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Save money on back to school costs

Herman Khosah

Written by Herman Khosah, marketing adviser

Preparing for the kids to go back to school can be stressful and costly. Check out these how to save and budget for the first day back.

Buy second hand 

Buying school uniforms second hand is an easy way to keep costs down. Schools in England have to make sure that second hand uniforms are available. 

Also, check out local charity shops or even hold a uniform swap party with other parents to swap outgrown clothes.

Use supermarkets for non-branded items 

Schools are now also being advised to reduce the amount of branded uniform items needed. It is worth checking with the school which items do not need the school logo on.

Supermarkets and other street shops usually sell school uniform items at a fraction of the cost.

Apply for school uniform grants 

You could get up to £200 to help cover the cost of school uniform and PE kits through the school uniform grant.

Eligibility depends on your local council. You could also contact your school, they could offer their own financial support.

Apply for free school meals 

Depending on your circumstances, your child might qualify for free school meals.

  • In England, if you have children at a state school in reception, year one or year two, they are entitled to free school meals
  • In Scotland, children in reception through to year five will receive free school meals

Wherever you live in the UK, you could also receive free school lunches if you are receiving certain benefits.

If you do not qualify for free school meals, packed lunches can also help you save money. To help keep the costs down prepare food at home and buy supermarket brands.

Reuse item from last year

If you can, reuse trainers and backpacks from last year. Usually, items from the previous school year are still ok to use.

Do you qualify for benefits?

Child benefit lets you claim a weekly payment for every child in your household. Payments continue until 16, or 20 if they are in approved full-time education or training.

Child benefit is paid at two different rates. For your first child, you will receive £24 per week. For any additional children, you will receive £15.90 per week. You can check your eligibility online.

If you are a parent on Universal Credit with high childcare costs; you are entitled to higher Universal credit payments if:

  • You have one child your Universal Credit could go from £646 a month to £951 a month
  • You have two of more children, your universal Credit could go from £1,108 to £1,630 a month

Label, label, label

Clearly label all your kid’s items. This will stop items getting mixed up or lost!

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