BACK TO SCHOOL SAVING TIPS
Posted by brandstad at September 18th, 2017
There is so much pressure from children to have the latest and newest gadgets and clothes for school. Parents can end up spending up to £600 per child just on the basics. So how can you ensure you are not frittering away your financial resources on such consumables?
This blog is a 5 minute guide to how you can save money on your child’s school necessities.
Look at last year’s spend first. Before you start your school shopping look at what you spent last year from any bank or credit card statements or receipts and records that you may have. Challenge yourself to spend at least 20% less this year. I know prices have also risen but you can still save money. Plan to put the difference towards a holiday or some other treat.
Go through your children’s closets and stationery cupboards. More prep work before you spend your hard earned cash blindly. Draw up a shopping list from what is needed not wanted. Sort and sift through your children’s clothes and see exactly what they have that can still be used. This is a useful cleansing exercise to do. Make 4 piles. Pile one for clothes that fit and to keep. Pile two for clothes that fit but are old, rarely worn to give to charity. Pile three for clothes that don’t fit and can go to charity or other siblings. Pile four is for clothes that are to be thrown away due to age and tatty. Then you have the school bags, lunch boxes and stationery. School bags can be bought every year depending on the sort you have. If it is an official school bag then best to check the condition first before buying a new one. If it is a fashion bag then your child may have grown out of a Thomas the tank engine or Hello Kitty bag so regardless of the condition it may be worth upgrading the bag to suit their new taste. The same goes for the lunch boxes unless they are the plain ones. Again check the condition of the lunch equipment as water bottles tend to get chewed at the top and start leaking. With stationery I tend to buy a new set every year as my children go through pencils and rubbers like crazy. Usually they get lost by half term so I stock up with bulk buys.
Use the shopping list from your exercise in point 2 and last year’s prices from point 1 above to focus your spending. This is a good guide to prevent you from straying into the impulse buying mode of unnecessary purchases. Especially if you go shopping with your children, they are most likely to fall in love with the most expensive jumper and send you on a guilt trip until you buy it.
Look out for deals and buy in bulk where possible. Towards the end of summer (end of August/early September) there is likely to be special offers on lots of school items but you have to shop around to really get the best deals and compare prices including online prices. As I mentioned earlier, my children go through stationery like crazy so best to buy such things as pencils, rubbers, notebooks, sharpeners, birthday cards, etc in bulk. You can even team up with friends and family and go to a wholesaler such as costco or makro. If you buy things for the lunches like pasta, tins of tuna and other popular lunch box food items in bulk and split them between you it will work out cheaper saving you potentially hundreds of pounds over the year.
Consider shopping online. Most items are generally cheaper online than in the shops on the high street. In addition to this high street stores strategically place items such that we are enticed to buy more than we originally came into the store for. So in effect it is better to buy online where possible to keep the discipline and save money.
Sign up with a cashback site and get money back for shopping online. I use topcashback.com which have very good cashback rates from a variety of companies.
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