Yes, you’ve seen it, the shops are full of back to school stuff and you know you cannot avoid it forever. Sooner or later you will have to draw up a list of what is needed and head out to get it.

We are fairly certain that the budget is the bit that has you the least excited about the whole trip. Here are some helpful tips to help you save money when doing the shopping this year:

  • Don’t purchase winter uniforms now, instead buy at the beginning of April, the kids won’t need jumpers during the summer.
  • Get as much wear from school uniforms as possible.
  • Buy second hand uniforms and handbooks as much as you can – it will definitely save you a lot.
  • Reuse items such as pencil cases, backpacks, calculators, scissors, USB sticks, etc. from what they brought home from school last year.
  • Use supplies such as erasers, pens, tape, etc. that you have in the drawers at home.
  • Plain backpacks/lunchboxes are a lot cheaper than brand name or character ones, and may still be just as durable. OR purchase good quality backpacks, take care with regular washing and it may last you 2-3 years. Some schools sell their own backpacks which seem pricey, but the quality means it can last up to 5 years.
  • Do not buy stationery at the book suppliers – shop around at regular departments stores. You will manage to find good quality items in-between the nasty cheap ones, and still pay less on the special offers.
  • With primary school kids you can save by buying black joggers, which can be worn as both school shoes and sport shoes. No need for 2 pairs for each child!
  • Buy a bulk roll of cling wrap for lunches. It not only lasts longer, but costs less in the long run.
  • And finally, if you can, don’t back-to-school shop with the kids. You will shop faster and more economical without them saying “‘But Mummy…I want this one”.
  • If you do take your kids along, make sure you have a list of exactly what is NEEDED. Make a needed list as well as a wanted list together with the kids. And set a realistic, fixed budget of what you plan to spend. Have the kids contribute to the wanted items out of their own pocket money, while you pay for the needed items.
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