Is there anything more satisfying than making a list? Get organised for the new school year by planning your back to school shopping list ahead of time. From stationary to school uniforms, we will help you to make sure that nothing is forgotten, with our ultimate checklist.
School shopping list: the uniform
Depending where your children go to school, they may not need a school uniform at all. If so, you can skip this section.
- Polo shirts – the amount of these that you need to buy depends on how often you want to wash and iron. Be realistic about the number of times you will want to do the laundry in a week. Four or five polo shirts is normally about right. A little tip: if you can, buy coloured ones, as these can stay looking good for longer than their white counterparts.
- Trousers, skirts or shorts – again, how many you will need depends on how old your child is (how dirty are they likely to get at school) and how often you want to put on a load of washing. Usually, two pairs of trousers/shorts or two skirts is fine.
- Jumpers – two jumpers is usually adequate (with the school logo on, if necessary).
- Shoes (and socks) – any parent will know how quickly children can grow out of their shoes. So buying one pair at a time is advisable.
- Hat, gloves and a scarf – unfortunately, the summer sun will not last forever, so get ahead and plan for the colder winter months by purchasing some woolies for your children to wear when they go to school. While you are thinking about it, add a hat to your school shopping list to keep the sun off them when they go back to school in September.
- Coats (waterproof and warm) – one warm winter coat and one waterproof jacket that they can fit into their school bags, should be all that you need.
Depending on the school’s requirements, you may need to purchase various other items, such as a blazer or a tie. Request a list from the school if you are unsure.
Stationary and bags
Next, it is time to buy those day-to-day items that your children are going to need when they arrive at school.
- A bag – bags can either be satchel-style or backpacks. Satchel-style bags can weigh heavily on one shoulder, so it may be better to go for a backpack.
- Lunchbox, Tupperware and a water bottle – if your child does not have a school dinner, you are also going to need to add a lunchbox to your school shopping list. Reusable water bottles are better for the environment than buying lots of pre-packaged drinks in plastic bottles.
- Pencil case – with pencils, pencil sharpeners, a pen, a ruler, a rubber and anything else your child may need, depending on their age.
Again, if your child is just starting a new school, it may be worth checking with the school to see if they need any stationary in particular.
School shopping list: the PE kit
Keeping fit and healthy is essential for every child. Getting the right PE kit, so your child is comfortable when they are exercising, is a vital part of your school shopping list.
- Plimsolls or trainers – some experts believe that plimsolls are better than trainers for children. Plus, they are cheaper, as you will not have to fork out for expensive brands. Win win.
- Shorts and t-shirt – how many you buy depends on how often you want to be washing PE kit!
- A change of socks – wearing the same socks in PE and the classroom can result in a pretty smelly pair of feet! Packing separate socks for PE can help to keep feet fresh.
- Swimming trunks/costume – some schools include swimming lessons as part of PE, others do not.
- A bag for PE kit – keeping PE kit separate from everything else makes it easier to empty it straight into the wash when they come home. And it keeps their school bag from getting smelly!
Get organised with a school shopping list
Planning ahead is great for those on a budget. Spread the costs by buying a few items every month during the summer.
Check prices online before you head to the high street. Many supermarkets have a whole selection of back to school items at a very reasonable price. Shopping around can result in big savings.
You may not need to buy everything new each year, as some things carry over perfectly well from the year before. To save money, check what you still have and cross them off your list before hitting the shops.