Money-Savvy Mum Reveals Simple Shopping Trick That Saves A Fortune – ‘Do It Every Time’ | Personal finance | Finance

Families are looking for ways to save money as children return to school. The cost of buying school uniforms, technology and kit is an incredible £143.39 per child, up £11.20 from last year, according to money transfer service WorldRemit. A mom works hard to reduce her expenses.

Busy mom Sarah Sturgess has learned a lot about saving money working for baby and toddler boutique, and wants to share her back-to-school money-saving tips.

Sarah, who lives in Bridgwater, Somerset, starts shopping as soon as uniform sales start and usually buys the next size up or even two sizes up. “I go for the one that will fit but with a bit of room to grow.”

Most schools now offer a uniform swap shop. “A new PE T-shirt recently cost me almost £10. From the swap shop it would have been £2 or £3.

If you need to invest in expensive technology, consider holding out until Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day, says Sarah, 40. “Avoid buying character-themed backpacks and lunch boxes. They date quickly and normally carry a 30% premium.

The lost school uniform is the bane of every parent’s life, she adds. “Label everything clearly, in multiple places if you can, so if their shorts end up in someone else’s bag, they will be returned.”

Now for his biggest money saving tip. When Sarah goes shopping, she tries to avoid bringing the children Liv, 13, Freddie, 12, Heidi, 10, Declan, 4, with her. “Pester’s power is exhausting and it increases the cost of everything you do if you give in to it. Leaving them behind saves us a small fortune, as well as a lot of stress.

The back-to-school shopping list is endless. Yours might include a school bag, lunch bag, water bottle, pencil case, crayons, hand pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, and sharpener.

It can also include polo shirts, sweaters, shoes, socks, pants or shorts, shirts, coats, sports bags, sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, notebooks and hats.

Abigail Yearley, spokesperson for TopCashback, says before you rush to the stores, sort through your children’s wardrobe and closets to see what can be repurposed.

Big supermarkets usually hold back-to-school events with discounts and money-back promises, so keep your eyes peeled, she says. “Discounters like Aldi are known for their back-to-school events, but stocks are soaring. Also, check out their middle aisle for cheap stationery and lunch boxes.

Check to see if your child’s school or parent-teacher association (PTA) has a second-hand sales group, where you might be able to purchase second-hand items.

Otherwise, check social media sites and apps like Facebook Marketplace, WhatsApp groups, and recycling apps like Freecycle.

Check the school uniform policy in full before buying anything, adds Yearley.

READ MORE: Online tool to help you pay school uniform fees – check now

Help others by donating old-school clothes and gear you no longer need, says Tessa Clarke, co-founder of free-sharing platform OLIO. “Our research shows that parents still throw away an average of 13 school items a year, despite being perfectly usable.”

Some parents will be eligible for a £200 grant for school uniforms, typically those who receive benefits such as Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit, or whose child receives free school meals.

Not all councils in England offer this, but you can check online at here.

Some major shoe stores have online outlets where you can buy discount shoes for a fraction of the price. Try Clarks, Office Offcuts and Schuh.

Also look for deals. Who? found Kickers has a family deal that offers 20% off if you buy two pairs of school shoes, or 25% off for three pairs.

Aldi is currently selling many school uniform items, including a girls black pleated skirt for just £1.75.

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Sports Direct is offering 10% off selected school shoes online through August 31, with code SCHOOLSHOES10.

Wayne Lubbock, Start-Rite shoe fitting expert, says there is no industry standard for shoe sizes. Always check the fit on your child’s feet before purchasing, with built-in growth space.

“The more fitted they are, the longer they will last and the better value for money. Fast fashion is a false economy, so go for quality if you can.”

Polishing school shoes weekly will make them last longer and they will also look more stylish, adds Lubbock.

From September, a new law in England will require state schools to remove unnecessary branded items from their uniform, says Adrian Lowery, financial analyst at investment and coaching platform Bestinvest.

“This will make it easier for parents to shop or return clothes, but for many schools it may not come into effect until September 2023. Schools can still retain some branding on items like blazers.”

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