Pregnancy & Parenting

Back to school: ten tips to save money when buying school uniform

Vitabiotics | Published: 18/01/2024

Back to school: ten tips to save money when buying school uniform

We’re going Back to School this month, so here are ten tips to help you save money when buying school uniform

This month is dedicated to Back to School on TalkMum, where we’ll be taking a look at everything related to starting - and returning to - school, nursery and pre-school, from the secrets of the school mums and dads through to tips on helping your child learn a musical instrument.

We know that lots of parents may also be returning to work during this time, so we'll also be talking about how to manage the transition, including those all-important tips on how exactly you can leave the house on time each work and school morning.

But firstly, we're talking about school uniform. And more specifically, how to save money when buying school uniform.

Whether you’re buying for the first time or stocking up on new sizes, one thing’s for sure - buying school uniform is likely to put you out of pocket. Costs of school uniform can vary wildly depending on the school, where you are in the country and the type of uniform you need to buy. But when you factor it all in including shoes and coats, it quickly adds up.

To help save you money this academic year, we've put together a list of tips and tricks to help you save money.

Here are ten tips to save money when buying school uniform:

Only buy school uniform when shops have sales or offers on:

If the basis of your child's uniform is fairly, well, uniform, then it's likely you'll be able to buy from high street stores and supermarkets, all of which stock an extensive range of generic uniform, school dresses and accessories. The majority of these stores will discount or offer special deals on uniform at various points of the year so save money buy only buying during these times and not when it's on full price.

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Use clubcard points or money-off vouchers:

If you’re buying from a store or supermarket that has a loyalty card scheme, use your points or vouchers to get money off. And check if there are any specific discount deals or offers in place on your account that you can use.

Buy from your school:

Lots of schools hold uniform sales where they sell off donated uniform to parents cheaply, usually to raise funds for the PTA. This is great way of getting in extras in, especially when it comes to things like polo shirts and jumpers with logos that can be pricey when bought from specialist uniform shops. If your child hasn't started school yet, see if you can buy the minimal amount of clothes to last until the school holds the first sale of the year. If your school doesn’t do this, suggest starting it up instead.

Check local charity shops:

Are there any in the area of your child's school? If so, they are likely to have a supply of the uniform for much cheaper prices than buying it all new.

Buy bigger sizes ahead of time:

Although it's tough to think that your tiny four-year-old will one day be towering over you, it makes sense to buy bigger sizes when they're at a discounted price. Hide them at the back of a cupboard.

Ask around for hand-me-downs:

If a friend, neighbour or family member can donate to you, then even better. If they have older children who have long outgrown the first sizes then they will probably be on the look-out for someone to offload it all on to.

Shop around for shoes:

You don't have to buy your shoes from the well-known high-street shoes store. Supermarkets, for example, sell good quality school shoes at about a third of the price. If you know your child's size and have a good idea how to check the fit, then it pays to shop around.

Ask other parents:

If you know other parents at the school, or get to know them, ask them for tips and tricks when it comes to buying school uniform - they may know a lot of valuable, money-saving ideas to help you.

Only buy as much as you need:

Our final tip to help you save money when buying school uniform - you don't need to buy huge amounts of each item; even messy children don't need ten shirts. Buy the smallest amount that you need.

We'll be back shortly with more school posts - but make sure you read our post on mindful parenting for the school run

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