Back to school, back to reality! The new school year is upon us and parents have been rushing to try to get their children ready. Books and blazers were just some of the essential items on their lists of supplies.Hundreds of parents lined up outside school uniform outfitters, Toppers, in Athlone to get what they needed ahead of the first day of school.Nawaal Isaacs, who bought a new school uniform, told News24 that buying it was by far her biggest expense."I bought a new blazer, skirt, shirt, socks and shoes. Everything, together, cost me R1 400… and that's just the uniform," Isaacs said. She said she spent more than R2 000 for her daughter's stationery and uniform. But, Isaacs, who planned ahead, knew there would be a hefty amount waiting for her."Every month I would put some money away, so that...I would have money for the new school year," she said. Another parent, Nqabisa Gantsho, who was looking for final items on her daughter's school list, said she spent R4 000 on a uniform and school supplies. "I budgeted since last year. I didn't spend all my money in December, so there was no pressure when I needed to get my daughter's school stuff," she said.Gantsho advised parents to think about their children before spending all their money in the holidays. "As parents, we need to save and not waste it all in the December holidays so that we do not stress and suffer when school starts," she said. Schools across the country open on Wednesday.