OK, We’re not just over two weeks away from the kids going back to school so I figure I should probably start getting organised at some point soon, shouldn’t I?
So, seeing as I’m having a bit of a back to school planning session myself, I thought I’d kick that off by sharing some ideas to help you have a moneysaving and organised start to the school term!
Let’s start with the biggie – school uniform. I’ve been a bit of a boomerang over the years when it comes to uniform and have changed my mind frequently over what’s best for my two when it comes to a budget supermarket uniform or a more expensive M&S uniform. When the kids were younger, I was a huge advocate of the cheaper supermarket uniforms which were so cheap that I was OK with them being ruined as they frequently were.
Then I went through a phase of buying mostly cheaper items but more expensive trousers with reinforced knees for Master Frugal because he went through the cheaper ones so quickly playing football in his breaks at school.
And now they’re older I buy their whole uniform from M&S for a couple of reasons – mostly because they last longer but a little bit because they seem to fit nicer and the kids like wearing them better. Always see if you can save by doing a quick search for ‘Marks and Spencer Code’ because even a small saving is better in your pocket!
Cost wise, I think the slightly more expensive initial outlay is worth it because, in my experience, they do seem to last longer.
Moving on to my favourite part of back to school which is, of course, the stationery shopping. There’s so much temptation around at this time of year and you could easily spend almost as much on stationery as you do on the uniform. You don’t need to though…
My first tip here would be not to get sucked into all the pretties. I watched a fab review by BrummyMummy of Poundland stationery on YouTube the other day which totally converted me to the joys of Poundland stationery and the some of the marble and blush range most definitely needs to come and live with me.
And my second tip for stationery shopping is to remember that just about all of the back to school stuff will be reduced in the shops by the middle of September so buy what you need to for them to go back to school but if you’re a pen and pencil bulk buyer or you want to buy a year’s worth of pads and paper then wait until it’s reduced. You could even consider buying next years back to school stuff this year when it gets to last bits of the sale.
Don’t get sucked into spending hours sewing labels into clothes or buying expensive personalised labels. Just remember, a Sharpie is your friend!
I write the kids names in their clothes with a Sharpie and that lasts just as long as the clothes do usually although I do check it after every couple of washes to make sure it’s still readable. 😉
Teacher Training Days
Look on your school’s website right now and write down the days that they have planned in for teacher’s training days. If you’ll struggle for childcare then you can pop those holidays in with work right now so you’re well prepared and if you’re looking to plan in a nice long weekend then a cheeky Friday or Monday teacher’s training day could be an ideal time to book it in.
Work out whether packed lunches are going to work out cheaper than school dinners. Unless your children qualify for free school meals then I suspect you can put together a healthy packed lunch for a fraction of the cost. Have a look at my comparison here.
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