ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent Smart Strategies for Saving on School Uniforms: 5 Tips for Families
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Smart Strategies for Saving on School Uniforms: 5 Tips for Families

Getting your kids ready for school often comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the top contenders is shopping for school uniforms. As parents, we're always looking for ways to make ends meet without compromising on quality. These savvy tips will help you to save money on school uniforms.

  1. Embrace the Second-Hand Solution Before you rush to the nearest uniform store, take a moment to check if your child's school has a uniform bank. These hidden gems often offer second-hand uniforms for a small donation – or even free! Keep an eye on social media marketplaces for sales of second-hand kit and try apps like Vinted where you can sometimes find brand new items for a fraction of the cost. Many foodbanks also collect and distribute school uniforms so do research what’s available in your area. Not only will you be saving money by choosing second hand goods, but you'll also be helping the environment by reusing perfectly good clothing.

  2. Supermarket Super Savings When it comes to the basic uniform essentials like polo shirts, socks, tights, skirts and trousers, your local supermarket might be your new best friend. Many supermarkets now stock a range of school uniform items at budget-friendly prices. These pieces are designed to withstand the rigors of school life and can easily compete with pricier alternatives. Plus, if you’ve got a supermarket rewards card, you can often get further discounts or collect points that save you money on future shops.

  3. Pass It On: The Hand-Me-Down Tradition If you have more than one child, you're sitting on a goldmine of potential uniform savings. Kids might grumble about wearing a hand-me-down at first, but it's a great lesson in practicality and thriftiness. To make sure that uniforms can go the distance, it’s important to keep them in peak condition. Pesky stains must be tackled quicky! For marker pen stains, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer can work wonders to break down the ink. Blot the stain gently, being careful not to spread it further. For ballpoint pen stains, hairspray can be surprisingly effective. Spray a bit onto the stain, let it sit for a minute, and then blot or dab with a clean cloth. As for tomato sauce stains, start by scraping off any excess, then flush the stain with cold water from the back of the fabric. Apply a mixture of washing up liquid and water to the stain, gently rubbing the fabric together, and rinse. Always remember to check the care label on your clothing and test any stain removal method on an inconspicuous area first.

  4. Room to grow Look for uniforms that include adjustable waistbands and extra hems on trousers that allow the clothes to grow with your child. When setting your budget for the year, allow for a couple of items in the next size up to cater for any mid-term growth spurts. Don’t automatically assume that last years’ uniform will be too small, either. Have a try on session before buying new kit, and check if adjustments can be made to extend the life of any uniform you’ve already got.

  5. Know your rights regarding branded uniform New guidance introduced in 2022 stipulated that schools in England are required to ensure that uniform costs are ‘reasonable’ and that students are not obligated to wear ‘unnecessary’ branded items. While there’s no specification on what this means in real terms, if you are struggling to afford specific items with the school logo on, Martyn James suggests in his column for The Times that you should appeal directly to the school. Outline your financial situation and put the ball in their court to provide you with options. There may be logo patches available to sew on or other permitted alternatives. No matter the time of year, keeping up with growing kids can be expensive. By embracing second-hand options, exploring supermarkets, passing down uniforms and tapping into community resources, you can make the school uniform shopping experience more cost-effective.

Posted in Budgeting, Saving on Aug 25, 2023.

Representative Example: Borrowing £3,000 over 24 months at an interest rate of 71.3% p.a. (fixed), you will repay 24 monthly payments of £238 per month. Interest Payable £2,706. Total Repayable £5,706. Representative 99.9% APR.

Jason Bovington - COO

Jason BovingtonJason became Chief Operating Officer in July 2022. He joined Everyday Loans initially in 2006 as part of the start up team implementing the credit risk strategy and building the analytical capability as Head of Credit Risk and Analytics. In his time with Everyday Loans he has also held the roles of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Credit Officer. Prior to joining Everyday Loans Jason spent 10 years at HFC Bank with his last role there being Credit Risk Director and prior to that he was part of the Credit Risk team at Lloyds TSB.