Getting the kids back into the classroom is an expense we all dread, but before you take any shortcuts it’s useful to know which items are worth splurging on.
Spend a little extra on these back-to-school goodies and you’ll save both time and money in the long run.
Good quality scissors are sharp — and stay sharp — while cheap scissors don’t cut very well to begin with. Flimsy pairs are also likely to blunt quickly and bend out of shape, making cutting impossible. So it’s important that you buy your child a pair of scissors that’s built to last.
Visit a stationery retailer such as Waltons which stock a wider range of scissors than your average supermarket, and then hope and pray that they don’t lose them.
Your kids, especially those in lower grades, will be cutting and sticking worksheets into their exercise books all day. The problem with cheap brands of glue is that those pages may not stay stuck all year long.
Your child’s notes might fall out of their books and they could end up losing work, causing headaches for both of you. Poorly manufactured glue also means they’ll have to use more, meaning it will run out faster than a better quality adhesive.
3. Ring binders
Low-cost ring binders are another no-no on your back to school shop. The lever mechanisms bend easily and sometimes even snap after limited use, rendering the file completely useless. A good quality file should last a few years, which makes the few extra bucks you’ll need to shell out more than worthwhile.
4. Uniforms and school shoes
School uniforms can make a serious dent in your back-to-school budget, especially if your little one is still growing. There are summer and winter uniforms, a jersey and blazer, ties, socks, and shoes to buy– and that’s before you invest in the necessary sports kit! Get maximum bang for your buck by taking extra care of what you’ve bought so they last longer.
Choose skirts and pants with stain-resistant fabric, where possible buy one size bigger so you can let out the hem at a later stage, and turn clothes inside out before popping them in the washing machine. Avoid replacing school shoes every year (unless they no longer fit, of course) by stocking up on a few shoe care must-haves and giving your kids a crash course on how to use them (this will also save you the hassle of having to do it for them, so it’s a win-win!).
Plush Max Shoe Polish helps extend the life of shoes by protecting them from the sun and water. And there’s something that works just as well on sports shoes, Plush Takkie Clean Liquid Shoe Shampoo removes odours while it cleans, and you can use it on canvas, nylon, rubber…just about anything really.
5. School bags
If you only spend money on one back to school item, make it a really sturdy school bag for your kids. Most children are weighed down with stationery and what seems like a thousand books every day, so a bag with padding in all the right places and nice thick straps is a must.
If schools allow it, a roller bag is much easier on growing bodies, but if the school insists on backpacks, do everything in your power to get your offspring to carry their bags with both straps over their shoulders. It might not look cool, but it’s much better for spines! And you never know what they might need to carry in there..
6. Name labels
We know we have to label children’s books, but we’d encourage you to put labels on everything from shirts, socks and blazers to lunchboxes. Basically, if it isn’t nailed to the floor, label it.
Replacing lost items is costly and labelling belongings will increase the likelihood of them being safely returned to your child.