Reducing your back to school costs

Do you know how much it costs to kit out your kids for school? Well, according to a recent survey by Staples, 12 years of schooling for my two children would cost £5,033! And that’s just back to school costs like school uniform, sports kit and stationery. I’m a bit of a stationery geek, so most of this is probably spent actually in Staples in my case.

This total equates to £209.72 per child at the start of each school year.

Bloody hell.

And that’s not all. Think of all the costs throughout the year too – school trips, raffle tickets, the extortionate amount you have to spend on ‘smencils’, just so your daughter isn’t cast out of her friendship group for not having handwriting that smells of root beer. The list is endless. I thought I’d put together a few top tips for you, to save money on your children’s clothes, pencils, and other back to school essentials:

  • "school bag"Forget OFSTED reports, send your child to the school that is closest. It seems obvious, but not everyone does it. According to experts at What Car? the school run adds £52 to the annual fuel bill of the average family. £52 could buy you at least two bottles of decent gin. You do the maths.
  • Shop around for the best deals on uniform, and don’t buy things at obvious times of the year. Clearly Clarks are not going to have a sale on in late August, but do you really need to buy shoes then? Spread the costs over the year instead, taking advantage of offers when you see them. (Like the 20% off the new 6-12 years range of kids clothes at Polarn O. Pyret at the moment.)
  • Better yet, send them to a school with no school uniform. Like I do.
  • Want to save money on stationery? Don’t bother forking out on yet another set of pencils, instead, just have a look under the sofa cushions and behind bookcases. Seriously, every time I lift up a sofa cushion I find a pencil. I swear there must be about 369 pencils in the average family house. All you have to do is find them.

And if that doesn’t save you enough, take them out of school to ‘home educate’ them and send them up chimneys instead. I’m pretty sure that’s allowed.

Happy saving!



  1. 7 September, 2012 / 7:59 am

    We look forward to “Slummy’s Secondhand Pencil Emporium” ;-)

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