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Smart saving strategies to steer clear of back to school blues

Maya hayakawa

December holiday season is here once again, schools closed and learners back home. It is that time of the year where everyone wants to wind up, kick their feet up, spend time with family and friends, and even treat themselves to a holiday.

However, before you get carried away, don’t forget that January is not too far away and in less than four weeks, you do not want to be regretting why you did not plan your back-to-school shopping earlier. Here are a few tips on how you can manage your expenditure in an affordable way.

Do not buy what you already have

Before you head out for your back to school shopping, take stock or inventory of what you already have. Look at what is left over from the year before and don’t waste money on re-buying things you already have. Once you have taken stock, begin writing a simple list of what you need.

Ask for a school list

If you are confused of where to start, see if you can contact your child’s school for a standard list supplied for the year ahead. This is the best way to go about shopping, because you don’t want to ride on the assumptions and run risks of buying things that your children don’t need, and therefore won’t use. Why not seek for the official list and follow it closely.

Swap market

Children unfortunately grow out of their school uniforms quicker before exhausting their existing wardrobe. This means that they generally tend to have an over-supply of clothes that are simply outgrown, rather than worn-out.

This is where you rope in your friends, family members and neighbours and consider swapping lightly-used items. This does not cost a single cent. Just imagine how much you would be saving from buying a complete new set of uniform. If you have more than one child, then this would be even easier for you, as you simply would recycle the clothes to the younger generation.

Buy used text books

If the thought of buying new text books makes you cringe, consider buying the second hand ones that are still in good condition. You can be assured that the books are still in great condition.

If you are looking for more creative ways to do so, consider swapping text books with family, friends and neighbours, or use online platforms for you to sell old books that your children are no longer using and use the money for new ones.

Buy in bulk

School shopping can be extremely stressful. Finding the time to buy the items is often left to last minute, with parents being caught up in the last minute rush.To avoid being tangled in the chaos of last-minute shopping, do so way in advance when shops are emptier, and easier to manage. Consider shopping in bulk, so that you do your school shopping once a year, as opposed to three or four times a year.

Wait for clearance sales

If you don’t mind the last minute rush, then wait and be on the lookout for student discounts. From high end electronics, to school uniform and books, companies will look to attract as many buyers as possible with the most affordable prices. Look for specials and door busters but be sure to check yourself and avoid being lured in to spend on items you really do not need.

Online shopping

Online shopping is still the biggest timesaver. Many brick and mortar stores today have the option for you to buy school items online, and better still have delivery services so all you have to do is order the needed items and wait for them to be brought to your convenience.

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