Back to school money-saving offers

back to school

With the start of the new school year just around the corner, you're probably on the lookout for a few last-minute bargains.

Parents spend an average of £236 per child getting them ready for the school year ahead, according to research by Santander.

Uniform, PE kit, stationery and rucksacks all contribute to the bill. Uniform amounts to £40 on average, school shoes £31 and coats another £24.

And when other expenses - such as lunch money, travel, after-school activities and gadgets – are factored in, the cost of keeping a child at school is £52 per child a week in term time. That's a whopping £2,028 every school year.

The biggest regular expense is school trips, which work out at £10 a week on average, followed by extra-curricular activities at £9 and packed lunches at £8.
Parents whose children attend foundation or trust schools spend the most, at  £375 on average upfront and then £93 a week. This is slightly higher than the £371 and £93 spent by parents of children attending private school (excluding school fees).

Grammar school parents fork out £329 upfront and £76 on a weekly basis. The costs for community schools are £226 and £49 respectively. At academies, they're lower still at £262 and £56.

Ways to save

If you're worried about the costs, the good news is there are lots of ways to save. Here's a list of some of the best.

1. Cashback sites

Websites such as Topcashback have lots of great Back to School deals, such as its spend £10 or more on Tesco F&F school uniform range and get £12 cashback.


2. Cashback credit cards

Reward credit cards offer perks including cashback on whatever you spend, wherever you spend it. For example, the Santander 1|2|3 Credit Card pays 1% cashback in supermarkets and 2% in department stores, though it does come with an annual £24 fee. The AMEX Platinum Cashback Everyday Card has a very compelling introductory offer of 5% cashback for the first three months. It reverts to 1% cashback thereafter and has no annual fee.

3. Loyalty card deals

Tesco Clubcard is currently running one of its popular Boost deals. You can exchange every £5 of your Clubcard vouchers for £10 of Boost tokens to spend at F&F online on all of the back to school range.

4. Supermarket deals

The supermarkets seem to be doing their bit to help parents balance their budgets and all are offering some great deals. For example, the George at Asda range has a two-pack of boys' white poloshirts for just £2.

5. Back to school discounts

Retailers are clambering over each other to win your custom. Argos has 50% off school bags, BHS 20% off all back to school items bought online (discount applied automatically) and M&S is offering £5 off full-priced school uniform when you spend £40 or more online (the code is SAVE5ONLINE).

These deals won't last for long so what are you waiting for?

Your Comments

Great article Laura. My lad is starting college and needs a laptop - I found this £20 off £100 spend at Tesco Direct and we are picking up a brand new HP Laptop tomorrow. Maybe someone else will find it useful :)