Here is our guide to make shopping back to school a budget-friendly and worry-free experience for you and your children.
1. Make a list
Having a shopping list will not only help you stay organised and prepared, it will also keep you focused so that you only buy what you need instead the newest most exciting products. There are a tonne of apps you can use to keep your lists ultra-organised – jump onto the app store and find one that suits you.
2. Check what you already own
Go through your home and see what items on your list you already own. This may take a while but it will force you to get organised and will stop you from wasting money by doubling up. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to see what needs to be replaced and you might uncover some hidden gems. Consider what you could get your hands on from family and friends, too. Hand me downs are a great option to save costs!
3. Shop how you want
These days there are so many different ways to shop – online, click and collect, on the phone or in-store. With retailers like Officeworks, you can choose from any of those for not only back to school, but every other day of the year. Shopping online can save time and makes comparing prices quick and easy. But if you like to get your kids involved and enjoy the experience, then in-store is another great option, where you can get them involved in the process of making lists, checking prices, understanding the difference between needs and wants. They will learn to understand the importance of value and hopefully, show greater appreciation and care for what you buy for them.
4. Look for value
We have a Parents Price Promise, which means if you find an identical stocked item on a quoted school list at a lower price, we will beat it by 20 per cent. We also have a free School List Service where you can upload your kids’ Back to School list online or drop it off in-store, and we’ll gather all the products for you and package it up, so all you need to do is swing by your local store and collect it.
5. Focus on quality
If something looks poorly made or won’t survive your kid’s wear and tear regime, simply don’t buy it. We offer all of the brands on school booklists, plus some of their own, so you’ll find something that meets your quality and budget requirements.
6. Invest in a labeller
Let’s be honest, kids lose a lot of stuff all the time. If you can label as a many things as possible (within reason) right from the get-go, you are more likely to have these things find their way back home and save you money having to replace them. Particularly important with school tech devices considering the investment made!
7. Go green
Try buying things that are made of recycled or recyclable materials. An easy way to do this is by looking for back to school essentials carrying the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which means products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. As well as that consider reusable products like sandwich bags, aluminium water bottles, refillable pens and reusable sticker books. Not only will this save you money in the long run, it is so much better for our environment.
8. Start early
It’s very easy to take a laid back approach as summer kicks in and not thinking about supplies until the week before classes start, but organisation is vital when it comes to back to school time. By starting earlier, parents have more opportunity to shop around for the best products rather than doing a last minute scramble and spending more than expected.
Canna Campbell, Finance Expert, Officeworks