The summer holiday honeymoon is officially over for one out of three families as we move into the final stretch of the long break. For any parent with school age children, you’ll probably be thinking one of the following thoughts right now.
- Oh my goodness, if I have to break up one more argument between my kids I am going to spend the rest of the holidays locked in the bathroom, communicating with them only via notes under the door.
- The holidays are flying by, we’re having so much fun – I don’t think I’ll be ready for them to go back in September
- Argghhh, I need to buy the school uniforms. The shops never have the sizes I need, I’m going have to to queue for hours for shoe fitting and I need to take out a second mortgage just to afford everything.
These are all common emotions amongst parents, in particular the school uniform shopping saga. The good news is there are a number of ways to make this mammoth event easier, cheaper and more bearable.
Here are five of the best:
- 1. Do as much as you can online
Online shopping is the saviour of the busy parent. Want to start your shopping at midnight? Well you can. You can also choose fast delivery times and will often find there is a greater range of sizes available online than in the shops.
However, before you start wildly clicking on anything that looks uniform like, you should first check to see what is being offered in the way of discount codes and promotions to ensure you get the best deal. Promo Codes are offering some fantastic deals with a huge range of retailers offering back to school essentials – from shoes and trainers to school coats.
- 2. Take snacks and a drink
There will, inevitably, be some things you have to venture onto the high street for. Take plenty of snacks and drinks with you to avoid having to spend even more money on these. It’s amazing how quickly £20 can be spent when shopping with children.
- 3. Take socks
When shopping for school shoes, take the socks your child will be wearing for school with you, so they can try them on with any potential new shoes. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve taken my daughter shoe shopping in flip flops, then had to make her put the slightly crispy, smelly, four sizes too large ‘shop sock’ on.
Other uses for the socks you take with you include:
- Fun sock puppets for entertaining babies/other shoppers whilst queuing
- Mittens if it happens to be particularly cold (well, this is England)
- 4. Make a list
…And stick to it. Religiously.
I know how convincing children can be, but trust me when I tell you that all of their friends do not take suitcases to school, neither do they use Spiderman costumes for PE, and they definitely don’t need an iPad for homework in year two.
Only buy what they really need.
- 5. Label everything
I know it’s very tempting to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief once the uniform shop is complete, but if you don’t take action and label everything now, then you never will.
Iron-on or stick-on labels are the easiest. And can be purchased relatively cheaply. Try to avoid using biro to write your child’s name on the shop label. It will wash off after two washes.
This article is written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged between twelve and five. Kathryn was once talked into buying a digital camera for her daughter, who convinced her they needed it for a school project in year 4.