How to save money this back to school season

Olio updates 3 min read

Are your kids constantly growing out of stuff and needing new things? You’re definitely not alone! Parents spend an average of £300 per year on back to school gear*, yet at the same time 1.4 million school uniforms end up in the bin** – yikes! Here at Olio we want to put a stop to that, especially when many families are struggling financially and the planet needs our help.

Our top 5 back to school saving tips:

1. Download the Olio app to give and get pre-loved items

Use Olio to give away the things your kids no longer need and find the things they do. Get involved with our Big Back to School Swap  by listing 5 kids’ items between 14th August and 10th September and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Tesco voucher!*** In a couple of clicks you can list any items that no longer fit or aren’t needed anymore, or simply request items from your neighbours and arrange a collection that suits you.

2. Get savvy by buying second-hand

Opting for pre-loved items is not only kinder on your wallet but also the planet. Ask your school if the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) sells uniform second-hand or check your local Facebook group to see if you can pick up some unwanted stationary supplies. You can even find sites like Uniformly which are like eBay but specifically for school uniforms.

3. Look out for local initiatives

With this back to school season being especially tough, local initiatives are cropping up all over the UK to help parents kit their kids out before school starts. Check out your local pop-up second-hand stores, free uniform drop-off and swap points and charities.

4. Be wary of multipack buys

Multi-buying often helps us to save but they can also trick us into buying too much. Uniforms tend to be sold in multipacks and for items that kids wear every day like polo shirts, it can be a great saving. For other items, like skirts and trousers, try and work out the price per item. Using this method you can work out if you’ll save by buying more.

5. Check if you’re entitled to a uniform grant

Depending on where you are in the UK, you can access different grants from your local council. Some parents may be eligible for a uniform grant worth £200 depending on your income. Grant schemes differ across the UK, so check your local authority’s website and search your postcode to see what you could get.


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