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How to save money on ‘back to school’ items

How to save money on 'back to school' items


The new school year – which starts in September – is costly for parents. Children are more often than not now required to have full uniforms, even from such an early age as preschool or nursery but what can you do to have lessen the hit on your pockets each year?

The average child will require five school shirts or polo shirts, and these with the school’s badge on, cost around £7 each, or £35 in total. Pullovers and cardigans bearing the school’s emblem cost acfurther £10 – £12 each, and children will need at least two of these. Add to this, trousers for boys and a selection of dresses, skirts and trousers for girls, socks, PE kit (also often required to have the school badge on items), a book bag, and so on. It is estimated that each child’s uniform costs £75, with a further £30 to £40 to be spent on shoes, and £20 for a coat, £15 for a mac, £10 for a pair of wellies. The costs soon mount up.

Only buy essential items branded with the school’s logo

Although often a school uniform will specify that children must wear a white shirt or polo shirt, giving details for the school’s recommended stockist of these, ordinary white shirts or polo shirts are sufficient, and will cost around half of what the branded shirts cost. With two schoolchildren requiring five shirts each, the difference in price could be as much as £35.

Multipacks of shirts

You can purchase polo shirts and ordinary white shirts, in packs of two or three to save money. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda sell these, as well as the more usual stockists of school uniform, and there are ranges such as non-iron and stay-white. Many of the supermarkets now have a wider range of coloured polo shirts, such as turquoise or yellow, which are known to have slightly more longevity than white shirts.

M&S 20% off

Marks & Spencer are considered among the most reputable of schoolwear brands and they often have a special and well-known deal, 20% off. They offer a wide selection of items for girls and boys, from nursery to comprehensive school, and stock a wide variety of school uniform colours. They also have free delivery on orders made online that are over £50.


Many parents purchase school shoes for their children from reputable footwear shops such as Clarks. The company measures childrens’ feet and is well-known and highly regarded for being among the best. Good quality school shoes can also be purchased more cheaply from stores such as Brantano, which actually stocks last-season Clarks shoes, and Shoezone, which stocks a good quality range of leather school shoes that are known for their longevity. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda also stock good quality school shoes more cheaply than Clarks.


You can purchase stationery more cheaply from shops such as pound stores or the value ranges in supermarkets, or discount shops such as Wilkinson’s or Home Bargains. They have a wide range of pens, pads of paper, exercise books and even more obscure items such as protractor sets and calculators.

Course books

Children in the later years of comprehensive school or sixth form may need to purchase text books. You can use a price comparison site online to source these text books more cheaply, and if it is not essential to have a specific (latest) edition of a textbook, you can often find older editions more cheaply.

1 thought on “How to save money on ‘back to school’ items”

  1. Some great tips for parents with children off to school in September. You should do a post for parents with children off to University

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