There's no doubting that getting the kids organised for going back to school is an expensive time of year, especially if you've more than one to get kitted out! But don't let that school supplies list scare you, below is a handy guide to how you can save money - and have the kids ready in time for September.
1. Opt for generic items
A lot of schools these days have a generic uniform style that you can pick up in your local grocery store, like in Lidl. It tends to consist of grey trousers/ skirt, a red/grey jumper and a white T-shirt. However, some schools require you to purchase a uniform with a crest on it which can only be bought in specialist stores. The easiest way to keep the costs down in a situation like this is to pick up as many items as you can that don't need a crest. Alternatively, why not check your school to see if you can buy iron-on crests. This is actually something that a number of schools do.
2. Always go for quality over quantity
It can be pretty frightening having to buy a full school uniform in one go. Jumpers, skirts/ trousers, shirts, T-shirts ties and whatever else are needed can all add up if buying in one go - so many opt for a cheaper, less quality brand with the idea that they'll buy whatever else is needed throughout the year. However, costs can multiply over the year by constantly replacing poorer quality items from uniforms, shoes, socks, to backpacks and stationery. It should always be quality over quantity even if that means you only buy one shirt for the whole year. This year, Lidl are selling long lasting, good quality uniforms and at their budget-friendly prices, you probably will be able to pick up two shirts. Spending that little bit more in terms of quality can work in your favour in the long run.
3. Go one size up
When buying a uniform, it is important you go for one size up - don't go for the fit perfect now. Kids grow pretty quickly throughout the year so you're better off buying a pair of trousers/ skirt that you can put the hem down rather than having to buy a whole new pair in January or February.
4. Buy stationery in bulk
It's cheaper to buy five pencils in a pack than one on its own, so get your stationery in bulk. Your local store like Lidl will stock up on these school essentials during the summer so just pop them into your trolley when you're doing your grocery shopping. And to really cut costs, buy in bulk with family or friends - cut the cost right down.
5. Shop at home before stocking up
Before you make those lists, have a scout around the house to see if they already have things on them - a packet of unopened pencils or copybooks from last year that could have been left behind in the rush. This will save you wasting money doubling up because although there's no doubt bulk supplies come in handy, who needs 30 pens?