Money & Finance

They’re Going Back to School? It’s Cartwheels time!

19 January, 2015
back to school

The kids are finally going back to school.

Fantastic, right?

My boy is only three years old, so my wife and I haven’t got to that stage yet, where we can trundle of child to school for wanted peace and quiet.

I hate you all… hehehe

I am massively jealous that parents of school kids get to send their kids back to school and I can’t. Whilst every other mum and dad are doing cartwheels across the living room floor, I’m stuffed, forced to watch back to school TV adverts that are seemingly mocking me.

Sure, I’m at my day job whilst my wife is a stay at home mum doing the daily routine of yelling “Oi! Take that texta out of your face hole!” or “Don’t yell back at me. No! You can’t sit on top of the refrigerator!”.


But I love it really, and secretly my wife does too. I do feel lucky to not have to worry just yet about cash for school uniforms, shoes, bags, books, stationary etc. I’m definitely concerned about the extra costs I’ll be forking up come school time. Pens and pencils sound cheap, but a simple shirt could easily set me back $40.

I’ve seen my boy’s school uniform fees and I think that’s about right. What the bleep?! I haven’t spent a dollar over $10 on a shirt for myself in years! (yes, seriously)

And that’s just for one shirt. How do you cut costs for kids going back to school? I’d love to hear your thoughts, but here’s what I think you should do.

1. Join School Board

Being a parent on the school board seems like a fantastic idea to get benefits for your child going to school. The school admin could notice your child’s name on purchase sheets for uniforms and offer you discounts or “accidentally” cross out the price altogether. Surely this would be a thing? There’d be no way that being on a school board wouldn’t be beneficial. I know that you’re required to attend meetings once a fortnight at the least, sitting there being bored out of your mind, imaging yourself being somewhere else sipping Mojitos on a beach. Surely doing that would get you some benefits. If there isn’t, interject at a meeting to bring forth benefits to children of school board members!

Reward parents putting in the extra effort, but would it seem unfair to other parents that miss out? Thoughts?

2. Become or Befriend Newsagent/Stationary staff

With the constant need of books and stationary, having a behind the scenes source would be a great benefit. Becoming friends with someone that has store discount on back to school products is a fantastic idea. They could even keep aside items for you that are slightly scratched or damaged to sell at a cheaper price. Even better, become a worker at a Newsagent or school products store and give yourself discounts direct. The lengths you have to go save a buck are terrible these days hahaha!

But really, that’s a damn good idea at least knowing someone that has staff discounts. Next time you’re buying a protractor (because that happens all the time), ask the staff person out for coffee. You can just mention upfront something along the lines of “nothing suss, I’m just after your store discount in return for coffee”.  See how you go!

3. School Black Market

Get in touch with parents that already have school aged kids, preferably ones that attend the same school as your own children. Casually mention something along the lines of “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a black market for uniforms and stationary?”. Eventually, you might just get a hit and find someone in the know.

Be watchful though because I don’t know how seedy these black market could be. Don’t go venturing down any alleys to guys saying “Oi, I gots this great deal for youse. Check out these Doc Martins bro. Fully black and fully sick. Cheap as!”.


I think it’s probably best instead of taking my dodgy advice, if we took some advice from Mums and Dads that have experience with saving money on back to school items.

Let’s get the conversation rolling on how best to save money in the comments. Where do you buy? How are you saving money this year? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks folks, and remember to find out more about me and savings tips, visit


Image Credit via by samarttiw

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