Back-to-school on a budget

Source: News24

Those lengthy back-to-school stationery lists are back in every student’s home by now and from the great expense (why is glue so expensive?) to the odd requests (toilet paper, really?) you might be pulling your hair out already.

Parent24 spoke to local stationery supplier, PNA, who offered parents some insider tips to save time and money when buying school supplies this year.

Budget

Budgeting for school supplies is a must, because it keeps you from impulse buying and encourages you to stay on track with your monthly goal.

If school supplies are going to cost a little more than you thought, adjust other areas of your budget. Take cash instead of your credit card so that you’re not tempted to spend more than you’ve budgeted for.

Second hand

Consider buying used or refurbished electronics. Thanks to the pandemic, technological devices are becoming a purchase you just can’t escape.

Check sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace for lightly used or refurbished devices, headphones or laptops that won’t send you to the cleaners.

Be strict

Buy them what they need to do well. At the end of the day, your child won’t fall apart if they don’t have the latest sports team or celebrity-themed notebooks.

Do your research, make your lists, and then be focused and strict when you finally hit the stores for back-to-school shopping.

If your budget is tight, typically, the kids won’t need every single supply during the first few days of school. So you could also also buy these items one term at a time.

Generic versus name brands

Generic brands are known for their very basic packaging and labels, and lower prices. And in tough economic times, shoppers are naturally drawn to cheaper brands.

But it really does depend on the product you are buying, if your child is taking art as a subject for instance, it would be wise to invest in a name brand that is trusted as a well-performing product in the art community.

Speak to a store consultant who can advise and help you to make the best choices.

Label well

You don’t need to print a full name on pencils. Save time and labels by using your child’s surname only.

For expensive devices, label the machine in a few different areas, on top, underneath and on the electrical cables as these go to school to charge the devices.

Use silver permanent markers on items with dark backgrounds like school shoes, black markers on light backgrounds.

Write your child’s names on the inside of their school bag in black permanent marker.

And also give them a bag tag or fun key-ring to put on their bag so they can easily distinguish which one is theirs, especially if they all have the same bags.

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