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Back to School on a Budget: How to save money on School Uniform

Ellie MacsymonsEllie Macsymons · Aug 3, 2022

Kit the kids out with uniforms & school supplies on a budget using our complete back-to-school guide.

Another school year is soon to commence, and one thing on every parent’s mind this summer is school uniform  – and more precisely, where’s the cheapest place for it?

Back to School on a budget

And with more and more of us looking to reduce our spending, renewing school uniforms once again can feel like an almighty cost all at once.

So before you rush out for your back-to-school shop, the team at NetVoucherCodes have rounded up our top tips for ways you can prep the kids for a new school year on a budget.

Shop at Supermarkets

Supermarket giants like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys have long been our saviours when it comes to affordable school uniforms and essentials. And with the likes of Aldi & Lidl now stocking their middle aisles with blouses, trousers and school shoes – supermarkets are making it easier than ever for parents to shop back to school on a budget.

Shop at Supermarkets 1
Image: Aldi UK

You can typically pick up packs of blouses and shirts for boys & girls ranging from sizes 4-16 years along with trousers & shorts, skirts, cardigans, jumpers and school shoes. High street stores like Next or Marks & Spencers typically offer more premium quality pieces which will evidently come at an increased cost.

Our top tip is to stock up on the basics the kids grow out of or go through quickly like polos and shirts at your local supermarket, then invest in a quality pair of shoes, trousers or skirts that could last them a year or two.

Shop at Supermarkets 2
Image: Lidl

And when it comes to school supplies, avoid specialist stationary stores and head down to your local supermarket or bargain store! You’ll find aisles packed with pens & pencils galore towards the end of the summer with multi-buy offers and reasonable prices.

Shop Around

When the time comes to head to the stores for your back-to-school shop, make sure you’re shopping around and comparing prices. You’ll notice prices varying from store to store, so be sure to do your research before making your purchases!

But don’t always be put off by the price, quality is an important factor too. Kids can muck up, rip or stain their uniform pretty quickly, so paying extra for durability and better quality isn’t always a bad thing! Weigh up your options and don’t forget to browse online too. Using a discount code at an online checkout can work out cheaper than buying in-store so don’t rule it out.

Buy Bigger

We all know how fast kids grow! Before you know it, they’re into the next size up before the term is over. If you want to make your child’s uniform last longer, it might be worth sizing up.

Buy Bigger

Shirts, tops, polo’s or jumpers are perfect for sizing up as you can get away with them being slightly big, leaving room for your child to grow into them. And the best part is, you won’t need to buy new any time soon.

Spread out purchases

Not only will you need to stock up on enough uniform to last the year, but there is also the cost of school shoes, school bags, PE Kits, school supplies and everything else that comes with school life. Take the pressure off by spreading out your purchases over the summer.

Buy something new once a week or every two weeks before the new term is set to begin! This way, it will feel less like a huge upfront cost.

Use what you have

Just because a new school year is starting, doesn’t mean you have to buy an all new uniform! Jumpers, skirts, trousers or blazers may still be well in-tact from the previous year. If they still fit and are in good condition, why not save yourself some money and have them dry cleaned in time for the new school year.

Blazers, school jumpers and PE Kits can cost a fortune! If they’re still perfectly usable and fit your child, there is no need to rush out and buy them again. Squeeze another year out of the things you already have to save yourself some pennies.

Use what you have

The same goes for shirts & polos. If they still fit your child, make use of them and perhaps only buy a few new ones to keep you well stocked.

Hand me downs

Hand me downs

If you have kids that are just a few years apart, make sure you’re making the most of it! Once your oldest grows out of their uniform, save it for your younger one and save yourself some cash. You can even reuse coats, bags and PE kits if they’re still in good condition. 

If your little one’s an only child, why not ask around at school and see if any fellow parents are up for a uniform swap? This is becoming a popular trend among parents to help reduce uniform costs. There may even be an online group for your local school where you can easily swap uniforms between year groups during the summer.

Hand me downs bottom

Before you start buying, have a look on Facebook to see if your school offers a community group for uniform swaps or create one yourself! Or, you could always join one of the national parenting groups to increase your chance of bagging a budget uniform.

Go directly to the school

A great way to save money on school uniforms is to go directly to your child’s school. Loads of uniforms are donated at the end of each school year and are usually available for collection during the first month back. Not only will this save you a fortune, but it’s also a great way to reuse clothing and help the environment. 

Enquire at your child’s school to see if they offer a donation scheme. If not, you could always suggest the idea to teachers to help out those parents that are strapped for cash.

Adaptive School Uniform

In the last couple of years, high-street stores and supermarkets have become much more inclusive of little ones with sensory issues. Shops like M&S, Asda and Amazon now provide sensory-friendly, easy-to-wear school essentials at budget prices. This is great news for parents as it means no more paying over the odds at specialist stores!

The easy-dressing collection at M&S is designed for children with sensory issues as well as those who just need a little extra help with dressing. There are no zips, buttons or scratchy labels, making the school experience much more comfortable for your little one.

Adaptive School Uniform
Image: Asda Easy On Range

Asda also stocks easy-wear school uniforms with sensory-kind fabrics to help with independent dressing. In this collection, you’ll find pull-on pants, shorts and skirts with comfortable waistbands as well as easy-fastening polos and shirts.

These new ranges have made adaptive clothing much more accessible to children with special needs while also providing more affordable options for parents! Head down to your local Asda or M&S or visit each store online for exclusives starting at just £3.

School uniform grant

If you’re strapped for cash, check to see if you’re eligible for the 2022 school uniform grant. Local councils across the UK are now offering clothing grants of up to £200 to households around the UK who may not be able to afford new uniforms. Amounts, eligibility and application processes vary from county to county. To see how it works in your county or if you’re eligible for this grant, use the Finder Tool on the Government website.

Latest Back To School Sales & Discount Codes

In the run up to September, make sure you keep an eye out for Back to School sales and discount codes. These sale events are usually available during mid-late August so it may be worth holding off on buying your child’s uniform early as you’ll likely bag yourself a better deal if you shop later on.

Latest Back To School Sales & Discount Codes

Stores like Marks and Spencer, Peacocks, Asda George and Tu Clothing have Back to School sections on their websites and often provide discounts during the summer. Other brands like Kickers and JD Sports also provide special offers on the more expensive items in your child’s back to school list such as shoes, bags and coats.

You can keep track of the latest discount codes on school uniform, shoes and stationary in our Back To School section here at NetVoucherCodes.

  1. Room to Grow

    Room to GrowSale

    Up to 30% off in the Summer Sale in the Room to Grow Sale

  2. My 1st Years

    My 1st YearsDeal

    Up to 25% off Back to School Range at My 1st Years

  3. GLTC

    GLTCDeal

    Up to 20% off Back to School Range at GLTC

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