Parents shell out £165 to kit kids out for school

Back to school tips

Kids are back to school this week, but American Express hasn’t been slacking on its summer holiday homework, it’s been busy researching the cost of school for parents and it’s come up with some expensive conclusions.

Namely that if you’ve got two children heading back to school this summer, you’ll be £332 (£165 per child) lighter by the time you say goodbye at the gates.


Here’s the breakdown of its findings, based on a survey of 2,000 parents with children aged between four and 18:

Item(s) Average cost (based on two children per family)
Uniform and PE kit (inc. coat, shoes, trainers and other equipment) £224
Rucksack £21
Book bag £12
Lunchbox £10
Technology £22
Stationery (inc. calculator) £23
Total £332

Cut the cost of school

Of course, you can instead be Money wise and cut down costs. Here are some top tips:

  • Get kids involved in the shopping process. Give your child a budget and work together on their back to school shop. You can spot deals together, work in an impromptu maths lesson, and teach them about the value of money.
  • Cut the cost of uniforms. While some schools have a uniform so unique that they can only be bought from specific shops, other schools are more flexible. If this is the case, think about buying items from swap shops, charity shops and using hand-me-downs - just don’t tell your kids where they came from. Also check supermarkets for budget-busting uniform.
  • Reap cashback rewards. If you’re buying on your credit card, ensure you use a cashback card or loyalty card to make money on your spending. For example, if you buy school uniform from George at Asda, check out the Asda cashback credit card, which pays 2% cashback in-store, including on the George range
  • Buy the basics and soup them up. Buy plain supplies and some stickers, glitter, or other embellishments and encourage creativity in your kids - you never know, it might even get them excited about going back to school and it’s likely to be much cheaper than already jazzed up goods.


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