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Super back to school uniform sale. Missing these terrific tips?

Super back to school uniform sale. Missing these terrific tips?

Back to school uniform

Hey Bestie, it’s that time of year again that some of us dread, especially if this is the first time. There are so many questions when it comes to buying back to school uniforms…But what if it felt like a super back to school uniform sale? Are you missing these terrific tips?

Bought your school uniform yet?

Even if you’ve already bought all your school uniforms, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this blog that you can benefit from, not to mention a checklist to make sure you’re covered. Read on to check that you haven’t missed any terrific tips. 

When buying school uniforms we are sometimes spoilt for choice both online and at the stores, so it can become overwhelming about what to buy, how much money to spend, knowing the new technology of school uniform types, yes technology! I love the PlayPennies website which has a great blog that has a nice little roundup of some stores you can shop at: School Uniform For All Budgets 2020: Best Deals, Vouchers, Reviews and more

Also to consider are different fashions and school uniform requirements. Like how many of each item?

Out of your pyjamas and into your uniform

Due to lockdown, buying school uniforms might hurt your purse a little bit more this year with some feeling it’s more of a challenge. It also means several school essentials will most likely need replacement. So it’s time to get the kids out of the homeschool comfies and back into their school uniforms. People are increasingly buying school uniforms online due to Covid restrictions but now that the shops have opened up again I think it’s always a nice idea to have a look at clothes in a store where possible and feel the quality, look at the bargains so I mix and match when school uniform shopping. I end up checking items online and going to the shops too.

back to school uniform outfits

How much does school uniform cost?

So why is this blog different? The reason being that I don’t have a big long list of shops that you need to buy from. That doesn’t make sense as we all have different needs. Over the years, I have countlessly bought different school uniforms and consider myself a veteran now 🙂 

As a mum of three at home, it certainly brought out the frugal in me. I’m always finding tips and tricks to save time and money. You can find out more about me here!

I’ve whittled down my choice of school uniforms to six in accordance with quality, cost and good value for money. Spending within budget whilst retaining quality is the trick here.

What Frugality is all about?

That’s the whole point of frugality which is to have value for money and things that you care about. For example, not all school shirts are made from 100 per cent cotton. If your child is like my eldest and has sensitive skin like eczema, then buying cotton shirts will be important for you. 

At the same time, if you want to stay within budget or perhaps your kids are messy. Buying several more polo shirts and trousers will certainly help.

The point being whatever matters to you that’s what you need to spend on. You might need to shop around if you’re on a tight budget. There are some money-saving tips online to buy school uniforms so this blog takes all that all into account without listing a humongous list that is likely to leave some overwhelmed.

living frugality tips

Back to school uniform list

When it comes to buying back school uniforms, I find that having a checklist is a way to stay within budget. All schools should have a uniform list that you can access either on their school website so it’s wise to check before buying items. Always keep the receipt so that you can return items. Why not download or even take a snapshot on your phone of my checklist here to check you’re covered. 

back to school uniform list

Know your kids

The second factor to take into account when buying school uniforms is to think about what matters to you. Is it that you need more of the items because your children are messy? 

From experience, I can tell you that younger children get their clothes dirty quicker. That should come as no surprise 🙂 

Perhaps due to Covid, you might want to wash items more regularly or it might simply be that your kids have sensitive skin. 

Other key school uniform features include good quality and durability. 

The price factor also plays a huge part with spending on school uniforms often running into several hundred pounds. All these factors determine what shops you need to go to and what items and how many you need. 

How many uniforms should I get for school?

So how many items should I get for a school is the question It depends on how regularly you will be washing the clothes so if for example you only have one or two sets of shirts, trousers or skirts, you going to be constantly checking whether you have an item for school the next morning so I would probably say that one is on the scarce side of things and that five or six is on the generous side.

I have tried and tested the perfect number and I believe three items of each, especially shirts, work well. This doesn’t include the socks and underwear!

Most stores stock packs of two or three which is useful and is friendlier on the purse. You can also buy multiple packs if you need more. Not frugal enough yet? Let’s move on to Back to school uniform grants…

Back to school uniform grant

Help with buying school uniforms can be a Godsend and often overlooked. It can be tough buying school uniforms especially if you’re buying for more than one child. 

School uniforms can be quite expensive particularly when children go to either secondary school and college. They want to have more fashionable items or you’ll find that schools are more strict and you’re restricted in terms of colour and item type.

I want to talk about frugality and how staying within your budget helps by buying items that matter important to you. The average that you would probably spend on school uniforms would be more than £300. This is from a report by the Children’s Society in 2020. Prices have risen since then and on average, would be spent on state schools are more than £337 with more than £315 for primary schools.

What’s the Education Act got to do with school uniforms?

The Education Act of 1996 provides help to families on a low income with uniform costs so there’s a lot of people that may be missing out on this because they just are not aware of it.  If you think you might be eligible, take a look at your local council website. You could find it will make a difference to you when it comes to buying school uniforms for your child or children.

Technology!

Technology, believe it or not, has advanced and it’s worth knowing your riptape fastenings to your shrinking tights when shopping! You’re going to be bamboozled with a lot of jargon.

back to school uniform outfit ideas

Stain-resistant proof shoes, reinforced knee trousers are just to name a few. Have a look at my infographic below. 

Socks and tights come with extra stretch to avoid that shrinkable factor.  Waterproof labels are my favourite. You can purchase these from Amazon (link here) which is a great buy in my opinion. 

Non creases also known as non-iron shirts are just things to keep in mind when you go shopping.

My eldest was always falling in the playground and she came home with ripped trousers. Thank goodness for reinforced knees! knew that I would need more than just a couple of pairs to keep her going through the term.

Rip tape fastening is another favourite for younger kids, simply being that it makes items easy to open and close. 

Back to school uniform sale

You don’t get many sales on school uniforms which is why I haven’t made a huge long list. 

Here are some simple tips to save money. 

  1. Buy packs of … instead of individual items where possible. 

Best school uniform deals: Where to buy reasonably-priced school uniform for kids is a blog listing uniform deals, great for bargains but just a caveat that offers do change. 

2. Check form voucher codes available on free sites/apps like Honey or Shopmium.

3. Marks and Spencer’s have a back to school sale around June/July with around 20 to 25% off.

4. Keep receipts. Sometimes you may find you notice a better deal at another store later. Or perhaps the items just don’t fit anymore. Kids grow fast over summer 🙂 Keep the receipt and you can always return within the return policy. We would like to avoid having to return items so buying a slightly larger size could be handy. 

back to school uniform sale

Buying second-hand school uniforms

Have you ever thought about buying spare school uniform items or second-hand items? Younger children tend to have stains on their skirts, shirts or pinafores quickly and so it can be really helpful to have a few spare items. These don’t necessarily have to be brand new.

Why Vinted is great!

I’m a real advocate of Vinted. It’s a second-hand clothes app that has just about everything that you can buy at great prices. I’m a bit of a Vinted Queen and will be writing a specific blog on it so watch this space. In the meantime, you might want to find out more about it here. Read the Vinted. About us blog.

Hands in the honey pot might just help!

Another app which I like is Honey and Mumsium. It’s a great way to obtain voucher codes and cashback discounts both online and in-store.  

Where to buy uniform for school – the final round-up

There are so many stores that you can shop at for school uniforms. Matalan, Morrisons, Asda, H&M, Amazon, M&S, John Lewis and the list goes on! BACK TO IT Best back to school deals on uniforms at Argos, Sainsbury’s and Matalan with prices starting at £3 has a great list of cheap and cheerful school uniforms. After reading quite a few blogs like these, I have decided my top items are based on my need to have quality cotton clothing due to skin allergies, durability and value for money. 

I haven’t even started on accessories or stationery 🙂

where to buy uniform for school

My Verdict

I hope you liked all my back to school uniform outfit ideas. There is no reason why you need to buy all of your school uniform items from one store. 

The main thing to think about is to know what matters to your kids and you most and factor in money for value sticking to a budget that suits you. That is essentially thinking more frugally.

Also to be aware of any help such as coupons, cashback, multi-packs to consider second-hand items.

Best of luck on your first day back to school. You might like to hop over to my Be The Back to School Queen blog 

Next time when there’s a back to school uniform sale? No sweat, this Bestie has got your back.

Chat soon, 

Tiabah x x

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

5 Brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try.

Hey, Bestie let me share with you my 5 brilliant mind-blowing living frugal tips to try. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to leave a smaller footprint in this world and be happier? Well, here it is, totally possible and I’m going to tell you some tips that you can try out today.

What is Frugal Living?

Let’s first talk about what frugal is in the first place and how it can help you in many areas of your life such as transportation, household expenditure, shopping, clothing, entertainment, health and wellness. Areas of your life that you never thought of. 

Many others agree that living frugally gives a sense of satisfaction such as Latoya from Life and a budget, listing a whopping 162 frugal living tips to try in 2021.  There are definitely loads to choose from. I have decided to whittle down my top 5 tried and tested frugal living tips that I think you should not miss out on. 

Frugality is about de-prioritising to the extent that you focus on what matters. It encompasses simplicity and minimalism in the same brushstroke. It’s more than just a bank balance but an optimisation between cost/time and happiness.

Frugal tips to help you prioritise what matters to you most for a happier life.
Want to save money, time or better still do your bit for the environment? My top 5 living frugality tips are a great way to get started so you can prioritise what makes you happy.

Main reasons for being frugal

The main reasons for frugality are, well you just simply don’t want to spend too much money. You might want to save for your retirement. You don’t have enough money or you are always chasing your tail from payslip to payslip. Something such as just avoiding credit card bills and debt isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

Frugality doesn’t just deal with these things. It’s about simplicity that doesn’t just save money but often time as well. It’s also about a frugal mindset and your outlook of the world.  

Why I became more frugal

Being a busy mum of three I’ve never been an extremely frugal person. Cynthia has a great post called 42 Extreme Frugal Living Tips. if you are looking to jump right in at the deep end. 

I’m fairly inventive and frugality has brought that side out of me. I’m a person who comes up with money time-saving tips in almost any circumstance and the funny thing is it gives me a buzz when I come up with totally new ideas! It does give me a sense of satisfaction and well, my three kids are always impressed, to say the least!

It all started in 2016 when I left my full-time job to look after my first child. So frugality came to me due to circumstance and I want to get rid of the myth that being frugal is cheap because it’s not. I think it brings out the ingenious in you and I’ve never been so creative as when I started practising basic frugal tips and tricks which I’m sharing with you. Now a mum of three at home, you would think I had all the time in the world. Wishful thinking 🙂 I’m always finding tips and tricks to save time and money. You can find out more about me here!

How I became more frugal, my story.
How I became more frugal, having great tried and tested frugal living tips and ideas to share.

Frugal living tips for families – my latest frugal adventure

My latest adventure was growing some organic strawberries. You might have heard of the “Clean 15” and in conjunction with that, the “dirty dozen” and so this was a win for me. 

It took me about 10 minutes to plant the strawberry seeds in a pot. Well, I may have needed some help with that from my husband and two elder children. I have never had green fingers. To cut a long story short, we made a makeshift greenhouse from the frame of an old one and wrapped it up with strong cling film. We separated one pot of strawberries into multiple ones. The result is a greenhouse filled with strawberries. 

If that’s not your jam (excuse the pun), different frugal tips suit different people. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 1. Grow your own

My first top tip is to grow your own. No, I’m not telling you to be a farmer and start growing everything from your cereal to your potatoes and your salads but some things are fantastic to grow. For example, I found that strawberries and herbs are the easiest.

Frugal living tips uk include growing your own food like strawberries!
Frugal living tips uk include growing your own food like strawberries!

Start small and easy – Frugal living tips with a big impact

Starting small and easy not to mention keeping things simple, is my thing. Why not grow some coriander or Mint, herbs that you like to use regularly in your meals.  This is a really good way to get started and you don’t have to spend an awful lot of money or have a large amount of garden space to get started. 

You can be frugal with a tiny windowsill. Just find a small space you call home

My neighbour grows lovely herbs and flowers on her windowsill and they look beautiful. Just on that point I’m so into self-care and eating more organic food where it’s affordable. You can read my blog on organic food and how to eat more of it on a budget.

Top Frugal Living Tip 2. Invest in a capsule wardrobe on a budget 

So these tips I’m sharing with you are ones that I’m trying myself or that I’ve tried before and I strongly believe they work. We’re all busy people and I’m not talking about extreme frugal tips or things that you need to do often or particularly need a large amount of money just to get started. In fact,  with all of these tips, you can pretty much get started the same day or the next and it’s not something that you particularly need to learn. 

Infographic listing my tried and tested top 5 best frugal living tips.
Infographic listing my tried and tested top 5 best frugal living tips.

How Covid has affected frugality

You can be as ingenious and creative as you like and you can also spend more or less and the same with spending time. Frugality is a matter of deprioritising time and money putting things in life lower on your list that just don’t seem to give you that same satisfaction.

Our wardrobe just needs to get smarter!

The lockdown has ended and I know that for myself, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and family for a coffee and perhaps you’re going to be doing the school run more or going back to work and it means that our wardrobes have to catch up more. Gone are the stylish loungewear and hello to casual smart wear for these occasions.

So much more tempting to just zoom it

It’s going to seem quite an effort just getting dressed up to go out somewhere. Many of us are more anxious when we go out, thinking perhaps we have forgotten things. Its so much easier to FaceTime or have a Zoom call. 

Be frugal and spend less money

A lot of people have been out of work and it means less spending power. The rise of inflation by 2.5% is also a factor as recently mentioned by the BBC. With wages remaining stagnant and the Furlough scheme ending for many people, it means that we have less money to spend as we did before and so we need to be smart with buying or clothing and also ease the stress of actually going out somewhere and adapt to the changing lifestyles since Covid began. 

Frugal living tips with a big impact – The capsule wardrobe on a budget

The idea of having a capsule wardrobe can be pricey but not if you have one on a budget. I have put together a unique Capsule Wardrobe List and Quiz that you can try out now. Depending on your style you can work out what type of person you are. Is your dress sense stylish or casual?  I have put together the top 15 items that you can have in your closet. Coming soon.

Quote about how to live frugal life by investing in a capsule wardrobe on a budget. This will make your wardrobe work harder and smarter.
Quote about how to live frugal life by investing in a capsule wardrobe on a budget. This will make your wardrobe work harder and smarter.

Declutter and making money while you’re at it

Whilst decluttering, you could make money contributing towards new items that you might need in your wardrobe. You can start with as low a budget as possible. For example, two people wear black trousers as part of a staple clothing item in their wardrobe.  You can buy a cheap pair of trousers from Asda to an expensive pair from Next to the extent that you might want to buy second-hand items to make your wardrobe work harder and smarter. I am particularly using the Vinted app and will be writing an exciting blog on this. Read the Vinted. About us blog. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 3.  Shop online more

Online shopping can help you to be more frugal. I always thought that if I made a list, I was less likely to steer off it. Well, that is a start but it’s not the only thing you can do. I had a list but then I tended to make several trips more than what I needed to or ended up taking the car more often. 

Make less frequent trips and use less fuel

Covid has changed the way we shop. I know from myself since the lockdown and the temporary shop closures that I’m a bit of a convert, shopping online more than I used to and I found that not only am I taking less frequent trips by car or to the supermarket and buying more items regularly. 

I now make shopping lists, deciding what I need and it’s filtering through down to meal planning and organising myself for the week. This is becoming increasingly important as one of the effects of Covid is panic buying and overstocking. These little steps have helped me to stockpile less and save more pennies.

Being frugal can save time and money by comparing prices

It’s so much easier to compare prices online than at the supermarket, searching on my phone. I have become more disciplined partly because my last basket has been saved online in my favourites. I can copy over all of my previous shopping items to my current shopping basket and edit it. So items that I know are good value for money are saved in my basket. Prices and products change so just a caveat on that! Being a regular shopper means I’m likely to stay within budget.

Change your supermarket and break the trend!

I have found that changing the supermarket that you shop at can mean that you break the trend and habit of stockpiling, overspending and impulse buying hence again more likely to buy what you need and stay within budget. 

Top Frugal Living Tip 4. Cook more at home

Cooking at home can be healthier and cheaper 

Since the lockdown, I found that when the shops were closed I had to improvise on some ingredients when I was cooking and this led me to be a better and more creative cook. Being able to substitute ingredients for things you don’t have is a skill! 

Cooking more at home is just one of the tips for frugal living.
Cooking more at home is just one of the tips for frugal living.

If it’s not broken, why fix it? Keep those good habits going

Lockdown also meant people were at home more. It meant avoiding grabbing that panini for lunch or the Costa coffee on your way to work. We are spending more time with family and cooking healthy homemade meals from scratch and this is something that I think that we should partially continue if we can or at least have as part of our weekly meals. 

Supermarket bargains and reduced items

You could also take frugality a step further and check with your local butchers or find a time when the supermarkets reduced some items and used that to create a great meal that day. 

My leftover chicken makes a mean taco

Using leftovers from the day before is one of my favourite things. I love using leftover chicken in tacos for lunch the next day. It’s one of my family favourites. 

Making chicken tacos from leftovers is a tasty example of being frugal.
Making chicken tacos from leftovers is an example of tips on frugal living.

Top Frugal Living Tip 5. Be more frugal when washing clothes

I don’t smell, do I?

When it comes to washing clothes we’re more than quick to wear them once and slam those clothes in the washing machine but with certain items like jeans or clothes that you’ve simply worn for a couple of hours,  there’s no reason to just wash these after one wear. Frankly, if it’s not stained, doesn’t smell and you’ve not worn it for a long time then don’t wash it! With that comes a caveat.  Everyone’s frequency of washing their clothes varies and obviously due to covid you’re probably washing clothes more often than you did before. 

Ice ice baby!

Why not wash your clothes at a lower temperature. We are recommended to wash our clothes at a 30-degree cycle. If you want to be extremely frugal then you can watch it on a cold cycle. I find washing on a cold cycle does not get rid of all the stains especially with small kids dirtying their clothes. 

I sometimes use Vanish on those stubborn stains to avoid washing the whole lot on a hotter cycle. 

Get to know your washing machine 

Sometimes we get accustomed to routine or using the same washing cycle options. We sometimes fail to even recognise how modern technology in the home has progressed. Did you know that your machine is most likely a quick wash option? I rarely use the pre-wash / rinse option for example unless clothes are really dirty and have some physical dirt or muck on them. Just shows how messy my kids are 🙂

Infographic explaining frugal living tips with a big impact. Smart laundry habits can make all the difference economically and environmentally.
Infographic explaining frugal living tips with a big impact. Smart laundry habits can make all the difference economically and environmentally.

You are my only sunshine

Fact. The sun helps to get rid of clothes stains. Often in the summer, I tend to hang out my clothes to dry on a makeshift washing line using a simple washing line rope and a couple of nails (courtesy of my other half, thanks!). Take a look at my insta reel. Hope you like my palm 😉

Not all cast in stone

Hanging out some sheets to dry on a makeshift washing line using a simple washing line rope and a couple of nails.

You don’t have to hang your clothes out to dry all year round or every time. Why not alternate according to the weather or if you are short of time. For instance, I hang out my clothes to dry in the garden during summer. In winter, I confess I love using my dryer. 

There are also days when I rush, so dumping wet clothes in the dryer seems to be an easy alternative to hanging them out to dry. The only snag here is that the clothes tend to have more creases, some items shrink, and it seems to be more of a hassle to fold them. Whereas whilst I’m taking dry clothes off the line, I can fold them at the same time. 

Have less & do less

This goes back to my main point about how having a capsule wardrobe means having key top 15 essential clothing items or so, which then drastically reduces the volume of clothes and energy used to wash, dry, fold and iron them not to mention the money you save if you buy on a budget. Win-win!

Quote stating less is more regarding extreme frugal tips.
Quote stating less is more regarding extreme frugal tips.

Living a frugal life

I hope you enjoyed sharing my 5 top living frugal tips. It’s totally okay Bestie if all of these tips are not your cup of tea. Why not set yourself a goal and try out just one of these tips once and see if you like it. 

With Covid leading to a change in our lifestyles, I’ve come up with frugal ways to update your wardrobe, a way to continue with good eating habits not to mention keeping your home frugal friendly. I also realise that most of us want to save time and money and on this basis, I have selected my tried and tested living frugal tips that you should try. 

Chat soon,

Tiabah x x