Archive for the tag 'on the cheap'

A foreigner to uniforms

NS August 27th, 2010

I went to public (state) school my entire life, in the American Midwest. I never had to wear a uniform.

Wait, I take that back. I did attend a Catholic school for one year and did, indeed, wear a uniform. But it was one year and I was only 6 so I don’t remember doing any of the shopping for it.

Anyway, my point is that I’m new to all of this uniform buying business. While everyone else knows where to go and what and when to buy, I’ve been tottering around the high street squinting at people I think I recognise from the parents’ welcome picnic in July, trying to sneak a peek at their shopping bags to see what kind of uniform loot they’ve got.

I went into the place that sells all of the ‘official’ gear and got a price list. I think I cried a little when I read that it would be around £30 just for two cardigans. Two cardigans for a 4-year-old who will likely ruin them, lose them or grow out of them before the ink has even dried on the name tags.

So this is why I’ve gotten a few raised eyebrows when I’ve mentioned to other parents that I haven’t started shopping yet! And, of course, the long bank holiday weekend (when it would make most sense to finish getting everything) is just before pay day and we are brokety broke broke.

Thankfully, my lovely new childminder, whose children attend the same school that Noble Girl begins at next month, mentioned that the large Sainsbury’s near us had some pretty good uniform deals so I drove over there and, lo and behold, managed to get about 2/3 of what I needed for less than £20. I would’ve been able to get all of it if they’d had Noble Girl’s size in a couple of other items.

I’ll be using the ever-thrifty website VoucherCodes.co.uk to get the rest when Sainsbury’s stocks are replenished. Gym shoes and polo shirts for £2?! Yes please! Marks and Sparks have also got some good deals on so have a look there too if you’re still looking for bargains for  your own child(ren).

VoucherCodes.co.uk did a recent survey and found out that the average spend per child on the entire school uniform kit is a whopping £131.41, even though their research shows that you can get everything for as little as £39.68. I’m definitely aiming to be in the latter camp!

I have no qualms whatsoever about sending my child to primary school in supermarket-branded clothes. She’s 4, ferchrissakes! I know it’s only a matter of a few years before she will want more name-brand and ‘cool’ things to help her fit in and/or stand out amongst her peers. But for now? I’m all about doing this as painlessly and inexpensively as possible.

And I will not get all misty-eyed when she puts it all on for the first time and I drop her off at the school gates. I will not, I will not, I will….oh, who am I kidding?

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