Sending the kids back to school seems to cost more each year. What’s the best way to cut costs? Our 10 tips to beat the back-to-school spending blues will help you keep a lid on your bills.

  1. Slash the cost of school books

    Does your kid’s school offer a textbook rental scheme? Is there a local book exchange programme? Or can you get second hand books from other parents? These are all great ways to cut your back-to-school bill. For the best deals on school stationery check out supermarkets and cut price stores for special promotions. Consider buying in bulk as it may be better value with an eye to next term.

  2. Reuse and recycle wherever you can

    If schoolbags, uniforms, drink bottles, lunch boxes, and even shoes are still in good shape, then reuse them to save money and the environment.

  3. Search for the sales

    Keep looking for back-to-school sales when you’re shopping online and at local shops. If you’re buying online, just remember that non-EU purchases may mean additional taxes, duties and shipping costs so be sure to add these into the price.

  4. Put a label on it

    If you want to keep it, put a label on it. Kids lose things and that costs money. Label everything that goes into your child’s schoolbag and everything they wear so you can claim any lost items back.

  5. Pack the lunch to save a bunch

    School lunches make up a big part of back-to-school costs. Packed lunches can be low-cost and nutritious and healthier for your child and your budget in the long run.

  6. Buy big to beat the growth spurts

    When you’re buying school uniforms or some sporting equipment (but not shoes), it might be an idea to buy a size bigger to beat growth spurts. It may mean having to doing a little sewing and adjusting but it can work out a whole lot cheaper than having to buy new items next term.

  7. Avoid surprises, plan for extras

    Unexpected expenses inevitably pop up throughout the year. Putting aside a little extra money each week towards extra school bills will mean that you’re prepared for surprise extra bills.

  8. Need to borrow? Choose wisely

    You may need some support to pay back-to-school bills. Try to avoid expensive credit card debt, or at least try to pay off the credit card balance as quickly as you can to avoid extra interest.

  9. Make it into a lesson

    Back-to-school costs are an ideal opportunity to teach children how to budget and manage money. The Bank of Ireland financial education programme can help. Find out more here.

  10. Do you qualify for government support?

    A ‘back to school allowance’, is available for qualifying parents. It is means-tested and aimed at helping families with the extra costs when children start school each autumn. You can find out more here.

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