Back to School. The Ever Increasing Prices – How to Plan and Save.

IMG_4173Yes, yes, I know – we haven’t even had Christmas yet and I am talking about the new term and going back to school! In fact, it is something that I generally have to plan for far in advance of Christmas. A) Because I never get out to the shops over Christmas as I am too ‘high streeted out’! and B) Because Grace’s birthday falls on 2nd January and I have to take that organisation into consideration too. Plus it doesn’t help that she is growing fast, at a rate of knots and, despite the fact that she is not even 7 yet, she is already taking a size 9 years school skirt!

Brighthouse has produced this interesting – and rather cool – interactive animation about the costs of returning to school. They surveyed 3000 parents of of primary, secondary and college age students to discover how much they typically spend on preparing their children for a new school year and I was extremely surprised to read just how much we spend on each child! £239 is the average! That is crazy!

I guess it helps that at the moment, Grace is not learning a musical instrument. I am also aware that – thankfully – Grace’s school has been busy fund raising and they are looking at putting iPads in each of the classrooms for the children to use.  We have quite a lot of technology at home already due to the work that Ross and I do so this would mean that Grace can use either ours or the schools and we won’t have to find the money to buy her one of her own….yet!

She does have a mobile phone from 1st Fone but I monitor her use on this and she only uses it when we say she can – plus, it is on a monthly contract which is much cheaper than pay as you go.

With regards to school uniform, I tend to buy from the Supermarkets. I always buy a bit bigger than she needs as well – good job really! Last week I managed to get to Sainsburys when they had 25% off the Tu Clothing range which they do on a fairly regular basis. This saves a fortune on things like tights, skirts and shirts (especially the tights which regularly land up with holes in them!).

Thankfully the schools P.E. kit is fairly straightforward – a white t-shirt and black shorts and the regulation plimsolls! So these can be purchased really cheaply (you don’t want to spend a fortune when they grow out of them so fast). The other thing that I am grateful for is the school’s second-hand clothing rail just as you walk in to the school entrance. They sell the jumpers and cardigans which are particular to St Bartholomews as they have the school badge embroidered on them. These can be purchased in the school shop in the town but they are priced at around £10. You can purchase them from Tesco online for £7 BUT if you can find the right fit, the school sells second-hand for £1 (very helpful recently when I shrunk Grace’s in the wash!!).

At the moment, the only other thing I am thankful for is that all Grace needs is a simple book bag. I know that as she moves up the school she will probably need a new bag, stationery and the like but I am certain I can still find ways to save!

Disclaimer: Please note that I received monetary compensation for writing this post. However, all views expressed are my own and all words were written by me.

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3 Comments

  1. November 18, 2013 / 7:51 pm

    Having children is crazily expensive – fortunately they bring us other benefits (albeit not usually monetary ones!!)

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