Sherry FitzGerald O’Meara’s Tips to beat that Back to School Expense Stress.

July 25, 2019
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Crippling back to school costs are a constant source of stress this time of year. For parents of a child starting first year, in secondary the costs can reach a staggering €800.

For Parents of primary school children clothing and footwear are the largest expenses, crested uniforms and tracksuits only serve to further increase these costs.

Here at Sherry FitzGerald O’Meara we have done some practical research to bring you some top tips to reduce your Back to School bill.


  • Second hand uniform

Check with neighbours or relatives for second hand school jumpers or skirts, purchasing second hand can be a considerable saving. You can also advertise for FREE on that you are selling or looking for a second hand uniform.

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  • Shop around for basics

While crested items may require specialized shops, shop around for basic items like polo shirts, shirts, plain pinafores or skirts.  Lidl and Aldi  have great deals, and watch out for larger chains like M&S and Tesco’s that can offer money off discounts early in the summer.

  • Label Uniforms

Lost school jumpers are considerably frustrating for parents who have spent a fortune on uniforms at the beginning of the school year. By labeling the uniform including a telephone number you greatly increase the odds of the lost item being returned.

  • A size bigger

When buying school uniforms the perfect fit isn’t always the most cost effective. Take into account when purchasing, that kids grow quickly so it’s best to allow room for growth. Make sure when purchasing trousers and skirts that the hems are sufficient that they can be let down.

  • Clothing Allowances

You may qualify for the Back to School and Footwear Allowance. This is a scheme available to those that qualify to help with the cost of uniforms and footwear valid from 1st of June to the 30 September each year.

Your local HSE Office will be able to advise if you qualify for the scheme.

Click here to check if you qualify

  • School Books

Where possible purchase second hand books. If purchasing in a book shop ask if they stock second hand versions. Take care when purchasing second hand that you are purchasing the version specified. Another top tip to save is to sell the books your child may be finished with, this money can go towards the purchase of the books your child now needs. Also look into the availability of a book rental scheme at your school

  • Stationary

Buying in Bulk is always cheaper than buying individual items. And most retail outfits have bulk offers on copies, pens and notebooks at this time, shop around for the best deals or back to school bundles.

  • Lunches

Great savings can be made when it comes to lunches. Don’t get into the habit of providing money for tuck shop lunches. Packed lunches prepared at home are not only cheaper but also more nutritious. Packed Lunches not only have an impact on your child’s health but also on your pocket aswell.


Here at Sherry Fitzgerald O’Meara we want to help take the stress out of back to school so check out our Back to School competition available on Facebook to be in with a chance to win a €50 voucher towards your uniform costs from our friends at Fossal School Clothing, Athlone.

Enter Facebook competition here