How do you save money on your kids school uniform?

One thing I loved about my December holidays growing up was going shopping with my mom to buy school uniform. This was the only time we went shopping. She bought everything for me in bulk and yes I got really nice lunch, the kind of food we didn't usually eat at home. 

I remember the most popular public school uniform pieces we had to get. They were a black gym dress AKA school dress or tunic, long and short black pants, white and black sock and white shirts. And my favourite school shoe was the Toughees brand. They were durable and lasted for about three to fours years. We used to buy everything at Sales House on Bree Street in Joburg. I have such vivid memories of that place that it actually upsets me to see Joburg the way it is today.

Back to the topic. The one BIG expense was the specific school's jersey and backpack. My mom used to make me a school bag with old jeans and as I got older and the backpacks were a must, she bought me one. I used to write love notes to myself and draw hearts on the backpack with a Tpex and colour those hearts with a red pen. Everybody did it and it was really cool. 

Those were the days. 😛

The public school uniform hasn't changed much. The public school uniform dressing might not have a lot of styles but there is a lot of money to be saved in it. Unlike private schools which have a specific uniform and tends to be really expensive.

This year the Competition Commission had to investigate the school uniform pricing. The came as result of nine parents complaining because of the high prices. Parents were being forced to buy uniforms from particular school stores or selected suppliers. The industry caters to 15 million pupils and is worth R10-billion. So, if you've been thinking of starting a business, this might just be a good idea. And you don't have to have a store, you can just sell this online. 

Experts say school items are cheapest during November and December. Zeeva highlights that it is indeed wise to do school shopping before January, but you have to make sure that the items you buy are indeed on discount. On that note, here are a few other things to also take into account when undertaking your kid’s necessary school-buys:


A Gauteng dad of a soon-to-be first grader, comments: “To give an indication, we did ‘Private School summer uniform buys’ for my daughter in October 2017, which includes three shirts (with the badge), three skirts, four pairs of socks, a pair of shoes and three jerseys – it cost us R3000. We bought it at the school’s online shop, but the school also has a second-hand store. We will definitely consider this option in future because of the lower prices and kids growing up so fast these days. Second- hand clothes are still mostly in a good condition.”

Tough, uncertain economic times are not making life any easier, as the rand tumbles, the price of school uniforms will also go up – in some cases double than normal. Zeeva, therefore, encourages you to make the best financial choice when it comes to school uniforms. Do your homework and compare prices before buying the necessary clothing or uniform for your kid(s). Take a look at uniform prices for ‘must haves’ at uniform shops as well as alternative stores like Jet, Edgars, Woolworths or Ackermans – for girls or boys. Take a look at your budget and make the money-savvy choice.


School materials are unavoidable expenses that you should budget for. And, as highlighted - you can make the most affordable choice by doing research (comparing prices). The well-known stores that sell stationary include shops like: Pep, CNA, or Bidvest Waltons and you should not forget to consider online options such as Some schools also provide stationary packs (especially primary schools), which conveniently consist of everything your child needs for the certain grade he or she is entering. But, do make sure that it is not exorbitant.

Additional costs

That’s not all folks – also keep those extras in mind that you have to budget for during the rest of the 2018 year. Additional costs can include electronic devises your child may need (like an iPad) as well as textbooks, sports clothing, and not to mention school trips. Be sure to include all the necessaries for the back-to-school budget as well as the month-to-month add-ons. Prepare yourself mentally (and your pocket, financially) in advance.

If you are staring back-to-school expenses in the face, remember to have a budget for it and to keep it at hand when you go shopping. This will ensure you have a ‘school game plan’ in place and that you are mentally and financially prepared for the costs involved.

How do you save money on your kids school uniform?

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