Cost of Living Crisis: Tips to Save Money this Back-to-School

With the cost of living crisis leaving many struggling to make ends meet, research from sharing app OLIO out today reveals buying new items post-summer is set to cost an average of almost £300 per child and two thirds (62%) of UK parents admit they are worried about the rising costs of back-to-school season.

With this in mind, Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of OLIO has shared her tips to save money this September.

Before getting into the tips, a piece of advice is to use Latest Deals to shop for the back-to-school season. Their website publishes new deals daily and works with the best retailers in the UK. You will definitely find a bargain to take home. If you want to save money, Latest Deals is here to help. 

1. Buy second-hand 

Opting for pre-loved items is not only kinder on your wallet but also the planet. Ask your school if the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) sells uniform second-hand or check your local Facebook group to see if you can pick up some unwanted stationary supplies. You can even find sites like Uniformly which are like eBay but specifically for school uniforms. 

2. Download the OLIO app to find free pre-loved items

Check out the OLIO app to find free listings of school uniforms and lots of other back to school items in your local area. In a couple of clicks you can list any items that no longer fit or aren’t needed anymore, or simply request items for free from your neighbours and arrange a collection that suits you. The app is great for finding pricier uniform items specific to your school like blazers or PE kit, as well as other gems like pencil cases and lunch boxes. 

3. Research local initiatives  

With this back to school season being especially tough, local initiatives are cropping up all over the UK to help parents kit their kids out before school starts. Check out your local pop-up second-hand stores, free uniform drop-off and swap points and charities. 

4. Check if you’re entitled to a uniform grant  

Depending on where you are in the UK, you can access different grants from your local council. Some parents may be eligible for a uniform grant worth £200 depending on your income. Grant schemes differ across the UK, so check your local authority’s website and search your postcode to see what you could get. 

5. Be wary of multipack buys 

Multi-buying often helps us to save but they can also trick us into buying too much. Uniforms tend to be sold in multipacks and for items that kids wear every day like polo shirts, it can be a great saving. For other items, like skirts and trousers, try and work out the price per item. Using this method you can work out if you’ll save by buying more.

Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.