School costs can always be counted on for increasing each year so I’m sharing my top back to school savings hacks. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.
- Don’t automatically use the recommended school book list retailer
As I discovered this year it doesn’t always pay to go with the school recommended book retailer. I found this out by accident when I missed the ordering deadline, and had to seek an alternative. I ended up finding out that Officeworks allow you to upload your school book list online so you don’t even need to come into the store. They then pack the items and these can be delivered to your door (or you click and collect). By selecting the alternative option we saved $60 which was then diverted to paying for a new laptop bag. It’s worth doing the sums.
- Buy the basic school uniform first
It’s tempting to buy everything in one go at the Uniform Shop to save time, but I have found that by buying everything up front I often ended up overbuying items. Eg buying too many long pants when my son’s only wanted to wear shorts and so on. So now I only buy a basic set of uniform items to get them started for the year, and add to it throughout the year as needed. This hack also helps me spread the cost of uniforms throughout the year.
- Work out what you can purchase outside of the uniform shop
Now I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but its worth investigating and seeing what items don’t have to be purchased from the uniform shop. For us we have found that pants, shorts, socks, bags, and hats don’t need to be purchased from the uniform shop. We instead purchase these items from Kmart, Big W or Target. This has saved us a significant amount of money over the years given that the price difference between Uniform Pants and Kmart Pants is about $20-25 a pair.
- Buy good quality shoes, but make sure you don’t forget your cashback.
I’m a big believer in buying good quality footwear, and spending a little extra to get something that will go the distance. Something I’ve recently started doing is ordering my kids shoes online. In previous years this wasn’t something I would consider doing as I was concerned with sizing issues / and returns. These days I’ve found more and more shoe retailers are offering free and easy returns to allow people to shop for shoes in the comfort of their own homes. An added bonus of online shopping for shoes is being able to take advantage of cashback offers available at Shopback and Cash Rewards . I make sure to keen an eye on deals in the lead up to Christmas, and have received 10-20% back on my shoe purchases.
- Check out your local government entitlements.
It took me a couple of years to find out about the sports vouchers for kids program in my state, however now that we do know about it we make sure to use up our entitlements yearly.
All states except Victoria and the ACT offer rebates to Australian parents who enrol their children in recreational events outside of school. Information on these programs are available below.
- South Australia – Sports Vouchers
- New South Wales – Sports Voucher and Creative Voucher
- Queensland – Fair Play Voucher
- Northern Territory – Sports Vouchers
- Western Australia – Kids Sport
- Tasmania – Ticket to Play
I would love to know if you have any savings hacks you use. Feel free to comment below.
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