- Have you received promotional stationery leaflets already?
- Was the famous back-to-school list attached to exams results?
- Have you ever thought about the stocks of stationery that you have accumulated over the past years?
Recycling has already become part of our day-to-day actions. So, why not re-use stationery items too?
The back-to-school shopping season has started and will likely continue to mid October. Many of you have received promotional stationery leaflets, not to mention the famous back-to-school list attached to the examination results.
The necessities required by the school vary each year – as well that of your kid as he or she moves from one education level to the next. Nevertheless, there are basic supplies that kids require year after year.
As parents / guardians, you know that preparing for your kids’ back-to-school is expensive and places a financial burden on many you. How can you reduce this financial burden? One way of doing so is by means of reusing last year’s school items. You are consistently re-using stuff as a means of saving – why not school stuff?
So here are some tips you may wish to follow:
- Ask if scrap books of past years (usually half filled) can be reused. You can clarify with the school via email. It will only take a minute or two.
- Re-use copy book covers, folders, box files, stationery.
- Dedicate an hour or two and prepare a list of all the school items which you already have and which can be reused next scholastic year.
- Jotting down a list of items you can reuse might be time consuming. Never mind. Place stationery that can be reused in a designated cabinet.
- Can last year’s satchel can be used for another year?
- Spend time in preparing an itemised list of the necessary stationery to be bought.
- Do not go for brand-name items or trendier school items. Style and design cost money. Also, items might get lost and will be eventually thrown away once their use is over. Add stickers if needs be to make plain stationery more appealing.
- Use old copybooks that cannot be reused at the school as rough paper.
- If there are sales buy and stock for the following year. Remember to look out for sales organised along the scholastic year.
- Labeling stationery is essential– during summer put your child’s name on every single stationery. This means that any lost item will, most probably, be returned.
- Hold off on new uniform. Check what you already have to re-use during the coming scholastic year before shopping. If kept in good condition, they can be reused, often given to younger siblings or friends. Do not hesitate to speak to other parents.
- Buy the essentials.
- Buy uniforms one size bigger or two. You can always decrease the waists, take up the hems of trousers and bring them down again when needed.
- Label uniforms with a permanent marker. Have you ever heard of jumpers or jackets misplaced within weeks of usage? It is frustrating for any parent and time consuming for all teachers. By labeling the uniform, hence, even initials would do, the chances of getting back lost or misplaced items is high.
- Start shopping early to avoid traffic and queues.
- Combine shopping for school with other errands.
- If you are purchasing for school supplies online, look out for expedited shipping fees.
- Do not leave the shopping list until the last minute so you can check multiple stores whilst you are out on errands to compare prices and to get the best prices.
- Draw up a list and stick to it.
- Buy in bulk if supplies can be split among children in the family, or with a neighbour or friends.
- Check for suppliers of stationery / school uniforms other than retailers.
- Shop during sales.
- Take advantage of deals, but again stick to the needy list.
- Buy only those items you are missing.
- Do not use the credit card for it enables you to buy things on the impulse of a moment and the feeling is different to buying with your own cash.
- Do not give in to your children’s requests. Stick to what is needed / asked for by the school. Explain to your child the importance of family budgeting and that wise choices pay off – more money for saving and for future benefits.
- Purchase teachers / staff appreciation gifts during sales.
- Open a separate savings account you only use for stationery, extra-curricular activities, school activities and outings, private lessons and more.
- Teach your children about the value of money, even if they are young. Set up for your kid a money box for school supplies. They can start managing their own money box and purchase some stationery items at their own expense. Remember children learn by doing and learn through hands-on experiences, as well as by reinforcement and good example. The benefits are numerous: understanding money value, money management, savings habit, and independence.
With a few tips, shopping for school can be less of a financial strain on the family’s budget.
- Read our tips to save money.
- Become a wise back-to-school shopper.
- Time spent planning is worth it.
- Remember that costs add up so quickly.