As the end of the school holidays approaches, you might be worrying about the cost of buying new school uniforms. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune. We have put together some handy tips on how to save some money when kitting the kids out for the new school term.
Many children seem to outgrow their uniforms from one term to the next, meaning perfectly good uniform can go to waste. The good news is this happens to children all over the country and more and more people are starting to donate their old uniforms to charity shops or to school pre-loved uniform schemes. These can be a great source for branded items such as jumpers and ties which can be expensive in high street uniform shops.
So before you hit the shops, check your school and local charity shops for any bargains. Don’t worry about sending your kids to school in pre-owned uniform – 60% of parents say they have!
Take part in a Uniform swap
Uniform swaps are on the rise in the UK and are usually set up by parents themselves. You can organise your own swap with parents in your local area by setting up a Facebook group or asking your school PTA to send out a newsletter.
Alternatively there are many websites being set up such as uniform exchange in Yorkshire, for parents to donate old clothes and find their local collection points. Have a look online to find your local swap shop.
Shop at Supermarkets
Another way to save some cash when buying uniform is to look in your local supermarket. Aldi offer a full school uniform for only £5! The Specialbuy allows you to get 2 polo shirts, a sweatshirt and a skirt or trousers all for only £5 – stock is limited so you do need to be quick!
Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all do great offers on uniforms, with a pack of 2 polo shirts costing little as £2 and skirts from £3. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of any multi-buy promotions going on so you always have spares.
If your school requires branded uniform it may be an idea to buy the school logo and sew it on to the supermarket jumpers yourself.
Buy hard-wearing clothes
On the flip side – buying cheap isn’t always the best option as kids will put their school uniform through a lot of battering in the playground! So clothing that will need less washing, ironing will last longer.
Many shops now offer uniforms which are made from ‘tougher’ materials such as non-iron shirts and Teflon coated clothing which stops stains from soaking in as much. This allows clothing to look good for longer, saving you money in the long run.
Shop out of season
School clothing as you would expect tends to be the most expensive during the summer holidays. Many stores have a clearance sale at the end of September/ start of October, so if you can, try to squeeze a few more weeks out of your child’s old uniform and wait until the sales to buy them new uniform.
During these end of season sales it can be a good idea to buy ahead for next year as you could save as much as 70%! It can be hard to judge how much your child will grow but is a good option for parents whose children maybe don’t experience big growth spurts.
Contact your local council
If you are on a low income and struggling to afford the cost of your child’s school uniform, you could be entitled to a grant depending on where you live. You may also qualify for money towards their PE kit.
Click here to see if you can apply for a school uniform grant.
Label you child’s clothes
During PE, children’s clothes can get mixed up and they can often pick up someone else’s by mistake, by labelling your child’s uniform it allows parents to identify who it belongs to and give it back – rather than it ending up in lost property or the bin.
It may seem petty but labelling uniform can prevent you from wasting money from having to buy new jumpers or shirts!
You can pick up iron-on labels to attach to their uniform – it’s also a good idea to buy just your surname if you have other children so that if you choose to hand these items down you don’t have to buy new labels.
If you would like any advice on your finances contact one of our Talk about debt’s advisers on 0808 156 7730.