Back-to-School Made Easy

A Budget-Friendly Guide for Back-to-School Shopping 

The festive season which is filled with Christmas feels, quality time with loved ones, and relaxation, will soon be replaced with back-to-school excitement. As consumers shift gears from the holiday season to the back-to-school (BTS) madness, Kutlwano Tshetlhane, mother and Stationery Marketing Manager at BIC, shares her top five budget-friendly tips to help navigate the BTS panic and make it a little bit easier on the mind and the pocket. 

1.      Take control of your own shopping basket: while ordering a stationery box through your child’s school may seem like the obvious choice, it’s not necessarily the only option. You might end up with stationery items that you don’t necessarily need. Take control, shop yourself through physical or online stores, and choose the items that you and your child prefer. Pro tip: you don’t have to buy the brands specified on the stationery list provided by the school, and you don’t have to send 10 glue sticks and 24 pencils with your child on the first day! You have the option to purchase what your child needs at the beginning of the school year, and replenish later if needed. 

2.      Not all things are uniform: check what you can reuse from previous years and shop smartly for the remaining/needed items from budget-friendly retailers. Don’t be shy to shop for some of the items at the second-hand uniform shop at your child’s school, where you will find good bargains for half the price. 

3.      Normalize using labels and checklists: it is no surprise that kids play around at school and might end up misplacing items they bring from home. Do yourself a favor and ensure that all items including stationery, lunchboxes and clothes are properly marked. Pro tip: create a checklist of your kid’s items and give it to them to help them (and yourself) remember what needs to be packed before they leave school to head back home. This will not only teach kids responsibility, but will also help avoid the frustration of misplacing items and save costs on replacing them. 

4.      Get lunchbox smart: avoid the temptation to fill your child’s lunchbox with a variety of fancy pre-packaged goods unnecessarily. Keep it simple! healthy snacks like fruit, carrots and cucumbers, as well as popcorn, and rice cakes, go a long way. You could even whip up some basic treats with your kids over the weekend, and add those to the lunchbox. 

Whatever tips you may go with or preference you might have, always remember to involve your children in the back-to-school preparations, as that will help them make decisions, take accountability, feel like they are part of the process, and get them excited for the new school year!