How to get back to school on a budget

There is always that time during summer when you realise that back to school is just around the corner and you need to buy the whole list of things your kids need to get them ready for the new term! Uniforms, P.E. kit, bags, lunch boxes, pens and pencils, the list is endless. Here’s our top tips of how to get back to school on a budget:


This is so important. We hear from so many parents who get to the last couple of weeks in August and then go in a mad panic figuring out how to get everything with a limited budget in time for the school starting again.

Although the last thing you want to be doing when the kids break up from school in July is planning back to school at the end of August/first week in September. However, it really does make a difference. If you do some planning ahead of time you’ll completely remove your need for panic and, importantly, you’ll be able to budget what you can spend and what you need ahead of time. This will leave you stress free to enjoy the summer with your kids without worrying about the last minute back to school rush.

Know what you need

It sounds obvious but so often we forget until the last minute and then find we just don’t have the money we need to get everything. Make a list of what each child needs for the start of school.


This is a tricky one because you might want to budget £30 per child but the reality is that even if you are good at finding bargains it might cost £50 per child. Do your homework and find out roughly what each thing costs. That way there are no surprises. Although if you are doing this right now you won’t have time to save, a good idea is to just put a little by each week so that when back to school comes around you have money saved. This is also a really good way of encouraging your kids to save too!

By planning your back to school earlier you will know how much you need to save for when you actually shop. 

Do you need to buy everything new?

Go through your list and think about where you could get the items from, other than buying brand new. If you have older children you might be able to use things they haven’t destroyed from the previous year. Be savvy about it and ask friends and family if they have decent school things their kids no longer need that one of yours might make use of. Sometimes schools also have uniforms or other items that older kids no longer need. This can save you so much money.

Shop around

If you choose to go a little earlier than most people do, you might find there are better deals. Once the back to school craze really begins you find that there is less choice because everyone is buying. Go as early as possible. There are so many different shops to buy back to school items from you are literally spoilt for choice. Have a look online for offers and shop around supermarkets too which often stock cheaper uniforms and school supplies. You might want to buy in bulk for some items like pens and pencils and share with a family member or friend to save money.

Sign up for shop emails, money saving apps, sites & coupons

If you sign up to receive newsletters or updates from shops you might get discounts you don’t see anywhere else.

Supermarkets are always handing out coupons and money off vouchers. Use these where you can and be sure to sign up for websites and use apps that give the same.

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