All your back to school shopping should be done by now, unless you are really disorganised, like me! It seems like a neverending list of 'essentials' required for school life. The good new is, though, the list doesn't change much from one year to the next, here are my top tips for what to buy now, to save you money in the coming months on your essential school purchases. Summer is coming to a close, and there are lots of bargains to be had on items that you will be getting letters home about before you know it!
1. Sun Screen.
My top tip for saving money is to always buy things when it seems most ridiculous to do so! This way you can bag a real bargain as stores clear out their stock to make way for new, more weather-appropriate lines. Sun screen has a shelf life of up to three years, provided it's kept in a cool, dark place. As the season comes to a close, many stores are offering great discounts. Marks and Spencer have all their sun screens at half price, including this one; Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Spray which is something I always recommend for school use. A lot of schools now request that sun screen is sent into class for children to apply themselves during the summer months. Spray sun screen is a lot easier for younger children to apply themselves and it's harder for them to use too much, so it will last longer. It is more expensive, though, so buy it now!
You will probably need more than one, so it pays to get them while they are cheap. You are bound to be faced with situations where one gets left in the car, on the bus, at afterschool club, or you just cannot find it and you just never know when a blazing hot day is going to come out of nowhere, so have a spare or two, just in case. Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys currently have some lovely examples from just £2, including this Thomas the Tank Engine cap (Asda) and this Shark cap (Sainsburys). If you can get one with a neck protector, such as this Legionnaire Cap from Go Outdoors, even better, as it provides a little extra protection where it's needed most.
|Hats are essential for those sudden summer days!|
Particularly if your child is in the upper juniors, or beyond, there is a good chance of swimming lessons. Swimming forms part of the National Curriculum in England and Wales, so it should be provided at some stage during primary school, and it is quite often offered as an option at secondary school as well. So, keep an eye out for offers in stores on summer leftovers like; swimming accessories, such as goggles, swimming costumes and character beach towels. I couldn't find any good examples online but some of the discount stores, such as B&M and Poundstretcher don't put their reductions online, so do keep an eye out when you're out shopping. Character beach towels are especially useful, because towels are very easily mixed up in the changing room, so it really helps if your child's is distinctive and recognisable to them.
4. Teacher Gifts
This is a bit cheeky, but if your child likes to give their teacher a gift at Christmas as well as at the end of the school year, it's still possible to grab a teacher gift bargain. Supermarkets, especially, stock a massive range of 'Best Teacher' type gifts, that rarely sell out and are pretty much redundant, once the summer holidays begin. Last time I was out shopping, there were still a few examples left in the Reduced to Clear section, so it might be worth having a look, if you know you will need one. Even more so if you have more than one child at school, as that really adds to the bill!
These are just some examples of things to look out for, but the basic idea is, always shop out of season. If you see a really good bargain, such as school shoes, there's no harm in buying two pairs, in ascending sizes, so that you have a pair ready for when they are out grown. It doesn't hurt to find out in advance what sort of lessons your school offers, either, such as; Forest School (wellies), Outdoor Play (wet weather attire), or Scooter Training (cycle helmet), so that you can be prepared in advance.That way, you will always be ahead of the game and it will be much easier to buy things when they are a good price, rather than when they are needed, which often works out more expensive!
Thanks to Mrs Green for the photo!
Read my last post about education here; Encouraging Children to Read