Back to School Budgeting – It doesn’t have to cost you the earth!

We are nearing the end of the summer holidays and I am sure you are starting to think about all that back to school stuff you need to buy. I’ve already started buying, so here are a few tips to help you save cash.

I have two sons in primary school and one son at secondary school. My shopping list is big!

  • Polo shirts for primary school
  • Button up formai shirts for secondary school
  • Trousers & Shorts for all three boys
  • Jumpers for primary.
  • PE Trainers for three boys
  • School shoes for three boys
  • Stick on name lables for all 3

Polo Shirts, Button formal shirts, shorts & Trousers

These have been bought from Aldi, for a bargain price of £1.50 for pack of two tops. I always buy a few packets to ensure that I am not endlessly washing school tops! If you are lucky Aldi might have some bits left, the school range was in store early August.

If Aldi has run out (likely) head to Asda or Tesco, the supermarkets all have great cheap options for uniform. Aldi uniform only goes up to primary age, to save money on secondary bits I go to Asda.

I will buy secondary shirts, trousers and shorts all from Asda. This supermarket shopping saved a small fortune. Most schools say uniform is back, grey, navy trousers and white shirts. Easily found in the super-market.


I don’t need any jumpers as I got a few last year and they are large sizes. These are meant to have the school emblem on them, if you need them see if you’re friends are selling any for much cheaper? Maybe on your local Facebook items for sale page?

If i did need to buy them, supermarket jumpers all the way, without the school emblem is not a must have at our school.


Winter coats are not really needed yet, but the boys were bought in the next sale back in March/April. Jack gets 2nd and 3rd hand-me downs!

Aldi sent us these a while back. Ski jackets, perfect for school.


School shoes, shock horror I hate buying them. The boys goes through around three pairs of shoes each every year. With this many shoes I dont buy expensive. For my eldest at secondary school we go to Next, as he needs men sized shoes. Loafers for around £30.

Primary school shoes are always bought from Sports Direct. Cheap black trainers work for us. Plimsols, I don’t mind getting the cheap ones, Tesco or Asda will be fine.

debt confession update 1

Football boots, Dylan is the only one playing football now. Another big expense but our favourite place to buy boots is Pro direct soccer. This website always has a sale and are often cheaper than the high street. Returns are easy, ordering is easy. These cost around £25 each.

Also shop from your local Facebook items for sale or Ebay. I have 6 pairs of boots for sale at the moment, boots that the boys have grown out of only £4/£5 each.

Buy Clothes to Last

I have to admit I bought the year 7 secondary clothes to last a couple of years. Including blazer, PE kits. They will absolutely last another year and will be handed down as the next brother goes to the same school.

Secondary school uniform makes me angry. The emblam items are normally only available from one shop, who charge the earth and have a monopoly. In 2019 I easily spent £200 along just on blazer, tie, rugby shirt, hoody, short, PE top. These can be bought second hand from your school shop or watch out for hand me downs from friends or on Facebook market place.

Name labels

Stick on labels from Easy2name Different prices and packages depending what you want. There is a pack of 60 stick on stickers for clothes £8.95. I think I’m going to use the name Dylan-Josh-Jack James so I can just order one set 😉 These come recommended by many mummies.

Total Spend

Back to school will cost me around £200 all together. The majority of cost here being on school shoes and football boots. What about you, what is your back to school budget?

For many many more money saving tips, and a whole chapter on family money saving check out my book The Money Guide to Transform Your Life.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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5 Responses

  1. Good job on the shoes…I was fairly upset having to pay that for shoes…and if my boys trash them I will not be happy. Ive never seen yelloow polo shirts…but could you get the cheap white ones and get some dylon washing machine dye? It cant be that hard??!!

  2. Asda have yellow polo shirts advertised in their back to school booklet Hayley. Does say some colours and sizes available online only though. Good luck!

  3. It is very important that the teacher sees each child as a person and teaches this to all his children, as is customary in bischool . Mutual respect, sensitivity towards each member of the new team, brought up by the teacher – these are the important features that must be present at the initial stage of training.

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