There are clever ways to reduce the costs of kids going back to school (Alamy/PA)
There are clever ways to reduce the costs of kids going back to school (Alamy/PA)

Ask an expert: What are the best ways to save money on uniforms and tech for the new school year?

A financial expert gives top tips for keeping spending on uniform and tech down.

Lisa Salmon
Friday 20 August 2021 08:30

I’m trying to save money on all the things I need to buy my kids for the new school year – what are the best ways to keep my spending as low as possible?

Gillean Dooney, managing director at Barclays (barclays.co.uk), says: “Have a look through their wardrobe first. Before you buy any uniform items, see what you can reuse. If they’ve grown out of anything, have a go at making some extra cash and selling them on a free online marketplace or local selling pages instead of throwing them away.

“If you can, buy your school essentials after the term has started. Once the back to school rush is over, many supermarkets and clothing stores continue to sell school essentials but at reduced prices to make way for new stock. Take advantage of this and stock up on any essentials you’re missing.

“Swap! Why not share in your school chat groups what you have available to swap and what you need? For example, parent A may want to get rid of some sports kit their child no longer needs that you need and you may want to get rid of a lunchbox in good condition that will save them from buying a new one. Swapping with them instead of buying something new will help reduce costs and clean out your cupboards.

“Have a look on refurbished or second-hand tech websites. For older kids that may need a new laptop or phone, have a look on trusted, verified sites that sell second-hand or refurbished tech to get devices for a fraction of the price.

“You can also have a look on the manufacturers’ websites, as they often sell second-hand models and sometimes you can trade your current device in for a new one, or it can go towards the cost of it. But before doing this, remember to wipe the device back to its original factory settings so you don’t share any personal information.

“Search for discount codes to save money. When shopping online, before you make a purchase, research online for any discount or voucher codes that are available. This is an easy way to save money on the full price of an item. Simply enter in an online search engine the name of the company followed by the words ‘discount’ or ‘voucher code’.”