It is nearly that time of year again – back to school. When Amelie first started school I went into panic mode and bought everything. However, as the years have gone on and I am more of a pro at being a school run mum I have learnt to shop savvy and not be so proud (fussy).
This isn’t a school essentials list as each school is different, as are the year groups and what is required. So I am just sharing some favourites that I’ve bought along the way which may help when you are putting together your back to school list.
SUPERMARKETS / SHOPS FOR UNIFORM
One thing I have learnt is never buy expensive uniform, mix and match higher end brands with supermarket brands as they are absolutely fantastic for uniform. My favourite shops are:-
ASDA – brilliant for school shoes believe it or not. I am usually an avid Clarks buyer but Amelie tends to have a habit of outgrowing her Clarks shoes about 6 weeks before the end of term and I refuse to buy another pair. She’s growing at a rapid rate and come September you can guarantee she will have gone up another size. The school shoes are fantastic quality and a great fit. Also fab for P.E trainers and water bottles.
TESCO – my go-to for shorts and trousers for Charlie. He’s a diddy thing and doesn’t suit big wide legged trousers so I opt for the skinny fit which are just perfect. They wash well and last especially on the knees. What is it with boys and scraping knees along the floor??
SAINSBURY’S – I have tried many a shop for the perfect crisp good fitting polo shirt and Sainsbury’s have come out on top. The shirts wash and tumble dry well, they don’t lose their shape and remain a decent shade of white.
MATALAN – I love Matalan for school dresses (summer dresses are brilliant) skirts and socks. Amelie is a fussy thing and will not wear pinafores now as they are too babyish apparently (girls!!). So I will be stocking up on grey pleated skirts for her to wear.
JOULES – there are only a few items of clothing I will “splash out” on and one is a good quality rain mac. You cannot beat Joules for their rain coats, they are excellent quality, wash well and look amazing. Both children will be getting a new rain coat each to see them through the cooler months when it is wet but still a little warm.
VITAMINS & MEDICINES
We all know as soon as they go back to school the germs tend to breed and the kiddies get tired and run down. It is inevitable that one of them will come home with a stinking cold during the first week back and that is why I stock the cupboards full of vitamins and minerals. My favourite vitamins are the Holland & Barrett Healthy Kids Vitamin D3 & Calcium and also the Haliborange Omega 3. They are flavoured gummies which always go down well.
I also go through the medicine drawer and restock with Calpol, Nurofen, Piriton, Cool Head patches, Vicks, Olbas Oil and plasters. I hate being caught out in the middle of the night when the children are poorly, you reach for the Calpol only to find an empty bottle. I find Home Bargains a brilliant source to buy all of the essential medicines from and I’m not ashamed to say, I buy the fake Calpol and Ibuprofen.
I forget how ravenous my two are at the end of the day and if I don’t come prepared to the school pick up with a snack, I’m done for!! Over the summer we have been loving Onli Natural Oaties, they are free from gluten, dairy, wheat and are suitable for vegans. This is perfect for me as I’m coeliac, I have been giving the children foods that contain no gluten – not that they eat many processed foods at all. But having snacks like this to hand is an essential for me as there is nothing worse than hangry kids.
I am also going to implement giving the children a probiotic before school as they have really helped with my tummy and I think it is a great way to start the day. If you have any suggestions as to which brand to buy please let me know.
MY NAMETAGS – I know some people are against sticker name tags but My Nametags are hands down the best name labels I’ve used. They stick to fabric, can be washed, tumble dried and I’ve used them for the inside of shoes, coats, water bottles, kids toys etc. I need to order some more but they really do last and do not fade. I cannot be bothered with writing my children’s names in clothing/shoes as it wears off or the pen runs, anything for an easy life.
VANISH – I always get a pot of Vanish Gold and one of the gel sticks as you can bet your bottom dollar my son will come home with half of his lunch down his top or paint on his trousers.
SHOE POLISH – This is a staple for my cupboard under the sink, more so for Charlie’s shoes than Amelie’s.
There you have it, all of my favourite items for starting a new term. I would love to hear what you buy for the new school year.