6 Super Easy Tips To Save Money on Back-to-School Essentials

Back to School Essentials Without Spending a Fortune

No sooner had the school holidays arrived than they’re nearly over, and recent research has suggested parents are paying in excess of £400 per year to send their children back to school. And whilst we all want the best for our children, the back-to-school shop needn’t be so expensive.

Below we share 6 super easy steps to help you save money when it comes to purchasing the back-to-school supplies, whilst ensuring your children do not miss out.

Do an Inventory:

At the start of every academic year, it seems as though we go through the same routine – purchase new school uniforms, PE kits, stationery and other school supplies. But do you really need to get new everything?

Give your home a once over, check drawers and cupboards for back to school items which are unused, hardly used or can still be used. There’s a good chance you’ll be amazed at the number of erasers, rules and protractors you have lying around the house already.


Part of all back-to-school shopping is the purchasing of new stationary. Carrying out an inventory can help reduce the amount of stationary you’ll need to purchase ahead of the academic year, whilst as a general rule of thumb the only stationery which should be required is:

  • HB Pencils
  • Biro Pens (blue or black)
  • Eraser
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Protractor
  • Calculator
  • Compass
  • Rule

And whilst there may be a range of brightly colour gel pens available, the majority of schools will not allow pupils to write with these so do not waste your money purchasing them. Another top tip when it comes to stationery items for your children is to buy an inexpensive plain pencil case and allow them to personalise it themselves.

School Uniforms – They Don’t Need to be Expensive:

There’s no getting away from it, school uniforms are expensive. But do they need to be?

If the school allows plain uniform instead of uniform with the school’s crest on supermarkets are great places to purchase from. Whilst they’re durable enough to handle the rough and tumble which comes with school life, they aren’t expensive enough that they’ll break the bank – and your children will still look smart at school.

But before you go out and purchase new uniform, check the uniform they wore during the summer term. Chances are this is still perfectly fine for the upcoming term – either as it is or with a little bit of make do and mend. Another alternative for school uniform is hand-me-downs from older siblings.

Make a List & Stick To It:

Ahead of a new academic year, particularly at a secondary school, pupils are provided with a list of the supplies they will need. This list should form the basis of the back-to-school products you purchase, although not everything on the school list will be essential – as such, we recommend where possible you speak to the class teacher to see what products your children will definitely need.

Once you’ve got a definitive list of supplies from the school, and you’ve done an inventory of the items you already have, you can make a list of what you need to purchase. It is important when shopping for school supplies; you stick firmly to the list – even if your children ask for unessential extras.

Don’t Leave Shopping Until The Last Minute:

We’re all guilty of it, but waiting until the last minute to purchase the essential school items can often result in you spending more than you have to. We therefore recommend when it comes to shopping for back-to-school items you give yourself plenty of time to search for the bargains – giving you the best chance to save the most money.

However, we’d also suggest you don’t buy everything in one go. Instead purchase only the essentials which are required for the first couple of weeks of term – particularly as many school supplies are discounted once schools start back.

Packed Lunches:

It isn’t only one buying school essentials as part of the back-to-school rush where parents can save money, throughout the academic year you can also save the pennies by switching from school dinners to packed lunches.

Not only will packed lunches enable you to save the pennies each week, but you’re also able to ensure your children have a healthy lunch which they’ll enjoy and will stimulate them and therefore enhance their learning.

There you have it, 6 super easy steps you can take to save money when it comes to back-to-school essentials. And as a bonus step, purchase all your stationery needs for the academic year ahead via BuySpares and get everything you need at a low price, next day delivery and without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

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