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Back to school cost saving tips

27th July 2021

The start of the new school year can be an exciting time. But the cost of uniforms, shoes, sports kit and equipment soon adds up, especially if you have more than one child.

We’ve put together some tips to help you and your family plan for the start of the new academic year, finding savings that could give you and yours more freedom to spend your money on the things you really love.

Savings on back to school shop

According to a study carried out by Statista UK parents spend around £191 per child on back-to-school kit. Some costs are unavoidable, but make sure you’re getting the best deal by shopping around and comparing prices.

Most shops have deals and discounts throughout the summer holidays, and it’s easy to compare prices online.

Follow this three-point plan to save on school essentials:

1. Take stock

Before you make a shopping list, check what you already have so you only buy what you really need. Some new items are unavoidable, and kids grow fast, but you may be surprised how much of last year's clothes still fit. If you have more than one child, check what’s hiding in the back of their wardrobe, it may fit their younger sibling.

2. Reuse and recycle

Does your school have a second-hand uniform exchange? It's probably the cheapest way to kit out your kids for the new year. If not, team up with fellow parents for a uniform swap. The barely worn blazer your child has outgrown may be perfect for their friend's younger sibling and vice versa.

3. Compare prices

The chances are you will still have to buy a fair amount of new school kit. So, set aside some time to do your research and compare prices to find the best deal before you buy. And, if you don’t have to buy the school logo uniform the cheapest option may be to pop down to your local supermarket.

Financial support for families

There are a wide range of benefits for parents and families, and it can seem daunting to try and work out what you may be entitled to. But take the time to find out and apply, and you could save thousands of pounds every year. There is a full list of financial help with childcare on the government website here, including child benefit, help with travel costs and tax credits.

It’s also worth checking back regularly, as your circumstances and access rules may have changed. Your employer may also offer childcare benefits too, asking your HR team is a good place to start.

This is not intended to give financial advice or a personal recommendation. If you need a personalised recommendation based on your personal circumstances, you should seek the advice of your financial adviser.