Even though schools are paid for out of the public purse, there’s no denying that schooling is still an expensive activity for parents. No, you don’t have to pay the teacher’s wages directly (you’ve got your tax bills to thank for that), but you do pay for all sorts of other ancillary or related costs which can soon add up.
With the kids now going back to school, many mums are asking themselves if there’s any way they can save a bit of money on the costs of schooling. Back-to-school can be pricey, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Take a look at some of these money-saving tips to cut the costs of your child’s education.
Look For Second-Hand Uniform Sales
School uniforms are something that British parents are used to dealing with. Every year their child grows, and every year, they need a new outfit. But jumpers, trousers and blazers don’t come cheap, even if you go to Primark. So are there any ways of saving a bit of money on the clothing front?
Check to see whether your school offers second-hand uniforms for sale. Second-hand uniforms are usually only a fraction of the price of those that are new and are especially helpful if you’re in the unfortunate situation of having multiple children at different schools. Second-hand uniforms can cut your clothing expenses by 50 per cent or more.
Check Your Home First For Stationery
Buying stationery isn’t the most expensive thing you can imagine, but all those protractors, calculators, and reams of paper can soon add up to a lot of money. Many parents know this, which is why they comb their houses and take an inventory of existing stationery before going out and buying brand new fountain pens. Often you have the stuff you need in your home already: it’s just a case of finding it all and putting it in a pencil case.
Cut The Cost Of School Trips
School trips can be expensive, but they’re an essential part of your child’s education and vital for getting them out of the classroom. School trips organised by NST and other agencies can help bring costs down. But what else can parents do? One thing is to insist that children only go on educational trips: trips to the Malverns to study geography tend to be a heck of a lot cheaper than ski trips to the Alps.
Use Pre-Loved Goods
Parents like you are on the internet right now, looking to make a quick buck from second-hand school uniforms. Check out pre-loved websites to see whether anybody is offering local school uniforms for less money than brand new.
Pre-loved websites are a great place to find bargains on some of the bigger-ticket uniform items, like coats and jackets. What’s more, these items usually take longer to wear out than shirts, trousers and jumpers, and so you may get better value overall.
Save On PE Kits
Not only do children need a formal school uniform, but they also need something to wear while doing exercise. While some schools are very strict on PE kits, others take a more liberal attitude, allowing children to wear clothes that are not identical. In the latter situation, you may be able to grab yourself a bargain by finding discount polo shirts and shorts at your local sports store.
Customise Uniforms Yourself
Generic brands are always much cheaper than bespoke clothing items. But many parents are forced by local schools to buy specific clothes from local retailers because they contain the school’s emblem. It seems like an unnecessary expense and, frankly, it is. Parents are not seeking out unbranded items and then adding the school emblem afterwards themselves. Images can either be sewn (if you have the right machinery), or bought as stand-alone-patches and then attached to the relevant item of clothing. While shirts and trousers are usually generic, blazers may not be.
Look For Special Offers
Retailers know that parents usually need a more than one of each piece of apparel for a school uniform. That’s why they often offer buy-one-get-one-free discounts to encourage bulk buying. Look out for these offers, especially if you have more than one child. And use them to fill out the wardrobe.
Get Your Children To Learn Their Cycling Proficiency
Driving your kids to school every day is expensive. It’s much better for your bank balance and their fitness if they make their own way to school. Perhaps the cheapest mode of transportation is by bicycle. Enter them into a cycling proficiency programme so that they learn the highway code and can take themselves to school.