This post is sponsored by BIG W. Read on to enter to win 1 of 4 $100 gift cards.
Getting kids ready to head back to school can be a real strain on the family budget. Not only are there uniforms to buy and booklists to fill but I also find there are a whole heap of other essentials that need re-stocking right before school goes back. It all adds up way too fast! Fortunately BIG W is a one stop shop when it comes to everything back to school, for both the items on your booklist and those that aren’t. So before you hit the shops be sure to check which of the following you need to add to your list and save yourself a second trip 🙂
1. Book covering
I smiled when I saw a friend on Facebook recently complaining about how much she hates covering schoolbooks. I secretly kind of enjoy it – it’s relaxing or rewarding or something I guess. Plus it adds a little personality to your child’s schoolbooks and will hopefully help stop them falling apart quite so easily.
BIG W stocks a range of book covering rolls with prices from $2 including popular character prints and BIG rolls of clear Contact.
One job I don’t enjoy quite so much is labelling everything but, of course, it must be done. I remember seeing Immy’s brand new (and as yet unlabeled) school jumper being placed in a huge class pile of jumpers during a school sport lesson last year. I can’t tell you how quickly I moved to grab it off that pile. A fabric marker will be your best friend when it comes to labelling uniforms. I also make sure Immy knows where to find her name on her clothing so that if she is ever not sure which hat, jumper or sock (yes, I have even taken to labelling socks thanks to the joy of school swimming lessons) is hers, she knows how to identify it.
So don’t forget to grab a fabric marker and some book labels (these Hello Kitty ones are just $2). Of course, given my Sharpie addiction I couldn’t help but also grab some cute neon coloured Sharpie markers from BIG W as well…purely for labeling schoolbooks, you know 😉
3. Socks – LOTS of socks!
Speaking of socks, if you have a sock-eating monster at your house, my tip is buy plenty of extras (all of the exact same socks) in an attempt to overcome those school morning, “Mum, I can’t find my socks!” moments. Even better if your children all have similar shoe sizes because then one style of socks for school does everyone. These Rio 5-packs are $9.
4. Shoelaces and polish
I cannot tell you how many time Immy snapped a shoelace last year well before her school shoes were worn out! And plain, black shoelaces of the right length were really hard to find. In fact, there was a period of at least a fortnight where she wore one bright purple shoelace from my sports shoes while I hunted everywhere for plain black replacement laces. My suggestion, stock up now on replacement laces, and shoe polish too if your child wears formal school shoes.
BIG W stocks a large range of school shoes, including Grosby’s leather shoes and sport shoes. Kids school shoes start from $8 and Grosby Leather School shoes start from $29. Plus I was excited to find a whole heap of shoelaces, both black and white, in both formal shoe and sport shoe styles and different lengths.
5. Hair stuff
As I have shared previously, I am more than a little paranoid about head lice so tying Immy’s long hair back in a style that keeps it all close to her head is not optional. Scrunchies, ribbons and headbands makes the two plaits or braids each day a bit more tolerable for a certain six year old who would much prefer a more stylish up-do. I also use a leave in conditioner to help with the brushing and because I believe using some sort of hair product daily (and it could be a mousse, wax or spray, depending upon your child’s hair length and style) also helps in the fight against lice.
BIG W currently stocks a range of hair ties, clips, headbands and other accessories in common school colours with Scunci hair ties starting from $8 a pack I found maroon, green, blue, black and white at my local store.
6. Sun protection
Heading back to school in the middle of summer makes daily sunscreen application so important. We include putting on sunscreen as part of our daily school morning routine. A sun hat that covers the face and neck is also essential for keeping kids safe as they play outdoors.
BIG W stocks St Marks Wide Brimmed School Hats in a range of common uniform colours for just $6.
7. A variety of snack food containers
As the parent of a child who is not a fan of sandwiches, I am a huge fan of Nude Food Snack Tubes ($4.50 for a 3-pack) for packing a range of foods – I use them for everything from cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks to jelly and custard. However over the course of the year we always seem to lose a few of the containers so I always re-stock before school heads back. A new ice puck for our lunch bag and a new drink bottle (because, you know, Elsa!) and we are ready to lunch!
BIG W have a great range of lunch bags, boxes, drink bottles and snack containers in store in preparation for back to school. I even saw a lunch bag with sequins – oh my!
8. Tech vouchers
If your child is required to have a device for school, don’t forget to grab a tech voucher so that you can pre-load any necessary programs and apps in preparation for heading back to school.
9. Homework supplies
Making sure that you have a stash of stationary just for homework purposes has the potential to save you much after-school angst. We already have the basics in our homework box so while at BIG W I stocked up on a few super fun items that I am hoping will make homework time a little less of a struggle, including a mini blackboard, a pack of double ended pencils by Micador (which were just $2 for a pack of 12) and some scented mini pens and sharpeners.
With everything from lunch bags with bling to the latest electronic devices, as well as super low prices on all of your child’s stationery and uniform needs, BIG W helps take the pain out of shopping for Back to School essentials. Check out their latest Back to School catalogue here. And to celebrate the kids heading back to school, FOUR lucky Childhood 101 readers will each win a $100 gift voucher to spend with BIG W.
Entry is simple. Leave a comment on this post in response to the following question;
What is your top tip for saving money at back to school time?
This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. Australian entrants only. One entry per IP address. Entries close 5PM AEDST, Thursday, 29th January 2014.