The ultimate back to school checklist on a budget

back to school checklist

It’s that time of year again – the school holidays are almost over and the kids will soon be heading back to school. I’m sure we’ll all enjoy these last few weeks with our children, but they can also present a mad rush for many parents who are scrambling to get everything in order for their little ones. Whether your kids are heading off to school for the first time or not, our back to school checklist is ideal for anyone on a budget. If you remember these essentials, the start of the new term will be a breeze.

Back to school checklist: Let’s start with their school uniform

Perhaps the most important part of their first day back at school and your back to school checklist is their uniform. Aside from the basic school uniform required, there are a few other accessories you’ll need to make sure you pick up beforehand. The school will be able to point you in the direction of your local school uniform provider, but sometimes you can pick up cheaper alternatives at your local supermarket.

  • 5 x Shirts (or polo shirts) – one for every day of the week
  • A jumper or cardigan
  • Shoes – make sure they meet school guidelines
  • 5 x pairs of plain socks (white or black)
  • 3 x trousers, shorts and/or skirts for all-weather
  • A coat
  • A backpack or bag

Don’t forget the P.E kit

Along with their school uniform, your kids will be need to carry a P.E kit with them some days. Again, their school will provide you with a list of required items but you could also consider:

  • Sports t-shirt and shorts/skirt (the school may require branded ones)
  • Gym bag
  • Gym trainers or plimsolls
  • Sports socks
  • Name labels could also come in handy if your child misplaces anything in the changing rooms (you’ll save money on replacements!)

Stationary must-haves for your back to school checklist

They’ll not survive their first day of term without these items of stationery!

  • Handwriting pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • A ruler
  • Maths equipment – such as a protractor, compass or calculator
  • Colouring pencils
  • A pencil case to store all of their stationery

Toys for a Pound have a great selection of affordable stationery, including Spider-Man and Peppa Pig pencil cases and even novelty erasers from films like Cars, Ice Age and Batman! They’ve also got really affordable backpacks, water bottles and plenty of other toys and accessories ideal for kids starting back at school.

Important extras for your back to school checklist

It’s easy to forget these everyday items, but they’ll make your child’s first day back at school run much more smoothly.

  • A refillable water bottle to help them stay hydrated
  • Any snacks or their lunch if they aren’t having school lunches
  • A hat, scarf and gloves for the colder months that are approaching
  • An umbrella – they’ll definitely need one sometime in September
Back to school checklist on a budget #backtoschool #schoollife #schooldays #school

Back to school tips

As a parent, there are a some back to school tips that never go out of fashion.

Get them into a routine right away

Whether they’re in primary school or high school, a before and after school routine will help them to develop positive studying habits to benefit their learning. This could be something as simple as encouraging reading and homework at a certain time every night.

Remember it is important to take breaks

Your child’s learning is fundamentally important, but it’s also important that they have fun and enjoy themselves, and not be overscheduled. Whether that be in the evening during the school week or on the weekends. Giving them something to look forward to, such as playing a sport with friends, will subsequently improve their learning.

Do you have any tips to share with other parents? What else would you add to this back to school checklist. You can share them in the comments below!


*This is a collaborative post


  1. I live in New Zealand where the kids must wear uniforms to school, so no choices, not even for shoes or socks. Plus we get a school supply list that spells out exactly what they need.

  2. Fan of how organized and prepared you are. Great you included the break time as it is also important on anything.

  3. This list remembers me of my school days. I remember going shopping with my mother for clothes, and what a struggle it was to get something in between what I wanted and what she wanted.

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