There’s still one week left in August but already I’m beginning to think about the kids going back to school. As much as I love having them around for the summer holidays (and I promise I’m not sick of them and looking forward to sending them back again), I do dread the expense of “back to school”. For some reason, Summer seems to be that one time when they need loads more school uniform, new shoes and then a leather messenger bag , lunch boxes stationery etc.
With Lily’s school uniform, I’m very lucky that a school jumper or cardigan with the logo on, is not compulsory. As such, all her uniform tends to get bought from places like Asda and Tesco, who have tops, skirts, trousers etc. all around £4-5 mark. These are also great places to get PE kit, socks, underwear etc. Megan on the other hand, wears school uniform that is all very specific to her school and is quite regulated too. Last year, when she started in Year 7, I spent almost £200 on new school uniform and that was only one blazer, one pack of shirts, one skirt, one trousers etc. Luckily this year I don’t have much she needs to top up on, other than some more short sleeve blouses.
Ever since the girls first started wearing shoes, I have always taken them each year to get their feet measured at Clarks and then buy a pair each to last the year. While I’m all for shopping on a budget, £35-40 is well spent on a pair of Clarks shoes, given that they do last the whole year. Today I took the girls to get their shoes and funny enough the girls ended up with the exact same pairs as this time last year (except in bigger sizes of course). Megan is now fitting in a 3.5, while Lily is in a 1.
As well as the obvious school uniform necessities, there are plenty of extras that are needed for the school year. Last year Megan had a backpack from Asda Living which was really cute, but unfortunately it lasted about 3 months before one of the zips broke. In the end, she made her way through three backpacks during the whole year and we’re anticipating similar this year. That said, all the backpacks we bought previously were fairly cheap and so after quizzing her on what friends seem to have, Jacks Wills seems to be a brand we could try. Luckily Lily bought herself a Joker bag during the middle of last year and she is very keen to continue using that, along with her every growing collection of pom pom keyrings.
Last but not least of course, is all the stationery, notebooks, calculators etc, that are needed – especially for Megan at secondary school. For the most part she has everything from last year, but a trip to Smiggle last week gave us a top up on some mechanical pencils and highlighter pens. To be honest there was a lot more there that we could have bought, but we behaved ourselves for the time being. Megan did join the Smiggle VIP club however, so no doubt we’ll be back there before too long.