Dig deep for class supplies
AUSTRALIAN parents are set to spend more than $1 billion on uniforms and shoes in the back to school rush as retailers clamour for their every dollar.
The Back to School 2019 report, conducted by Yougov Galaxy on behalf of Big W, surveyed 1112 adults with children aged five to 17 across Australia.
Overall, it found parents planned to spend an average of $476 per child on back-toschool items, including uniforms, shoes, backpacks, stationery, lunch boxes and water bottles.
When compared by state, Victorian parents are the top spenders at $530 per child, followed by Queensland ($482), NSW ($456), Western Australia ($439) and South Australia ($401).
The biggest expenses will be uniforms and shoes, costing a national average of $220 combined per child.
Already, Australia’s biggest discount stores including Big W, Target, Kmart and supermarkets including Aldi, Woolworths and Coles have begun their back-to-school advertising blitz to win over parents with bargain deals.
The top-selling back-toschool item at Big W is a UHU Value Glue Stic 40g valued at $1.20, which is matched by Officeworks for the same price, but can be found online at Woolworths for $2.95 and at Spotlight for $2.99.
While 81 per cent of parents said they had started shopping, 46 per cent of parents admitted to doing it last-minute.
A further 78 per cent of parents overall prefer to shop in-store than online for backto-school items, with South Australians leading the way with 95 per cent of them physically shopping in-store.
Of the items that need replacing during the year, 88 per cent said school shoes needed to be bought again, followed by water bottles (78 per cent), pencil cases/stationery (65 per cent), lunch boxes (62 per cent), uniforms (63 per cent), hats (58 per cent) and school bags (44 per cent).
Mozo consumer advocate Tom Godfrey told News Corp family finances were often stressed after the Christmas retail frenzy and families must look for ways to save.
“It’s a great time to teach your kids about budgeting and the price premiums brands charge for similar products,” he said. “Why not show your kids how to bank a saving by avoiding colourful big name brands and opting for a little DIY creativity on basic books, bags and notebooks.
“Getting your kids to customise their products will not only save you money, it’s fun.”
With big ticket items like shoes, he said parents should shop around.
“It always pays to check prices online,” he said.
“And remember, with kids growing so fast, splashing out on a pricey pair might not end up being the best value for money.”
Mr Godfrey also suggested parents should open a savings account and put a little money aside each payday.
“If you can make last year’s uniform work until term starts, the second-hand uniform shop can be your ticket to serious savings,” he said.
SCHOOL’S BACK: Returning to school can be costly for parents, but you can save money.