August is the time of year when I start to prepare everything for going back to school. My son is starting senior infants so fortunately, I didn’t have much to get as a lot of the stuff I bought last year can be reused.

Here are some saving tips I have picked up over the last 12 months and would like to share with you our readers.

School Bags

There is no need to buy a new bag every year. Not only is it a waste of money it adds clutter and is bad for the environment and will no doubt end up in a recycle bin in a few months.

School bags should only be upgraded if worn or unusable. A good idea is to buy generic bags. you can customise and decorate them from Spiderman to Frozen.

This could be a fun project for the whole family and a good way to get your child excited to go back to school.

Shop alone

It’s not always possible to shop alone when you are a parent. However, if you get the opportunity to go shopping by yourself have a list ready for everything you need. This way you won’t be distracted and will buy exactly what you need.

Swap and Save

If you’re looking for wet gear such as wellies or waterproof trousers ask around first before you buy new. Ask parents in your school, check with family and friends if they have any spare.

Children grow out of the clothing so fast, most families will be glad to see them be reused.

If this is not ideal, Adverts is great for buying selling and swapping. I have donated and bought some great items here and it’s a great place to find some real bargains.

Don’t buy new

Apart from the school fees, new clothing and stationery, books can be very expensive to buy. Find out from your school if they have a book rental scheme to borrow instead of buying.

Uniforms can be tricky to buy as each school have their own rules on what type of clothing they require. If practicable buy a low-cost jumper, cardigan and trousers and buy a school crest separate to sew on.

Know your rights

You may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to help with costs. Please log on here for details.

I hope these tips and tricks have given you some ideas on how to save money this year. Please get in touch if you would like to share with us your tips or have any questions.

Checklist for saving money on school costs
  • Buy used or check at home
  • Shop alone
  • Swap and save
  • Book rental scheme
  • See if you qualify for the Clothing and footwear grant