This hotukdeals buyer's guide is going to help you get ready for the start of the new school year. It can be an expensive time of year, especially if you are buying for more than one child! So we will give you a few BTS money-saving tips, including how to find all the best back to school deals, offers and sales. So read on to find out more!
Where to Shop for Back to School Deals
Most large UK retailers who sell stationery and clothing will make an effort to attract parents at the end of the summer holidays. These promotions rarely include just the basics, as shops know that fashion trends and themed products are more likely to tempt children. If you need to replenish your children’s supplies but want to get the best deals, it’s worth shopping around to see what the major stores have on offer.
John Lewis - John Lewis has produced a back to school checklist for busy parents to tick off all the essentials before the beginning of September. The list is structured to include uniform, outerwear, sports clothes and extras like stationary. The uniform required for clubs like Guides, Brownies, Beavers and Scouts is also included in this section. As a business, John Lewis prides itself on its products being ‘never knowingly undersold’ elsewhere. This means the prices, although somewhat expensive, represent relatively good value considering the quality level, but there are few blanket discounts in their school category. The most effective way of searching for bargains is to navigate to the product you want and then use the "Sort By" drop-down menu to search for the highest percentage discount or to sort the list from low to high prices.
Asda - Asda has a wide range of colourful stationery, along with more formal notepads and pens. Many items are part of the regular Roll Back event where prices from previous years are applied to new stock resulting in a reduction of up to 70% on some equipment. At Asda's back to school sale, deals include reductions on printers, SD cards, memory cards and laptops, many of which are reduced by up to 20% at this time of year. Clothing is another big part of the sale at Asda with school uniform, sports kits and shoes all on offer as individual items or multipacks. Many are online exclusives, so to make the most of the lower prices, you’ll have to shop via their website.
Amazon - Back to School shopping is a significant event at Amazon, where a special store has been created to help people search for the items they need. The Uniforms and Shoes, Educational Supplies and Books sections are likely to be the most popular and in each, there are ways to hunt for the best available deals. Firstly, you can use the "Sort By" drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the page to see items listed from the lowest price to the highest. Secondly, you can use the options bar on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down a search by size, colour or brand, then select a price range.
Debenhams - At Debenhams, the focus is on clothing, with school uniforms, shoes and coats all being offered in the store's "School Uniform" section. On this front page, you can browse the many back to school sales offers which include multipacks of underwear, dresses, trousers and shirts. Many of the multi-deals are available as part of other reductions, like buy one get one free. This means you can make substantial savings of up to 30% on individually priced clothing if you are prepared to buy in bulk. As you are not obliged to purchase the same sizes to qualify for the deal, you can shop for items that will be suitable for next year or shop for siblings of different ages.
Clarks - A go-to shop for many parents, Clarks have excellent quality kid’s trainers and school shoes, in narrow, standard, wide or extra wide fittings. The majority of styles are produced in both whole and half sizes. Made from leather and other hardwearing materials, they have a lightweight sole and breathable sides to keep feet healthy and comfortable. Due to the build quality, Clarks shoes can be expensive, especially when you consider how fast children’s feet can grow, but it’s possible to find lower-priced shoes by clicking the "School Shoes Under £40" tab on their back to school page. You might also be able to find some discount Clarks school shoes at Clarks Outlet, but be aware that this is a separate entity from the high-street Clarks shop.
Microsoft - To attract customers shopping for PCs and other back to school technology, Microsoft is offering free delivery on everything bought as part of the event and free returns. Alongside this, big savings of up to £100 have been offered on their Surface Pro and Surface Book laptops in recent years, which have a wealth of software that could be helpful for students.
M&S | Back to School Advert
Which Back to School Essentials to Budget For
For parents, the late summer shopping spree is matched only by Christmas and Black Friday in terms of spending. You'll have lots to think about, but if you plan ahead, getting the most essential supplies in place by the end of August needn’t break to the bank. Here are a few essentials to include in your budget, that most children will need when they step back into class come September.
Backpacks – Children are required to take in their study books, writing books and pens, as well as any extras for individual lessons. Together these can be very heavy, especially in college where laptops may also be considered essential. Whether you are looking for a waterproof, rugged or plain backpack, there are many discounted back to school backpacks at Sports Direct.
Stationary and Books - Children get through stationary quickly and replenishing their supplies of rulers, rubbers, sharpeners and pens can be expensive. A great place to start looking is The Works, which has an inhouse range of discounted pads and pens, as well as savings of up to 50% on brands like Helix and Xerox.
Shoes - It is difficult to compromise on the quality of children’s shoes because well-fitted footwear keeps their feet comfortable and healthy. For the chance of sizeable discounts on the Clarks kids range, you could browse their Clarks Outlet store or see what’s available at Brantano, which has quality brands like Hush Puppies and Geox at lower prices.
Uniform - Blazers, PE kits and jumpers that are part of a school uniform can make up the costliest part of any back to school checklist, as they often have to be purchased directly from the school or selected local shops. The best way to save money on a uniform is to buy second hand from other parents or wait until the older stock is reduced by the school.
Clothes - Top of the list for most parents, several items of clothing, which could include trousers, skirts and shirts are required. Most children will need a few of each item, so you aren’t washing every day. Supermarkets like Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have the most reasonably priced school uniforms and usually stock the colours required by local schools.
Other School Essentials - Schools often require children to have water bottles with them in school and pack lunch boxes are vital if they don’t have school dinners. Both these items can take quite a battering over an academic year, so you might want to invest in a stainless-steel water bottle which is hardier than plastic. In the same way, lunch boxes made from a soft padded material are less like to crack or split. These don’t take up a lot of room and can be bought at any time of year when stores have reductions or end of line discounts.
How to Get Back to School Ready for Less
From back to school bags to socks and pencil cases, a checklist of supplies can seem endless. The good news is you don’t need to pay the full price for everything, as there are many ways to save money on the essentials.
Measure your children before buying their uniform – Many stores have measuring charts which you can use to pick out the right size when you know their correct measurements. Not all children fit the standard clothing manufacturers size for their age. You can always buy slightly more substantial, so there is room for them to feel comfortable and to grow a little.
Write a list and stick to it – The necessary supplies can vary between schools and colleges, but there will be a few staples that children have to have. When you have established what these are, get them down in a list. This can help you avoid being tempted by pen sets that might be handy or extra lunch boxes with their favourite superhero.
Search your house to see what you already have – Prior to heading out with your list, take a look in draws and cupboards to see if any supplies are leftover from last year that can be reused. This is especially fruitful in homes where older children have moved on to larger backpacks, more advanced calculators, or complex maths sets, as there is no need to replace them if they are still in good working order.
Bulk buying can deliver long-term savings – When you compare the price of buying individually to buying multipacks or 'buy one get one free' offers, the difference can be huge. From pens to pads and storage, stores like WHSmith and The Works have long-running discounts for people who are prepared to buy more than they need. Bringing home nine note pads can feel a bit over the top, but if you have the space to store them, the potential savings are impressive.
Avoid getting everything you need on one trip – Stores create discounts on back to school shopping at various times over the summer break. To maximise your savings, get what you need when it’s reduced and come back for the rest later.
Wait until the last few days of the summer break – Leaving your back to school shop until the last minute can be a bit of a gamble, but shops are usually so overstocked that it pays off. If you can hold your nerve, supermarkets are keen to clear away all the academic stock by the end of August to make way for new seasonal products, so most things are reduced by up to 50%.
Buy in advance – This one involves a degree of extra spending, but it will help you make the most of any final reductions. By stocking up for the next academic year during this year’s event, you can keep your purchases stored at home until they are needed. It takes a bit of planning, but by shopping in advance annually, the savings will soon add up.
Use price matching promises to save time – Buying a costly laptop or MacBook can be stressful, especially if you don’t have the time to shop around as much as you’d like to. This is why some larger retailers, including Currys PC World, AO and John Lewis have price-matching offers. Just remember there are rules that you’ll have to stick to claim your money back, so check what these are before you buy.
Shop alone! - Trips out that involve buying new back to school stationery or bags may be exciting for kids and can help them get in the right frame of mind for starting the new year. Unfortunately, pester power can derail even the most carefully planned budget, so if it’s possible, shop on your own or agree on what you’ll be buying beforehand.
Getting the Latest Back to School Sale News
Shopping for the start of a new school term can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. At hotukdeals, we list all the reductions on back to school essentials on our special event page, so locating up to the minute offers is effortless. Check out the listings now to find the best Back to School deals!