xmlns:b='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/b' xmlns:data='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/data' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr' Saving Money with Back to School | The Parent Game

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Saving Money with Back to School

First Day of School


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!

2. Hats.

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. 

Boy in Cap
Hats are essential for those sudden summer days!


3. Swimwear

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! 

Teacher Gift
It Pays to Appreciate the Teacher, but Not Too Much!

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



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22 comments

  1. It is a good time to pick up things like sun screen in the sale. I'd not thought about teacher gifts.

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  2. Good tips, especially like the teacher gifts one!! #superparentsaturday

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  3. Fabulous idea about the teacher gifts! I'd never thought about that before. Thanks for linking up to #SuperparentSaturday x

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  4. Some great tips here! We still haven't got uniform, but Harrison doesn't start reception for another couple of weeks, and Tesco still have plenty in (I hope!). Thanks for linking up to #SuperparentSaturday

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  5. What some great tips, I wouldn't have thought of picking up gifts now.

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  6. The teacher's gift tip is cool- wouldn't have thought of that at this time of year!

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  7. I've already got my eye for some Christmas gift bargins. My children seem to have so many teachers!

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  8. I completely agree that buying things out of season is the way to go - we've already bought some sun tan lotion for next year too x x

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  9. I start stocking up on bargains for Christmas now, you can save so much money

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  10. Now is definitely a great time to stocking up x

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  11. good idea! My MIL always buys wrapping paper and xmas decs and cards in the January sales she saves a fortune which is great if you have somewhere to store it x

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  12. Great ideas! Sun cream is so expensive but essential

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  13. Some great tips there Lucy. POD starts school next week (eek!) so this is all new to us, we should probably stock up with emergency supplies!

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  14. Oh, great ideas, I always stock up on Christmas cards at the end of December and on sunscreen at the ed of summer too!xx

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  15. some great tips here, as a mum of 5 kids i have done things like buying reduced items out of season too and hiding then away until they are needed. or hitting the supermarkets just before they close to get reduced food for lunchboxes too.

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  16. Mine always lose hats so that is a good reminder to have a look now!

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  17. Great tips. Just a thought for the sunscreen one. Just remember to check the use by date on it in case it's near or past it's sell-by date. It actually only keeps for a year (one summer for us here) otherwise it loses it's strength. Also some brands are better than others and when I looked at the internet, Asda's sun lotion spray F30 came out top with another which i can't remember. I would research a product like this well because the children are out in the sun for an hour at playtime. But not much to worry about now as autumn is here lol!

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  18. I thought I was pretty savvy when it comes to stocking up! How have I never done this with Teacher Gifts and its always a last minute panic! Thanks for the tip.

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  19. you are so right about out-of-season shopping. I usually start the year buying Xmas decorations after Christmas - they are often reduced to clear. Anything seasonal is worth buying at the end of the season, provided it's not perishable - no-one wants year-old Easter eggs!

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  20. Hadn't realised that sun cream lasted so long. Thanks for the tip.
    A.E. ADKINS

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