Making sure school doesn’t break the bank
With new uniforms, P.E. kits and educational trips, the costs of sending your child to school can soon start to run up. The average packed lunch can cost up to £550 a year and, when you have more than one child, it can really start to add up. With a bit of forward planning and budgeting, you can make some big savings. Auto Advance have some great tips on how send your kids off to school while making savings.
Cutting the cost of food
As with many things in life, planning out your lunchboxes each week can save you time and money. You’ll be less likely to deviate from your list when you go shopping and will be able to buy things you need rather than what looks enticing on the shelves. If your kids have a favourite flavour or brand of crisps or cereal bars, you can often find these cheaper in bulk buy shops like a cash and carry or via online retailers like amazon.
If you plan your evening meals as well as your lunchboxes, you might be able to plan your meals so that there will be leftovers for the next day’s lunches. Meals like pasta, pizza or any leftover meats are all good next day meals and taste just as good the day after. If you are receiving certain benefits, you may also be entitled to free school dinners for your child. If you aren’t, it’s always good to know how much school dinners cost so that you can compare and check if you’re saving money by sending packed.
School trip savings
The costs of school trips are mostly down to the school so there is little you can do about the main costs but, there are still ways to make them more affordable. Keeping money aside each week to go towards a trip can help to make the cost more manageable. Getting your child to complete chores in exchange for extra money for their trip can also help them to learn about earning. If the trip is a big one, speak to your child about perhaps putting their pocket money towards the trip if they really want to go and you are struggling. You could also put aside child benefit you receive to go towards a school trip.
Brand new uniforms (and spares!) can soon rack up the costs but, if you look in the right places, you might be able to find second hand uniforms that are in good condition. Try eBay or local selling pages on Facebook for blazers and ties for specific schools. There are also sites like Freecycle if you have no budget and sometimes schools offer uniform swaps between parents whose children are no longer attending. For the non specific items like trousers and shirts, supermarkets and bargain shops offer basics that are good value and quality.