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SO, we just got the school uniform list for the little chap starting in September and boy is it an expensive lot!
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the need for most of it but going on the school shop it works out at about £180 which is a little out of budget for us at the moment to spend all in one go. You may be thinking, “don’t be so tight!” but as far as I’m concerned my 4 year old goes through trousers almost weekly after sliding around the place on his knees or climbing things (I’ve told him to stop but you know how it is!) which means if I paid £13 per pair he would never be able to do any of the clubs or activities he likes, because the budget would be going on clothes all the time. Also, he doesn’t care where his clothes come from so I’m not going to be fussy about where they come from either!
With this in mind, I have been scouring the globe (and the internet) for places I can go to get things on a budget! here are the best places I’ve found for saving money on school uniform:
Nearly new sales
Every year hundreds of parents band together to set up nearly new sales, which are basically a selection of stalls where mum’s can sell their outgrown items (that are still in good, sellable condition) The joy of these is that they usually work in a chain because everyone either wants bigger or smaller clothes so there is always something to suit your needs. The prices are generally really great and fair (and there is usually some haggle room too if you are so inclined) and it’s also an excellent place to meet parents for the next year as well! The best part about these is that you can usually get a load of the expensive, branded stuff that you can only buy from the school shop (for a billion (ish) pounds). To find nearly new sales you can search online or get in contact with the PTA at your school to find out if/when.
Before you turn your nose up at it, eBay has actually been a godsend to us when we have been strapped for cash! A lot of the baby clothes I bought were from bundles of nearly new stuff and a lot of the time they were also struggling mothers trying to make a bit of money from things they didn’t use (and I got decent clothes at almost a steal!) I don’t think I can recommend eBay enough and there are also shops on there selling new school shoes, backpacks and plain t-shirts and trousers which are perfect for being thrown around the playground!
Tesco’s back to school range is amazing and I have recently purchased a bulk of white shirts and grey trousers. One of the reasons I love them so much is because they have reinforced knees that seem to last a bit longer than other trousers and they are at a great price (usually on offer) and I also get Clubcard vouchers to reduce the price even further too!
Car boot sales
Ok, maybe this one is a bit retro but I remember going to car boot sales on the weekend with my grandparents and I loved it! They are always full of gems and you may be able to find new stationary, bags and other school essentials!
Ah the joy of social media! I am a part of several selling groups within my local area for parents and miscellaneous items. I can either put a post about what I am looking for and the sellers come to me or I spot someone selling them and try and get in there quick! – The only downside is that things get nabbed very quickly so you have to make sure to turn the notifications on!
So I was in a bit of a bind recently looking for Plimsolls and shorts for my little guy because he has a tiny waist but is starting to grow in the leg so he is an odd size! Luckily sports direct managed to help me out with what I needed and it was Buy 1 get 1 free (so of course, I bought 4!!). There are always offers on in their up to as much as 80% off for sports clothes so you should definitely check them out first! – they are also online too. The only downside is that they quickly rotate their stock so if you want something you should buy it quick because it may not be there next time!
Mummies (and daddies)
Mum’s are wonderful and they know of all the great places to get things – try and get in contact with mum’s or other parents that you know of kids who have already started at your new school to find out the sneaky places they have been to get around the costs of school uniform. Sometimes they will even be selling their outgrown stuff too!