As September looms, parents across the UK will be preparing for the return of schools. Back to school time is bittersweet, especially after six weeks of fun-filled holidays. But one thing that makes returning to school even tougher — its effect on your personal finances.

From uniforms to stationery, ensuring your kids are ready for the start of the school year costs a lot. However, you don’t have to tighten your September budget. The Cash ASAP team has put together some expert tips to ensure our readers with kids are armed with savings tips before the academic year starts. Let’s dive in.

Double-Check The School Uniform Wardrobes

Before you restock your children’s school uniform collections, audit their current wardrobes to see what you do and don’t actually need. You can make massive school uniform savings by double-checking before you hit the shops, as it’s easy to accidentally buy replicas.

Pro Tip: If you don’t need uniforms with logos, shop supermarket brands for cheaper price tags.

Label Your Children’s Clothing

When it comes to money saving for parents, blogs always suggest shopping second-hand or mending clothes at home. While these are valid points, labelling clothes never gets mentioned, and this can save you lots of cash in the long run.

A simple name label means your child’s jumpers won’t end up in lost and found or in someone else’s book bag. All you need to do is use a cheap online label generator or simply sharpie their initials into the wash care label. Easy.

Create a Packed Lunch Schedule

Buying packed lunch ingredients as needed can lead to higher food bills — especially as the average cost of a lunch box has risen 70% in the last year.

Creating a weekly plan might not be spontaneous, but it will keep your costs lower as you know exactly what to buy. No extra treats or surprises. While fun, these can add up extra quickly, so keep them to a minimum.

Write a List Before Stationery Shopping

Stationary is another clinch point for parents. Like clothing, buying a new set of supplies often feels easier before term starts. However, you should avoid doing this at all costs.

Find your home stationery and take an inventory before hitting the shops. Make a list of what you need to avoid buying duplicates or unnecessary items while in the shop.

Use Cashback Websites

Finally, many affordable school supplies can be purchased via cashback websites. From school shoes to backpacks, you can save as you purchase from top UK brands. Always remember to log in before you buy, though! You don’t want to lose out on coupons and cash.

Other Handy Back to School Tips

  • Buy second-hand textbooks off Amazon or eBay
  • Use loyalty card points
  • Start budgeting for school trips early
  • Buy robust school shoes
  • Weigh up packed lunch vs school dinner costs

School Shopping: Final Thoughts

Whether your tots are in primary school or secondary school, make sure you protect your September budget with these handy saving tips. There is a lot of pressure to attend school with brand-new uniforms and stationery, but often, it’s not actually necessary. Good luck!

Want more personal finance tips? Visit the Cash ASAP blog now.

Or read more school savings tips from our previous blog post here.