Back to school is an exciting time but it can also mean a host of new expenses that threaten to break the bank. You may need to stock up on new uniforms, books, stationery and more. So how do you save money when there are so many new things to buy for autumn? Here are just a few handy tips to spend a little more wisely this season and perhaps save a few pounds in the process.

Second-hand uniforms
Most schools now collect second-hand uniforms from students and families and sell them to others for a fraction of the price. You’ll also find people selling pre-loved uniform on local marketplaces like Facebook, often in nearly-new condition. In some cases, your local council may even help with the cost of buying a uniform.

Lunches on a budget
Packed lunches are excellent money-savers. If sandwiches get boring, buy in bulk and batch-cook pasta salads or rice dishes. Or you could make extra food at teatime to have leftovers for lunches the next day. NHS Change for Life has some ideas for getting a healthy balance. If you are on certain benefits, your child may be entitled to free school meals. You can check on

Reduce book-buying by visiting the library
There are lots of libraries across the UK, both outside and inside of school. Textbooks and even required reading costs can add up as children go through school. It’s worth getting them their own library cards so they have access to this completely free resource. Libraries are also brilliant places to take the kids to study or do homework in a quiet environment. 

Share fuel costs
Car sharing is a brilliant way to save money on fuel and car maintenance costs, plus your kids get to travel to school with their friends! For parents who work full time, car sharing can be a great way to cut down on the number of school runs you have to do as well. Check with other parents in your child’s class or get engaged at PSA/PTA groups and meetings.

Manage stress levels
Finally, going back to school can be a stressful time for parents and children, even without money worries. Try to get your routine sorted before the holidays are over, and get organised well in advance so you aren’t rushing at the last minute. You can find more tips for de-stressing on Reader’s Digest.

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