By Ruth Emery


Alas, the long hot summer will soon be over. Meaning for parents, soon it will be time for the kids to go back to school for the brand new year. Parents will be, we’re sure, relieved to have some peace and quiet again. But, before that it’s time to think about back to school shopping - which, for most, will be quite costly.

This year many parents will be worried about how much they’ll have to spend on new uniform, shoes, stationery and who knows what else. The costs can quickly escalate - especially alarming now with the Cost of Living Crisis and the upcoming energy price cap increase already causing families to tighten their belts.

But, the good news is, essential back-to-school supplies don’t need to break the bank. With some savvy tips, it’s possible to keep costs low. You may even find you’ve got some cash left to treat yourself after waving your child off in September to start their new year at school!

Kids at School

1 - Check what you already have

Do an audit of your child school uniform, PE kit and stationery. There’s no point buying new things if you don’t know what you already have. Has your child really grown that much over the summer break, or can they still fit into their PE kit? What about shoes? Things like jumpers and coats will probably feel snug, but it’s worth asking your child to try them on first (it’s fine to bribe them with a snack or favourite TV show for this!). Also, check stationery, backpack, lunchbox and water bottle. Write a list of things you need to buy to stay focused.


2 - Buy second-hand

Buying second-hand school uniform is a smart, sustainable choice for both your wallet and the planet. Schools often have second-hand uniform sales. Sometimes they’re held in the autumn term so see if your child can get by for a few weeks before you hit the uniform sale (bring cash, and a shopping bag). Local groups on Facebook are a great source of free or cheap pre-loved items. You could also try charity shops, eBay and apps like Vinted for second-hand backpacks and coats.

School Children

3 - Shop online and use discount codes

This is an easy way to make some big savings on the things you need to buy brand new. Once you have your list of items and have checked for second-hand school uniform sales, refer to your list - work out which retailers you’ll need to buy from. For the items you still need keep an eye out online for discount codes. Check voucher codes sites like Savoo for deals and discounts - remember, here at Savoo we donate up to 50% of our commission to charity.

Shop online for discount codes

Good retailers and brands to check are Start-rite shoes, Clarks, Kickers, Studio (great for stationery and uniforms), The Works, and even Samsung (handy if your kid needs some tech) - all regularly offer discounts on Savoo.

You can often sign up to retailer newsletters to get an extra discount, especially if you’re buying for the first time. And don’t forget to check for free delivery. It’s worth thinking about whether you can buy all of your products from one place to save on delivery fees - especially if there’s a discount code available.

The Works stationery

4- Do a supermarket sweep

If your child has a relaxed uniform with no logos, you can pick up lots of basic tops, trousers and skirts while you’re doing your weekly supermarket shop. Asda George has some amazing Back to School deals (like 2 polo shirts for £2.50), while Aldi is selling the whole school uniform for a bargain £5 (you can buy it online as well as in-store, but you’ll need to be quick as they sell out fast). Matalan, M&Co and M&S are also worth a look for low-cost, good-quality uniform.

family shopping in a supermarket

5 - Label everything

This may feel like an extra cost, but you’ll save money in the long run! Kids are notorious for losing things at schools: jumpers used as goal posts, water bottles left in after-school club, scarves fallen off pegs and never seen again… It’s easy to stick on or sew on name tags (such as from Mynametags). Or, you can get a cheap laundry marker pen from Amazon or WHSmith and write the name on yourself. You can also get beautiful personalised backpacks and lunch-bags for young children from My 1st Years.


Back to School 2022 needn’t be a worry - just follow the simple tips above to ensure you get all you need without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check out our Children and Babies category and to sign up for the Savoo money saving newsletter.

With tips to help you with everything from reducing your household bills, cutting the cost of your grocery shop and much more to help you get through the winter don't forget to check out the Savoo Cost of Living Crisis Guide.