Education,  Family,  Lifestyle,  Money

Back to School Savings Guide

The Back To School season can be both really exciting for parents – especially for those whose children are heading into a brand new school – but it can also be financially challenging and cause feelings of anxiety for parents. Back to school shopping doesn’t just stop at uniforms, there’s so much more to it from stationery to calculators; in some cases, even new laptops or computers become a necessary supply. It’s safe to say these expenses can add up really quickly. 

Fortunately, it is possible to make save some money without compromising your child’s education. With this back to school savings guide, we’re going to be sharing our top tips and hacks to help parents save money when shopping for all the back to school essentials.

Our back to school savings guide will walk you through practical tips and strategies that will help you to navigate the world of back to school shopping, all whilst staying within your budget. So, if you’re ready to save some money this summer, grab a cup of tea and keep reading!

1. Make A Detailed Shopping List

Start by making a comprehensive shopping list of all the items that your child needs for the upcoming school year. If you have more than one child, you can combine items and create one list, or you can create a comprehensive list for each kid. Make sure that you include all the essentials, such as uniform, school shoes, backpack etc, and then add in the optional extras, such as personalised goodies and extra clothing. Take this list with you whenever you head out to purchase back to school supplies to ensure that not only do you get all the essentials that you need, but also to ensure that you do not get distracted and purchase unnecessary items. 

2. Create A Practical Budget

The next step in our back to school savings guide is to set a budget. The key here is to make sure that you set your spending budget realistically. You’re going to need to spend money, so make sure that you look into the pricing of uniforms etc and calculate your budget accordingly. This budget will serve as your guiding principle throughout the shopping process and will also help you to avoid overspending.

3. Check What You Already Have

Before you head out to the shops, take inventory of what your child already has from the previous school year. This includes clothing, stationery, and supplies that are still usable. Make sure the existing uniform fits, and check to see if school shoes can be made presentable with a lick of polish before purchasing new ones. For any items that are still useable, cross them off your shopping list and save yourself from spending money on unnecessary items.

4. Timing Matters

The next tip in our back to school savings guide is to take advantage of sales, discounts, and promotions. The summer months are full of back to school sales, so keep an eye out for deals for essentials such as generic clothing (shirts, shoes, polos, shorts, trousers etc), stationery, and electronics. 

5. Compare Prices

One of the most important things to take away from this back to school savings guide is to compare the prices of all the essentials that you need. It often pays to not settle for the first price you see in the first store you enter. Retailers are all trying to price match or beat their competitors when it comes to back to school supplies, so it can be a good idea to shop around and check out discount stores such as ALDI and LIDL, as well as other supermarkets. You may even find it useful to utilise price comparison websites and apps to help you to find the best deals on the items you need.

6. Online Shopping

Don’t forget about online shopping! Online retailers often offer competitive prices and a wide variety of options. Look for online-exclusive deals and consider subscribing to newsletters or using Evan-Moor coupons for additional discounts. Remember, for the sake of this back to school savings guide, you can always subscribe now to access the best deals and then hit the unsubscribe button once you’ve got your back to school essentials. 

7. Second-Hand and Pre-Loved Items:

When it comes to another of the best back to school savings guide top tips, shopping secondhand is the way forward! This is especially useful for items of uniform that need to be emblazoned with school logos. Check your local area Facebook Groups, your school Facebook group, and on other online marketplaces for secondhand uniforms, backpacks, and other essentials. 

8. Bulk Buying:

Another way to save on items, such as stationery supplies, is to team up with other parents and buy in bulk. Purchasing items in bulk and then dividing them between other parents is a great way to get essential school supplies when on a budget.

9. Loyalty Programs and Cashback

When purchasing online, you can earn yourself a tonne of free money by taking advantage of cashback schemes. I love using the JamDoughnut cashback app as it gives you instant cashback, instead of having to wait for a month or so for you to see how much money you’ve actually earned. It’s also worth considering searching the internet for coupons before making any purchases.

10. Swap with Other Parents

Another way to save some extra pennies is to organise a back to school essentials swap event in your local school community. This is a great way for parents to exchange items that their children have outgrown for items they currently need.

11. Shop Off-Season

Once the summer school essential sales end, retailers are often left with plenty of stock that needs shifting. This is a great way for you to stock up on even cheaper back to school essentials, read for next year! 

Final thoughts on our back to school savings guide.

With the right approach, some budgeting, and some forward planning, getting your child’s back to school essentials doesn’t have to break the bank. Take advantage of your local school community by organising swaps, write a comprehensive list of essentials and create a budget that you can stick to. 

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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