It’s almost that time of year when the frantic rush for school uniforms, lunches and stationary begins, but fret no more – here are some top saving tips from the experts themselves, the parents.
Dr Saba Nabi, mother of nine-year-old Ariba Omar, offered her back to school advice and admitted that is can be a “stressful” time for the parents.
“It’s very stressful and can be financially and I think it’s quite manageable for me with just having one child, but I fear for the families who have three to four kids who are starting school,” Dr Nabi said.
- Shop early – start now
“I tend to shop early because you will know everything and if you miss something, you will be able to get it later on,” Dr Nabi said.
- Keep an eye on sale items
Dr Nabi said she uses a few stores for different items of clothing.
“I know if I need to buy shoes for my daughter, I go to The Athlete’s Foot because you look for the quality but also they have some discounts,” she said.
“For the dresses, I go to Lowes because they have some sales on uniforms and KMART and BIG W have cheap basic uniforms and for the stationary packs, usually Hunters make everything for the school.
“However, not everyone can afford it or they have many items in surplus so sometimes they make their own packs.”
- Buy food in bulk for lunches
Make muffins ahead of time and buy sandwich fillings, which can all be stored in the freezer.
- Check what is available at home
Dr Nabi said her daughter’s birthday is in November and there is a “chance” that some of her presents could be used at school.
The mum-of-one also said presents from Christmas might also hold use, for example stationary or books.
- Label everything
In case it gets lost at school!
- Don’t take the kids shopping
“I try not to take my kid shopping because they try to buy all the fancy and trendy stuff and while I’ll buy that sometimes, it’s better to go alone and do all the shopping in one go,” she said.
- Check the school for second-hand uniforms
Our second mum Silvy Lewis goes by the motto: “you don’t need to buy it, unless you really need it.”
“Use what you’ve got; you don’t have to buy new stationary just because it’s a new school year,” Mrs Lewis said.
“Pack your child’s lunches as opposed to buying their lunch at school canteens; it’s cheaper and healthier.
”Also include your children when making their lunches so that they know what is going into it and can ask questions.”