to purchase name labels; a permanent or fabric marker will do the job.
Help with childcare costs
Whether you’ve a wee tot or big teen, the costs of childcare can be massive. Yet hundreds of thousands of working parents are missing out on thousands of pounds’ worth of easy help. Read MoneySavingExperts.com’s step-by-step guide to boosting your childcare budget.
Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to get some additional help through your local authority, governing bodies / parents’ associations and charities. To find out more read Citizens Advice: Help with school costs.