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Heading back to school is an exciting time! The kids may (or may not) be looking forward to a new year and seeing friends, while parents are looking forward to a little more peace and quiet in their day! However, as much as back to school is a looked for day, it can also come with a huge hit to the finances.

Not only are we still dealing with the coronavirus, the pandemic has caused some parents to lose jobs or work at reduced hours. These come at a hard time when it’s time to deal with all the costs of heading back to school.

No one denies that it’s important to make sure your kids have what they need to start the new school year. However, there are some ways to save a little money on school supplies and more.

School Uniforms

These can be expensive, there’s no denying that fact. However, have you considered buying from other sources than the school? Most schools no longer require parents to buy the official school uniform from a special supplier. Instead, these days you can also find school uniforms at the supermarket! And you’ll have happy to note that the uniforms are usually quite a bit cheaper than buying from the supplier.

For example, Aldi offers a uniform bundle for £4.50, which includes two polo shirts, a round-neck jumper, and either a skirt or trousers. These uniforms are for kids between the ages of 3-11.

Be sure to check out these stores:

  • Asda
  • Sainsburys
  • Tesco
  • Matalan
  • M&S (offers 25% off school clothes and accessories online and in the store)

In addition to the shops, another place to check for uniforms is with the school’s Parent Teacher Association. They sometimes sell uniforms secondhand. Other places to check for reduced prices on school uniforms is with boot sales, local Facebook group, as well as Facebook Marketplace.

Secondhand things are a great way to save money and save the environment at the same time!

Save on School Shoes

When it comes to shoes for school, it can be tempting to buy cheap shoes. This does initially save money; however, the problem is that cheap shoes will wear out much faster. Then you’ll end up buying another pair anyway. To avoid this issue, it’s a better idea to go for the more expensive shoes. You’ll have higher quality shoes for the kids, which will last longer.

Another way to save on shoes is to try shopping the outlet stores. You can often find great deals on shoes at stores like Clarks or TK Maxx.

Label Everything

Before sending the kids off to school, be sure all of their gear is labeled with their name. If an item becomes lost, it’s easier to get it back to your child if their name is clearly marked inside.

Some people like to use iron-on labels. While these are great and can save time, sewing labels into your kids’ school gear will last longer. Labels that are sewn on mean if an item is lost, chances are it will be returned. Without a label, however, the item probably won’t be returned, which means you’ll have to shell out even more money for replacement school gear.

Stationery & Other School Supplies

Stationery and other school supplies can also cost quite a bit when it’s time to head back to school. It is possible to save money, though. First look to see if you have these required supplies already on hand at home. You may school supplies from last year that will work for this year. And you may have plenty of pens, pencils, notebooks and folders already.

If you can’t find all you need at home, then it’s time to head to the supermarket, pound shops, and discount stores for school supplies. In these stores, you may even be able to save by buying in bulk.

You can also save more if you happen to be a Tesco Clubcard holder, or collect Sainsbury’s Nectar points. You can save money and earn points at the same time by buying your back to school suppliers at these shops. It’s even possible to purchase lunchboxes and schoolbags!

Remember to check out sites such as Vouchercodes and HotUKDeals. These sites usually offer some great savings and discounts on back to school supplies.

Technology & Equipment

Here’s another area where it pays to do some research before laying out for pricy laptops and other devices for your kids. It’s important to keep in mind that these are large investments when it comes to school supplies.

To save money, you can find great prices on all types of technology and computers online. In addition, you can use cashback sites such as Topcashback and Quidco for great discounts on computers and more.

Another great place to find some great deals on technology and computers is by searching through eBay’s refurbished tech section. Other online shops have a similar section on their sites, where you can find some great discounts on top computers and other electronics. Don’t be afraid to purchase refurbished tech. Not only are you saving the environment, your kids will be getting a used device that’s been repaired and refurbished back to “like new” standards. Plus, you save money!

One last note—if you do need to buy a new laptop, some stores will offer a discount on the new item if you trade in the old model.

Lunches from Home

Healthy lunches made at home don’t have to break the bank. When you shop at the supermarket, look for items that are healthy store brands, rather than the brand-name items. You’ll save money, and the quality is usually almost identical with the big-name brands.

Also be sure to look for “buy one get one free” specials and try to buy in bulk when possible. And it doesn’t hurt to check if your children are eligible for free school meals. You can check that out here.

There you have it! Here are several ideas on how you can save money on those back to school necessities. You don’t have to sacrifice quality, either.