January means that the long festive season finally comes to a wrap and itâ€™s back to the rat race.
After splurging and indulging during the holidays, this is the time that reality checks in for most parents.
The back to school season which seemed eons away in December grabs youÂ unexpectedly by the throat with no intention of letting go.
The illusion of your financial flexibility fades and you start feeling the pinch of the heavy costs of purchasing your childrenâ€™s materials for the new academic year.
From school fees, stationery, and even new uniform, the studentsâ€™ requirements vary, not to mention the startling expenses that crop out of nowhere to your inconvenience.
Back to school need not drive you to bankruptcy, Christmas can still be enjoyed without fear of whatâ€™s coming but this needs proper planning.
With a little creativity, you can actually save a huge chunk of your money when making purchases for your kids.
Here is an interesting list of ideas to make back to school shopping easy and convenient.
1. Trade in your previous yearâ€™s textbooks for the ones you require
Whether brand new or secondhand, the content in the textbooks is the same. Instead of breaking the bank to purchase new books, you can trade in your childâ€™s previous yearâ€™s books for material they will require in the new academic year at your local secondhand book dealer.
This will guarantee that, while you are getting value for the old books, you get the best deals at an affordable price.
While some of the books you get won’t be at the best condition, some glue, a stapler, and new covers will transform these books to as good as new. Involving your kids in the upholstery activity is also a good way to bond with your children.
2. Look for the Best Back to School Offers in your local shop
It is definite that every time students are going back to school from their holiday breaks, supermarkets and shopping malls have offers to help them boost their sales.
A smart shopper will take advantage of these offers to get the best value for their money while purchasing school items.
3. Redeem the vouchers you got as Christmas gifts
If you were lucky enough to have been gifted vouchers during the Christmas season, it would be a brilliant idea to save them up and redeem them while doing your back to school shopping.
Gift vouchers are excellent because you can use them in your local supermarket and even in selected bookstores.
This way, you will reduce the amount of money you would have spent while shopping for school supplies, saving it up for other uses.
4. Bulk Buying
Bulk buying has proved to be really effective as a means of saving.
Instead of buying school supplies only in the quantities that your child will require for the term, you can choose to purchase them in bulk, say purchase supplies for the whole year.
Bulk buying has its perks because mostly, there will be discount offers. For example, while a single pencil will go for Kshs 20, a dozen pack of the same brand of pencils will go for Kshs 200, guaranteeing that you will save an extra forty shillings, contrary to if you had bought the items in single units.
5. Beat tedious queues and extra transaction fees by paying your school fees conveniently using MCo-op Cash App
It is common knowledge that banking halls experience the longest queues during this time of the year.
Most people agree the making these queues can be exhausting and unnecessary. You can evade this process by using MCo-op Cash App, M-Pesa PayBill 400222 or at a Co-op Kwa Jirani agent near you to pay your school fees at the convenience of your home.
6. Adopt packing home cooked lunches and snacks for your kids to take to school.
Another way to save up some extra coins while at the same time tracking your familyâ€™s healthy living goals for the new year is to pack home cooked lunches and snacks for your kids to carry to school.
This way, you will be able to supervise what your child is eating while at the same time saving up.
You can even make a meal plan beforehand and prepare batches of food for the whole week when you are free during weekends, stacking it in the freezer to take out what will be needed each day.
Sandwiches are an awesome choice.
7. Your Local Tailor Could Make Your Uniform At a Better Deal
When it is time to go back to school, your child will inform you that they lost their sweater during the previous term and as a responsible parent, you will be forced to replace the item to ensure their well-being in school. Also, you will discover that some of their shirts will be tattered, prompting a replacement.
Instead of purchasing ready-made items that are rather pricey, you could make arrangements with your local tailor to make you the items at a cheaper cost.