The school holidays are coming to an end in a few short weeks and many of us are already thinking about heading out to buy this year’s school uniform. The cost of school uniform can be a large part of our family budget.
For those savvy shoppers out there, CashLady has come up with 6 ways to reduce the cost of your school uniform shopping.
Contact your local council
If you are struggling to afford the cost of school uniform for your children, your local council may be able to help.
Depending on where you live, there may be grants available towards the cost of the school uniform that your child requires. You may also be eligible for some money towards the costs of their PE kit.
Head to www.gov.uk/help-school-clothing-costs and input your postcode to find out if you can apply for one of these grants.
When CashLady tried out the website, the results varied depending on your local council. If you
are part of Kent County Council, for example, the website informed us that this council would not provide any money to help you with the cost of school uniform.
After inputting a postcode in Durham, on the other hand, we were told that a School Benevolent Fund (a registered charity) offered grants towards shoes and coats for school pupils across County Durham.
Reduce the cost of school uniform by utilising social media
Some parents use websites such as Facebook to offload their child’s old school uniform which no longer fits. These uniforms can often be in perfectly good condition.
Facebook Marketplace is a good place to start your search. There may also be some local buying and selling groups that you could join. These groups had often been set up before the relatively new Facebook Marketplace was launched.
You could also try www.schoolreviewer.co.uk, which has buying and selling sections specific to each school that is registered on its website.
Don’t buy everything all at once
It can be tempting to buy everything that your child will need for the whole school year, in advance.
Although this seems like the most organised and logical approach, it can help with the cost of school uniform to spread out the purchases.
For example, buying a winter coat for September probably isn’t necessary, unless where you live is particularly cold.
Spreading the costs throughout the year can help to prevent you from getting into financial difficulties.
Additionally, if you buy too far in advance, you could find that your child has grown out of the clothes before they have even had a chance to wear them.
Consider washing more regularly
There is always going to be a minimum amount of shirts and jumpers etc. that will be necessary so that you will not need to wash every day.
However, by washing more regularly than just once or twice a week, you could get away with fewer skirts or pairs of trousers, for example.
Label to prevent loss
Labelling your child’s uniform can seem a bit petty but it can prevent you from wasting money from having to replace a lost jumper or coat.
Children can often pick up someone else’s clothing. If you have their name on it, the parent who finds it in amongst their child’s clothes will know who to give it back to.
It could also save you from losing your child’s uniform in the school lost property box.
Supermarkets can offer great value
Many supermarkets offer their own range of school uniform, at prices that can often be much cheaper than the official school uniform shop.
If you are required to buy clothing with specific logos on, these items will have to be bought from the official outlet.
If you need standard polo shirts or skirts, it could help you to save money by purchasing these items with your grocery shop.
By buying the standard items from a supermarket, you could find that you make significant savings on your yearly uniform spend.
By being savvy about what you buy and where you buy it from, you could reduce the cost of school uniform. Spreading the costs throughout the year can also enable you to better budget for the necessary purchases.
If you are really struggling to pay for your child’s uniform, it is worth checking online to see if you may be entitled to a grant from your local council.