money saving tips

Getting the kids ready to head back to the classroom can be a very expensive process and when you're inundated with 'back to school' ads and kids who want one of everything, it can be hard to know where to begin! Here are our five top tips to help parents as the countdown to the new school year starts.

Tip 1
Most large department stores have excess stock after the initial back-to-school rush is over and will discount heavily to get rid of the stock. Most kids need the same things from year to year so it's worth bulk buying if you can.

Ask what excursions your school has planned for 2010 and ease the cost by saving a few dollars a week from the beginning of the school year.  

Tip 2
Kids damage, outgrow and lose uniform items frequently. Find out whether your school has a uniform pool or see whether you can set up a hand-me-down system with other families.

Tip 3
Although it may be tempting to buy school shoes in the January sales, remember that their little feet grow fast, so buy a bigger size to avoid winding up with shoes that don't fit when school starts.

Tip 4
Regular lunch orders and canteen snacks can really add up. Why not get back in the kitchen and make your own snacks and lunch foods? It's fun and doesn't  take much time to bake a batch of healthy muffins, scones or muesli bars over the weekend and you'll save money too!   

Tip 5
Excursions and school camps are usually expensive and depending on what year your child is in you can expect to fork out between  $100 to $1,000+ in a year. Ask what excursions your school has planned for 2013 and ease the cost by saving a few dollars a week from the beginning of the school year. 

With a little of planning and preparation the whole family will be ready for the start of the new school year...and you'll be able save some money in the process as well!

Article supplied by Your Family, Your Money, a financial resource centre dedicated to providing practical money solutions for  families. For more financial advice from the Lunas visit www.yourfamilyyourmoney.com. Their latest book, 30 Day Challenge is available online or good bookstores.

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