Preparing your children to go back to school brings up a wealth of emotions. You may feel nostalgic for your own school days, or a little sadness that they’re growing up so fast. Perhaps you’re even relieved to have them back in a routine! One emotion back to school preparations can also stir is horror at the cost of everything kids need to equip them for the new term. From uniforms to stationery to books and school meals, making sure your children are ready to go back to school in style can be tough on even the most flexible of budgets. We look at how you can become the boss of back to school without blowing your budget!
Kids grow so fast that what fits them in September will be either far too small or ruined come October half-term! While schools are often prescriptive about the colour and style of uniform items , there’s often a bit of wiggle room on what exactly you buy. If the school requires that your child wear a jumper with their logo on, you may not have much choice about buying that. But when it comes to skirts, shirts and trousers, though, there’s more room to be budget friendly. As long as they’re the right colour, you can probably get away with cheap
Supermarket ranges like George at Asda are great value for money and decent quality. You won’t feel short-changed when trousers come home with ripped knees after playground football if you only paid a few pounds for them! For expensive official uniform items, parents of older children will probably be happy to give you their hand-me-downs. Some schools even organise second hand uniform sales to help parents save on the cost of kitting their kids out.
Stationery and other back to school kit
We always loved the back to school stationery shop. Picking out your pencil case for the next year, examining the pens to choose a favourite and new crayons in rainbow order were the silver lining of the back to school cloud. To save money, though, see what you can re-use from last year. A pencil eraser will look brand new if left in the pocket of your jeans while you wash them. Revive scuffed plastic protractors and rulers with a little silver or brass polish to give them back their shine. Pop fabric pencil cases through the wash to clean them up for the new term. Even looking for good value multipacks will help you cut stationery costs. You’ll be surprised at how much you can recycle when you set your mind to it!
Sending your child back to school with a packed lunch every day may not be feasible. If you have to get ready for work yourself, too, it’s a lot to ask. But, making your child a packed lunch even once a week can add up to a decent saving over the course of a term vs paying for school meals! It doesn’t have to be laborious or complicated. Leftovers from the night before that taste great cold make perfect packed lunches. It’s a money saving tip you can adopt for yourself, too. It’ll help you avoid splashing out on an unnecessarily expensive sandwich, too!
How do you handle the expense of back to school? Let us know in the comments!