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This local mom of two's back-to-school stationery hacks will save you time and money

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"Try to stick to what you need". (iStock)
"Try to stick to what you need". (iStock)

You may or may not have breathed a sigh of relief depending on just how prepared you were before the announcement that schools would reopen two weeks later than planned. 

The delay while motivated by Covid-19 safety protocol has unintentionally given families more time to prepare and of course that means more time for ticking off all the items on your child's back-to-school stationery list. 

To get some budget-friendly hacks we spoke with mom and iwantthat blogger, Vicki Sleet, who provided Parent24 readers with some money-saving tips. 

Also read: Buying back-to-school stationery and devices? Here's some help

"Stationery is one of those amazing categories that can ignite a love of learning and creativity in a child... My girls are only six and four and I love seeing that they have already inherited my unadulterated obsession with stationery – and it’s definitely one I will continue to encourage," Sleet told us. 

Take a look at the mom of two's advice below:

Wants vs needs 

"Make a list of wants vs needs and then start shopping around – be strict with yourself and follow the list only. It’s nice to have a new school bag every year but a good clean and maybe a charm or two and you’ve upgraded last year’s backpack to a stylish fashion statement. Catalogues (printed or online) are your best ally in seeing where you can get your essentials from and finding back to school promotions". 

Don't delay 

"Traditionally – back to school specials are just that and many stores will have better prices in January. Tip: create a WhatsApp group and share specials with your friends and family – knowledge is power, and you can save yourself time if you divide tasks amongst each other and money by sharing your bargain finds". 

Is it necessary to buy all the listed items at once? 

"Try to stick to what you need. Often items are stocked up on and they end up going to waste e.g., pens drying out etc. Stationery is available throughout the year so you can top up as you go. Items like lined notebooks and similar that will be required throughout the year can be bought in bulk to save you time and if you have a place to store extra stationery".  

Budget or high-end? 

"Savvy shopping is the mark of an organised parent – quality lunch boxes, stationery supplies and books are all products that can be found at great prices". 

Put everything in one place 

"While it’s a fact of life to lose things, creating a sense of accountability by asking every day where their lunchbox or pencil case is and ensuring they retrieve their belongings the next day is a lifelong skill. Build a stationery cupboard with bulk purchases and preserve your sanity when it’s Sunday night and a project is due. Carry your stationery in a pencil bag or case to ensure it’s all together and if you have a desk set up at home, consider adding a stationery holder to the desk so the essential items are close by and stored in a safe place for convenience". 

Sticky labels love 

Invest in sticky labels in different sizes that can be used on books, pencil cases and if necessary rimmed down to size. Start the school year with your stationery clearly marked. Pre-cut book paper covers are a Godsend for parents who don’t have the time to sit and cover schoolbooks for days. And don’t discount the joy that cool stickers on plain brown paper can bring. 

What's your advice for stationery shopping?


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