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School Uniforms for Less: How to do Back to School on a Budget

“Back to School” is a phrase which strikes fear in the heart of parents everywhere, summoning up memories of shoe shop tantrums and trying to wrangle the kids into changing rooms. Aside from the ordeal of dragging bored kids around busy shops, the financial implications of getting the kids kitted out for school can be a real stress.

However, a study conducted by John Lewis in 2013 showed that the average price of the school uniform has actually DECREASED over the past 50 years (prices adjusted for inflation):

DECADE AVERAGE COST OF SCHOOL UNIFORM
1960s £116.50
1980s £135.50
2010s £100.80

Source: BBC News

This is undoubtedly good news for consumers, however it is the case for many parents that to spend over £100 on a school uniform for one child is completely unrealistic. But fear not, bargain hunters: money saving school is now in session.

Let’s look at the average cost of a basic school uniform (the cheapest possible price for a shirt, jumper, trousers/skirt, shoes) from the four most searched for stores of the back to school period: Tesco, Asda, BHS and Next.

RETAILER TOTAL UNIFORM COST
Tesco £13.75
Asda £17.00
BHS £17.50
Next £38.00

The combined average cost of a basic uniform from these stores is £23.56, which means that savvy shoppers could dress four children for the price of the average spend detailed in the John Lewis study.

Even bigger savings can be made by buying individual items from the store where they are cheapest. Taking the cheapest items from all stores shows that you could dress one child for only £11.25. It’s then up to you whether you want to contain your shopping to one store or take the plunge and go hunting for the best bargains. Browsing online catalogues and offers on sites like Tiendeo.co.uk is a great way to plan out your shopping route at home and take away some of the stress. Either way, following these money saving tips is sure to get you sent straight to the top of the class.

Sources: http://www.tiendeo.co.uk, BBC News, Google Trends

About Martyna

Hi, I am Martyna aka Money Saving Girl. I am an expert in saving money, travelling around the world for free and getting the cheapest insurance available.

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