Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about Back to School items and preparing for the new school year. While the thought of shopping and returning to school for another year may be exciting for many children, the prospect of shopping for Back to School may be a bit stressful for parents.


Here are a few Back to School tips to help you get organised and to save on your Back to School shopping trip.


Back to School Clothes


Before you head to the shops for uniforms, socks and shoes, take inventory of what you have that can still be used this year. Based on your stock take, write up a shopping list of which items you need to buy and how many of each. While many retailers are offering specials on back to school uniform clothes this week, they are also counting on your making impulse purchases this week. It’s always best to head on to the shops with your shopping list at hand.


Before you do, you might want to look into whether there are any second-hand items for sale that you can buy? Perhaps there is a thrift store in your area, or someone is actually selling items that are too small but still in very good condition. You might want to check out School Trader for any listings of second hand clothes for sale. Another idea might be to look at the lost and found – sometimes there are absolute gems among those unclaimed items that end up being sold.


Finally, before you head to the shops, have a look online at all the retailers – big and small – offering specials and compare prices before you leave the house. It might just save you a bit of money as you don’t want to come across a better deal after you’ve done your shopping. PEP is advertising some nice Back to School deals at the moment and they’ve just advertised on their Facebook page a one-day special on school shirts for as low as R10.00 each!



Back to School Stationery


Stationery can be a huge drain on our monthly budget and ultimately our annual spending. Stationery gets lost, left behind or just otherwise magically disappears. We all know children usually go through a whole lot of stationery each school year, and that in itself is probably an understatement!


Before you head on to the shops, it’s worth collecting all the odds and ends of stationery that might be lying around as well as taking stock of what you have and what you’re going to need (I’m sure everyone’s been given the dreaded list!). This way, you can focus on buying just the necessities. Again, it’s worth having a look at and comparing current specials before you leave the house – CNA, Takealot, Makro, Game, Checkers, Pick ‘n’ Pay – and most importantly, checking the price per item (bulk deals may not always be the best deals).


If you find a good special on items that you know your child is going to be using a lot of during the school year it’s probably best to stock up on those items. This will save you quite a bit down the line. You will always have stationery at hand to replenish as needed which will in turn help you save on a) transportation costs, taking the bus or driving to the shops and back and b) time, as you won’t have to look around for items on special to buy.


Back to School Textbooks


We all know that school and university textbooks are very expensive and these are more than likely going to be the most expensive items on your shopping list! Have you considered buying second hand? Perhaps there are listings on the school board of items for sale that you can have a look at. You might also want to check out Ferndale Textbooks as they might just have what you’re looking for.


This might also be a good time of the year to go through your child’s books and put aside the ones they are no longer reading or no longer wish to keep, and to donate them to your local library, children’s hospital or shelter. Alternatively, you might want to consider donating books to an organisation that distributes books to children across South Africa – here is a very useful list.


Do you have any Back to School saving tips that you’d like to share? Please leave me a comment below. I always love to hear from my readers!


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