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10 Back-to-School money saving tips

Here at we have written many articles and provided parents with forums and listings on how they can make real savings on uniforms and on school books for when the kids go back to school each year. Here, we have put together a collection of our top ten best tips for those who want to save money.

Have you got your back-to-school checklist ready? Download your copy here.

Second-Hand Books.

There are plenty of ways to make saving with school books, through swapping with siblings, other parents or using our second-hand book forum or other online services. Check out book rental schemes too.

Second-Hand Uniforms. provides a free facility for parents to search for second-hand uniforms that have many school crested blazers. Try other sites such as or for your individual school. Look out for hand-me-downs from siblings or friends in the area or host a swap party!

Buy Generic.

If your school uniform code allows it, buy generic uniforms in chain stores, such as pants, shirts etc. Chain stores usually do offers during the summer months so buy early to get better deals.

Back-to-school, footwear allowance.

See if you qualify for this allowance by contacting your local HSE office, or read more here.

Bulk buy stationery.

If you have more than one school goer, (including your teen starting college) bulk buying stationery is more cost effective than buying individual items leading up to the return to school. Check out big retail stores for offers during the summer months.

Check out local charity shop.

Charity shops can stock everything from new stationery to kid’s school bags, ties, lunch boxes and more. You’ll be surprised at what you might find.

Buy cheap, buy twice!

Buying cheaper school bag or rucksack may seem cost effective now, but generally kids will have them destroyed by the end of term. Spend more money on a high quality sturdy canvas backpack that will last through a few years wear and tear. Check out a few of the bags we have reviewed here.

Pack lunches.

Lunches made at home will save you money than buying lunches at school or at local shops. Homemade food is more nutritious than store bought lunch fillers and is much cheaper. It’s win win!

Plan meals and bulk buy.

Planning lunches a week or a month ahead will provide you with a list of food that you can bulk buy thus saving you money. See our school lunches section for recipes.

Finally, plan ahead.

Forking out a couple of hundred euro just before school starts can be a financial strain on any family. Plan ahead and budget so your wallet doesn't get too much of a shock come September.