Five frugal things for the new school year

Picture of blue hydrangea flowers in the sunshine for my post on five frugal things for the new school year

Sunny start to the school term


The children have now been back to school for just over a week, and we’re settling back into our normal term time routine.

We’ve also been hit by the normal “start of term” bills: school shoes in the next size up, school dinners, subs for Cubs and Scouts, a term of swimming lessons for both and restarting music lessons and other clubs. Ooof.

So here are five frugal things I did, to cut the cost of returning to school!


Picture of my children in school uniform on their first day back at school

New trousers in action

Bought uniform in the Sainsbury’s TU sale

Supermarkets can be a lifeline when looking for school uniform for less.

The prices at Sainsbury’s are low at the best of times, but even better during a 25% off sale. When I was madly unsubscribing from marketing emails, to remove shopping temptation, I kept the Sainsbury’s ones so I’d be notified about sales and Nectar offers.

Post with 30 tips to stop shopping

Sainsbury’s seem to run a TU sale at some point every summer, so it’s worth watching out for. It meant I could get a triple pack of blue polo shirts at for example £3.37 rather than £4.50, and a two pack of longer length school trousers for £6.75 rather than £9. Plus I racked up a few Nectar points to use towards the cost of Christmas.

The total still added up to nearly £40, but we ended up with 12 polo shirts, 6 pairs of school trousers and a couple of pairs of PE shorts. I even got round to returning the pack of trousers that were too short, so we got a refund.

Swooped on stationery in Flying Tiger

Rekcon I’m lucky that I wasn’t forced to fork out a small fortune on new stationery at Smiggle or Paperchase. Instead, I took the kids along to Flying Tiger, and we picked up a couple of new pencil cases and llama dual ink pens for £7 all in. Phew. Reckon Father Christmas likes Flying Tiger for cheap and cheerful stocking fillers too.

Picture of a Ravenclaw rucksack bought for my daughter's return to school

Nothing else would do

Nabbed extra Nectar points when buying a backpack on Ebay

We don’t automatically buy everything new for the start of the school year. My son got a new backpack during the summer term, so I didn’t replace his. But my daughter didn’t find one she liked then, and still needed a new one.

Just before term started I got an email promising 1,000 Nectar points if I spent more than a fiver on eBay, so I tracked down a much-wanted Ravenclaw rucksack there. I figured if I had to buy one anyway, I might as well nab the extra points. Normally 1,000 Nectar points is worth a fiver off your shopping, but it can be worth up to £10 during promotions.

My only reservation is that although the rucksack has the logo my daughter loves, it doesn’t have an external pocket for a waterbottle, or any little pockets inside. Live and learn.


Picture of the East of England Co-op Bottle for Life with promise to replace it for free when worn out

Free replacements when worn out

Claimed a new water bottle for free

One of the water bottles my children take to school each day was still going strong. However, my son had helpfully chewed the plastic top on the other one, making it liable to leak. Luckily it was a “bottle for life” from our local East of England Co-op (remember when I was given one at the Co-op Annual Members’ Meeting?). This meant I could take the chewed version back, and switch it for a new one, for free. Many cheers.


Picture of the oat and raisin cookies I made using Marriage's Flour, as a back to school money saver

Contain oats and raisins, so must be virtuous

Baked biscuits rather than bought snacks

Rather than buying some after-school snacks, I decided to bake oat and raisin cookies using ingredients we had in the house. Net spending: 0p. Definitely cheaper than forking out for the Bear Yo Yo rolls that were so popular at their old school!

I used some Marriage’s Golden Wholegrain flour and this recipe from their website, as I’d spotted a competition on the Marriage’s Facebook page asking people to post photos of baking using their products. The cookies tasted great, and I took a quick pic before the kids scoffed the lot*. Wish me luck with the competition!

*I may have helped

Now over to you – what are your top frugal tips when getting the kids back to school? Do say in the comments, I’d love to hear!


I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five fabulously frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

Pin for later:

Pinterest sized image of blue hudrangea flowers for my post on frugal things for the new school year

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Sam from swimming
    14th September 2018 / 2:02 pm

    Love the Sainsbury’s 25% off weeks, you get the discount off sale items too! There’s generally one in October around half term, handy for xmas bits.

    Btw, having a few weeks eating (emptying!) the cupboards, looked up your old posts for inspiration so thank you!

    • Faith
      14th September 2018 / 2:13 pm

      Ooh will look out in October half term. Handy.
      Glad the storecupboard challenge posts are helping. Eating meals based on what you already have at home really helps cut food costs. Good luck!

  2. 15th September 2018 / 6:38 am

    All excellent ideas for parents of school-age children, Faith!
    Margaret P

The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.