Dig deep for class sup­plies

There are ways of sav­ing money on the es­sen­tials

The Observer - - BACK TO SCHOOL 2019 - BY SHOBA RAO

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 in­store than on­line for back-toschool 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.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

SCHOOL’S BACK: Re­turn­ing to school can be costly for par­ents, but you can save money.

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