This time last year we’d just spent a fortune on a whole new school uniform to buy for Miss Frugal as she was going up to secondary school. As is the case with lots of schools, the uniform list is extensive with much of it only being available directly from the school or from certain suppliers – all costing more than I could have got it for elsewhere.
Even the pencil case and calculator were £10 and ‘highly recommended’ for students and obviously, she wanted this as she didn’t want to be the only one not to have it.
Fast forward to this year’s back to school preparations and it’s been so much easier, not to mention cheaper!
The blazer we bought last year was slightly too big as we thought she would grow into it – she only grew a teeny bit so that not only still fits her but it’s in almost new condition so she doesn’t need a new blazer or tie. She loved the school skirts we bought her from New Look last year so I bought extra when I saw them half price in the sale and her shirts all still fit and are in great condition so she doesn’t need new shirts.
Her PE kit and trainers are all still immaculate and actually still a little too big for her so they’re good for a while longer too and even her book bag is going to be a bag that she got for her Birthday last year which she didn’t use as a book bag then as it’s more of a handbag style and everyone else had rucksacks or satchels. This year she’s not really bothered about having the same as everyone else so she’s got that out and it’s ready to go!
It turns out that the only things we need are some new school shoes and the usual stationery – how cheap is that for back to school shopping!
She asked me if she could go shopping with her friends to get her stationery essentials as that’s much more fun that going with your Mum apparently so off they all went on the train with the intention of buying everything they would need for the new school year.
I thought we could use it as a bit of a money lesson so the plan was that she was going to use her own money and then I would reimburse her for the things that actually were back to school essentials. I told her that I wouldn’t pay her for things that were a waste of money or that she didn’t really need – she was welcome to buy what she wanted as it was her money that she’d been saving but I would only pay her back for the essentials.
Guess what she bought….
I know there’s enough pencils in there to last a lifetime but aside from that, not a bad little shopping haul. I’ve bought her notebooks and folders from Tesco a few weeks ago when it was half price so she’s done for less than £5 which I’m happy to reimburse her for.
I was feeling quite smug when I saw that little lot. I think you’ll agree that I’ve taught her well as she bought most of it from the pound shop and it will all come in handy (even the 40+ pencils that she bought).
Then she wiped my smug smile off my face when she tried to get me to pay her back for the next little shopping haul that she proudly unpacked….
She bought three, yes three, bath bombs from Lush!
They’re about £3 each so they’re not cheap (although they are lovely) and she tried to pass them off as back to school expenses! I asked how on earth they could be considered essentials. Do you know what she said to me?
You know Mum, Year 8 is quite stressful so I’ll need to relax in the bath. I’d say that makes them essential!
I’m almost tempted to reimburse her just because of her creativeness! 😉
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