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How to be a cost-savvy parent as kids head back to school

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
Children acrosss the UK will be heading back to school in September. (CDC/Unsplash)
Children acrosss the UK will be heading back to school in September. (CDC/Unsplash)

With children across the UK set to head back to school in September, parents are worried about the rising cost of supplies — but strategic shopping could save them hundreds.

Between school trips, lunches, uniforms, stationery and other classroom equipment, 76% of parents are worried about how they will afford it.

But it all comes down to comparing prices, and choosing the right time to buy, analysis by price comparison website Idealo found.

READ MORE: 'Why am I paying for my son's school snacks and library fees?'

For example, those looking to buy a laptop or tablet for their child to learn are best off waiting until November if they can, when prices are set to drop 8% and 16%, respectively, from August, Idealo predicted based on price trends over the past year.

Meanwhile, backpacks are best bought now, as they’re at their cheapest in August. Prices are likely to increase 8% in September, and another 8% in October.

While school shoes are at their cheapest in May, those who can’t wait should also buy them now, as prices are set to rise by 10% in September, then another 1% in October when they hit their most expensive.

Those looking to buy a tablet for their children should wait until November, as the prices last year dropped by up to 13%. Photo: WeAreBoutique
Those looking to buy a tablet for their children should wait until November, as the prices last year dropped by up to 13%. Photo: WeAreBoutique

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Can I refuse to send my child to primary school?

The same is true for trainers, which are at their cheapest in February, but will increase by 4% in September and an additional 2% in November.

Football boots will be 4% less expensive in September than in August, and 7% less expensive in October. But if parents can hang on a few months, they’re cheapest in February.

The best month’s consumers should consider shopping for popular back to school products. Photo: WeAreBoutique
The best month’s consumers should consider shopping for popular back to school products. Photo: WeAreBoutique

Idealo also offered some tips for parents who want to save money on school supplies.

Tips for cost-savvy parents

  1. Keep an eye out for shopping events — You could save a lot of money with Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day deals

  2. Bide your time — If you’re unsure about a price, it could be in a sale, clearance or deal the next month

  3. Compare prices — Checking different stores and websites for the cheapest option could save you a lot money

  4. Use price history tools — Checking how much prices have changed over the year will give you a good indication of when a product will be cheapest