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Back to School Tips and Tricks

Just when you’re over the Christmas mayhem and finally enjoying the summer holidays, it’s time to get the kids organised to go back to school!

We asked our Postie customers who need to buy uniforms how they felt about getting their kids ready for the school year, and with 70% of you saying that buying new school uniforms added stress on your household budget, the results* made us wonder – how can we make life just a little bit easier?

As well as making sure you get the best value and quality when buying your kids’ new school uniforms from our School+ uniform range, we’ve also partnered up with two family experts to give you all the best tips and tricks to make the new school year one to remember – for all the right reasons!

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM FINANCIAL PERSONAL TRAINER HANNAH MCQUEEN

DECLUTTER BEFORE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

Start the year by sorting out any unwanted or unused items and on-selling them. You’d be surprised what there’s a market for on Trade Me! With a bit of effort, you can make some extra cash to help offset those big expenses.

SPREAD THE COST OF DIGITAL

While paying off something that loses value quickly wouldn’t normally be my advice, for some, the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means lease-to-buy schemes are the best of a lot of bad options. Make sure you find out whether there are any special deals available through your child’s school.

NOT INTERESTED!

Avoid high-interest debt wherever possible because it will only cost you more later. Interest rates reach the hundreds at payday lenders and finance companies, leaving you in a worse position

USE IT AS A LESSON

If the kids want smarter gear than is strictly necessary, take the opportunity to teach them about the value of money by getting them to work for it by mowing the neighbours’ lawns or walking their dog. You’ll quickly find out how much they really ‘need’ that particular item.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

Set yourself up for the year by planning what you need to spend and how much you’ve actually got to spend. This gives you an opportunity to spend purposefully and allows time to work out how to bridge any gap.

Lunchbox Tips and Tricks from VJ Cooks

MUFFIN MAGIC

Save time by making a large batch of muffin mix and spliting it into three. Add different fillings to each portion like blueberries or chocolate chips. Bake then freeze and use as needed.

COOL OFF

Freeze yoghurt pouches overnight and pop in the lunch box for a perfectly cool summer-time treat.

FUN WITH FRUIT

Make sure your kids are getting their 5+ and make fruit and veggies fun by using mini cookie cutters to cut them into shapes.

SEAWEED SUPERFOOD

If your kids love the seaweed they get on sushi, try adding some sheets of Nori (seaweed) to their lunchbox so they get extra vitamins and minerals from this superfood.

COVER ALL THE BASES

Leftover wraps make great bases for mini bacon and egg pies or chicken and corn quiches, simply bake in muffin trays. These can also be frozen for later.

Smart school uniform buying

GET THE RIGHT QUALITY

A school uniform takes some pretty tough punishment, so buying well-made items in quality fabric with added benefits such as Teflon coating to repel stains means that you’ll be less likely to need to replace throughout the year. Also if your kids have younger siblings to pass clothes on to, quality school clothes have a much better chance of lasting the distance.

AVOID THE UNIFORM STORE

You can often find a bargain if you don’t need to shop in a specific uniform store. Saving on cost, doesn’t mean sacrificing on quality, with great affordable options that are 100% cotton, stain-proof and machine washable.

You might find that you can easily mix and match your kids’ uniforms, with branded options from the uniform store combined with more affordable plain pants, skorts and polos, or maybe you could get a school logo embroidered on a more affordable polo option.

PLAN BIG!

We all know how much kids can grow in a surprisingly short amount of time. Plan for growth by buying a slightly larger size that your kids can grow into, as well as looking out for money-saving features like adjustable waistbands in pants and skirts.

BE SENSIBLE ABOUT WASHING

If you’ve got a limited budget, be realistic about how many school uniform items you really need to buy. If you do more than one wash during the week, you won’t need a different uniform for every day of the week.

Remember pants and skorts can happily be worn more than once before washing, so buy fewer of these items and stock up on shirts and polos instead.

*Independent survey conducted by One Picture Marketing Strategy and Research in November 2019 with 1377 Postie customers.