This guest post comes to you from the pen of Tamsin Oxford, staff writer on PlayPennies.com , a UK website for pennywise parents.

There is nothing quite as terrifying as the prospect of going shopping over the weekend in search of school supplies. The endless queues, the crowds of harried shoppers, the whining of hungry and tired tots, and so the list goes on. If you haven’t already, it’s time to stop, stay at home, and do it all online. You may have to pay for delivery but that’s already cheaper than bus fare/parking/ petrol.

The thing is, when you first open up the internet using your favourite search engine, it’s difficult to know where to start. Do you visit your usual retail haunts and see what they have on offer, or do you trawl through acres of pages in search of what you need?

school-uniform

This is where the hard work of other people makes your life easier. There are quite a few sites that list all the latest bargains on their sites. You only need to amble onto the landing page, search for the items you need, and see what special offers come up. It’s brilliant way to save money by taking advantage of special offers, sales and bundled deals.

When it comes to school supplies, there are so many exciting offers on at the moment you’re going to be hard pressed to choose which ones you prefer. I advise having a shopping list at the ready so you don’t forget the essentials, and don’t buy too much. It’s one thing to have a fantastic deal but often we can get so swept up in the excitement that we buy too much or buy things we don’t need. And that just kills any savings you could have made.

Old hands at the school shopping insanity will know which brands of school clothes are the most robust. If you are new to the business, you may have to brave the shops just one last time so you can try out the fit on your kids and check the quality first hand. Once that’s done you can get exactly what you want online.

The special offers often come from many of the lesser known online stores, but they can be truly impressive – like 100 pens for £1.29 including free delivery. You won’t be needing to stock up on those for at least a year. The thing is, finding deals like these demands a measure of patience. Shopping online is far more convenient (and you can drink a nice cup of tea while you’re doing it) but it can take a very long time if you are determined to find the very best bargains.

It takes me at least four to five hours to complete my online shopping for school goodies but I have saved so much money. I sorted out my daughter’s entire school wardrobe and essentials for less than £40 this year. And that includes shoes!

Hey, sod the tea, get a glass of wine and do the online shop with your feet up and your kids quietly asleep in bed.