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It’s hard to believe that the summer holidays are almost over – those six weeks can feel like a lifetime when you’re little and even longer when you’re an adult (ahem!). But it would seem that for most parents, there’s no relief in the kids going back-to-school.

Recent research* conducted on our behalf found that parents dread the school run after the summer holidays, with 40 percent saying that they don’t look forward to the return of school assemblies, clubs and helping out with homework. A fifth of parents say that they find the school run more stressful than actually going to work.

To help you de-stress and prepare yourself for the start of term, we’ve put together this guide of back-to-school essentials!

School uniform

It’s always better to try and pick up a new uniform before the rush of back-to-school, but don’t worry if you haven’t sorted it yet – there’s still time! In fact, even though leaving it late could see you faced with a few tedious crowds, you could just nab yourself a bargain because of this!

Some stores can start to provide discounts** closer to when the kids are about to go back to school. BHS and Debenhams are both great examples of this – they’re currently offering 20% off on all school uniform. Similarly, if you’re a Tesco Clubcard holder, you can now exchange every £5 of your Clubcard vouchers for £10 of Boost tokens to spend on school uniform. You also can get £5 off sports shoes when you spend £20 at Clarks. 

When it comes to school shoes, try to set yourself a budget of what to spend and stick to it. We know this can be difficult, especially if your child has gone through an unexpected growth spurt but stick to your guns. Ask the shop assistant if there are any shoes in the sale and think carefully about whether to invest in a sturdy or cheaper pair. What you ultimately decide will depend on how rough your child is with their shoes.

Study essentials

We know it can be annoying when your child’s study essentials go missing after the end of every term but there are places you can pick these up quite cheaply:

Pencil case, B&M, £1.29

Stationery, B&M, £0.99

Lunch box, Tesco, £2

Water bottle, Asda, £2

Book Bag, Asda, £4 (for younger children)

Rucksack, Matalan, £6

So there you have it – the only advice left to give you is to make sure you time when you shop with razor-like precision. Evenings are often quieter and a sales assistant might be more likely to show you sale items then. And if all else fails, hold onto the thought that the next school holidays are only six weeks away – hurrah!

*Red Dot questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 30th July and 4 August 2015, of whom 641 were Scottish residents.

**All discounts correct at time of writing – 25/08/15

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