11 Back to School Money Saving Tips

If your child is heading back to school for a new term then you’ll know how expensive it can be to kit them out with their uniform and other accessories they need when they go back. Follow our tips to help you save on those back to school costs this summer.

1. Shop Your own Home

PencilsYou may already have plenty of school supplies lying around the home, you just need to find them. Search your cupboards and drawers for any unused stationery and office supplies to save on buying new pieces. Make a list of what you already own so when you head to the shops you don’t duplicate buying items. This also works for clothing items. Go through your children’s wardrobes and remove any clothes, coats and shoes they have outgrown so you can get a better picture on what you actually need to buy for the next season. 

2. Shop at Boot Sales

Car boot sales can hold a treasure trove of goods and bargains for back to school supplies. Keep an eye out for clothes, shoes and backpacks. Children grow so fast that you may be able to pick up barely worn shoes that someone else’s child has grown out of too quickly. Charity shops also stock back to school supplies but make sure you start the shopping early as the selection will dwindle the closer you get to the new term.

3. Set a Budget

No doubt as your children get older they will insist on having the best items, name branded clothing and character focussed products but these items will set you back a lot more than the unbranded version. Set an upper limit and speak to your children about this and explain the value of money and difference in quality when it comes to cheaply made on trend items. Let your children choose one branded item so they feel like they’ve had an involvement in the choice and choose to buy the rest yourself within your own set budgets. See our article on ‘How to Raise Financially Responsible Children’ for more tips.

4. Good Timing

There tends to be a mad rush to buy school supplies in August just before the new term starts. You can save a lot of money by avoiding these peak times and waiting for items to go on sale. If your children can manage to keep their old items for an extra month then you will get great savings come September when items are greatly reduced. Bear in mind this may limit your selection so if there’s anything specific you need then be sure to stock up when you can.

5. Check Social Media

Make sure you check out Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for advance notices of sales on all of your favourite shops. Many companies will offer their loyal followers voucher codes and will let you know when the sales are coming. Sign up to company newsletters and check their social media pages regularly for back to school bargains.

6. Visit Pound Shops

pound coinsYour child will probably need pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, pencil case, paper, crayons and art supplies at the start of the term. A lot of these items and other basic supplies can be picked up in pound shops so have a look at those before heading to expensive specialist stationery shops.




7. Plan Ahead

You have plenty of warning that the school term is about to start so if you can afford to put a little bit of money aside each week it will help you when it comes to buying everything at once. Keep your receipts from this year so you know roughly how much you will need next year. Saving even a small amount can make a really big difference. Just £5 a week will add up to £260 for back to school costs for the following year. Cut down on that morning coffee and put the money in your savings instead and the pennies will soon add up.

8. Make Your Children Earn Their Goods

kids choresFollowing on from our last point regarding teaching children the value of money, if there’s an item they really must have then make them work for it. Assign your children a number of chores in which they can earn a small amount of money which they can save to put towards the items they want. It will help them to realise how much work goes into buying items and may even make them realise they didn’t want the item as badly as they thought.

9. Buy in Bulk

Buying items such as stationery in bulk can be cheaper than buying items individually and there are usually some good offers around back to school time. Notebooks, pens, pencils, glue sticks and crayons can be bought in bulk. Talk to your friends, neighbours and other parents to see if you can pool together some money for the supplies then divide the items and cost evenly to save money.

10. Second Hand Uniform

Ask your school if there are plans to hold a second hand uniform sale. There is likely to be parent’s upsizing and your child may fit into the smaller uniforms that they no longer need. Check local Facebook groups for any deals. If your child’s uniform still fits but is a little faded, use fabric dye to refresh the colour. Check the hems on trousers to see if they can be let down if your child is now taller. Shop larger chain stores and even supermarkets for generic items such as plain polo shirts, skirts and trousers. 

11. Packed Lunches

Packed LunchesSave money throughout the entire school year by making your child a packed lunch rather than buying a school dinner. Make everything yourself and it will be cheaper and a lot more nutritious. Lunchbox foods targeted at children often contain large amounts of sugar so skip these and pack fruit instead which is cheaper and contains natural sugars instead.




What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWill this post help you become a savvy back to school shopper this year? Can you think of any other great tips to share? We love feedback so please use the comment section below. 

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