There is more to the onset of school season than tuition fees. Parents like you know that you also have to allocate some budget for books, school supplies, and uniforms, and spend a lot of time shopping for these essentials.
For some of you who have yet to get their back-to-school errands done and over with, these tips on how you can save on school supplies and other expenses should help.
When buying books
Textbooks cost a fortune these days. But there is one way you can save on your child’s learning essentials, and that is to buy secondhand textbooks from dealers in areas like Recto and Quiapo.
When buying used books, make sure you have a list of the exact authors and editions as the ones required by the school. You don’t want to waste your precious time and money on the wrong thing.
Pro tip: You can also sell your children’s old textbooks to these shops. Of course, the better the condition, the higher the price you can sell them for.
When purchasing uniforms
Uniforms probably take the biggest portion of your back-to-school budget if you don’t know how to work your way around it. Be sure to check your kid’s previous school outfits to see if they are still usable; some may only require a thorough machine wash to make them look squeaky clean again.
If your child’s previous uniforms are beyond salvageable, then buying a new set of threads is the only way to go. However, keep in mind that cheap isn’t always the way to go; sometimes, lower prices may also mean lower quality, and you may end up spending more in the long run for repairs or complete replacement. Remember, quality comes before the price tag.
When shopping for school supplies
Normally, people will flock to the malls and bookstore chains to buy notebooks, writing materials, bags, and other essentials. In case you are willing to brave through lines and snake through crowded counters, be sure to only do it in a single trip and buy everything in one go. Create a checklist of the school supplies you need to avoid doing multiple trips to the malls.
Most of these school supplies are consumable, but going back to your kid’s last year supplies may also allow you to save some cash. If there are notebooks with unused pages, you might want to compile and bind them together for use as an extra notebook. Meanwhile, try to make use of used pencils, crayons, and other writing materials before opening a new set.
(See related: Not Enough Tuition? We’ve Got You Covered)
When preparing your child’s packed lunch
Most parents would like to indulge their kids with biscuits, fudge bars, and other individually packed snacks. Some others find it more convenient to just hand their kids a daily cash allowance so they can buy lunch themselves at the school canteen. But if you want to save and at the same time make sure your kid gets the nutrition he needs, plan a healthy yet delicious weekly packed lunch menu.
The beginning of a new school year definitely entails a lot of expenses, but it doesn’t mean that you have to go all out in your child’s school expenses. If you can find ways to save up on your back-to-school expenses–as long you don’t compromise the quality of your child’s needs–then by all means you should. After all, every Peso saved is something to look forward to.
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