Wednesday 29 August 2012

Back 2 school on a budget...

So it's the end of August
and everyone is getting ready for the kids to return to school in September. It can be exciting, it can be nerve wracking, but one thing it doesn't have to be ...
is expensive!
It's likely your children will have grown out of most of the uniform you purchased 12 months ago, if not they certainly will have been rough on it and if any does still fit it's unlikely that you will feel it's smart enough for them to start a new class! Then there's the shoes, the new coat, the lunchbag, the PE kits (how does part of it always get lost?)...
For parents of school aged children, the run up to September is usually an expensive time.
You may wonder why I don't start the back to school shop earlier and stagger it through the year, so I don't notice it as much, like I do with my Christmas shopping, well the truth is I do to some extent. Ben's new winter coat was purchased in the January Sales, and his new Buzz Lightyear lunchbag was bought in March when I saw it on a clearence shelf for half price. However like many young boys, my son is prone to growth spurts, so I find it safer not buy things like shoes or uniform until they are needed or he may completely bypass that size!
Last year was Ben's first year at school, he started Reception class just days after his forth birthday and I was so nervous about my baby boy starting school so young, but over the last year he has thrived. Although because of his size (like his Daddy he is tall), I feel that sometimes his age is forgotton and a bit too much can be expected of him, he really enjoys school and really looking forward to going back and seeing all his friends in September.
It's not just Ben who has leant lessons over the past year though, last year I was a first time school mum, and aswell as a few other school girl errors (labelling all his clothes with the wrong class number was my first day #mummyfail!) I ended spending much more that I needed to on school uniform. Like many primary schools these days, Ben's uniform consisted of a polo-shirt, a sweatshirt and trousers (or a skirt for the girls) and there was the option of buying the first two items with the school crest or just wearing plain red. As a mother who wanted her little boy to 'fit in' and 'look right', I ended up spending a small fortune on the 'official uniform' bearing the school crest. Just a few weeks into term I soon realised, that although many children did wear the school branded uniform, many others happily wore plain red and 'fitted in' just fine. After chatting to other mums in the schoolyard I soon discovered that the general consensus was to have one or two of each item with a school logo on (to wear for school photos, special assembelies ect..), and buy the rest from the supermarket!
So this year that was my plan! We have a couple of sweatshirts and polo's on order from the school but the rest of Ben's uniform will be unbranded and from the supermarket.
The lovely folks from TU at Sainsburys kindly sent us out a few items from their school uniform range for Ben to try.
We were sent a pack of two sweatshirts (£3) and a pack of two permanent crease trousers (£4) both in age 5 - 6.
This is what Sainsburys say about their uniform...
Hardwearing fabrics, stain resistant finishes, non-iron shirts and permanent pleats ensure your child looks ‘first day back’ smart, all term long. TU at Sainsbury’s puts its Back TU School products through the most rigorous testing, which is five times the industry standard! Trousers, pinafores and skirts are abrasion tested and can last up to 100,000 rubs, seam strengths have been pull tested with a weight of up to 29kg and high quality Teflon finish on fabrics have been tested to last up to an entire school year worth of washes, ensuring kids grow out before they wear out.
As soon as they arrived I could see they were the same great quality we had come to expect from TU clothing, I adore their funky kidswear ranges and both Ben and Elizabeth have been kitted out in them from a young age. I have always found that it washes well, keeps it shape and the colour rarely fades. Well so far the uniform is no exception, I have laundered it ready for Ben to wear next week and it has washed and dried well.
Before I had a chance to pop it in the wash (or even take the labels off!) Ben insisted on trying it on. Both the trousers and the sweatshirts fit well. The trousers have a permanent crease which makes them look very smart and they also have adjustable buttons inside the waistband to get a perfect fit. (I also noticed that there was a decent hem on the bottom of the legs so if Ben did have another of his growth spurts before the trousers were ready to be replaced then it would be no problem to take them down slightly.) The sweatshirts fitted well also, not constricting but not too baggy either and the arms were just the right length (which is not always the case with cheaper children's clothes!)
So the quality seems fantastic but that didn't surprise me given my previous experiences with their clothing, what did give me a (pleasant) shock, was the cost! At just £4 for a pack of two trousers, £3 for a pack of two sweatshirts and £3 for a pack of 3 polo shirts (we were not sent these but I imagine they would be of similar quality to the rest of the range)....
You could get two full uniforms for less than £10!!
Now that is #back2school on a budget!
Check out the full range at your local Sainsburys store...

1 comment:

  1. i love TU clothes. my 7 year old hasvto have his sweatshirt, polo shirt and pe top with the school logo, which ia a pain and expensive, but the socks, trousers, shirts, pe shorts, coat, pimps I got from sainsbury's. My little girl start's nursery next week and I got all her uniform from Tu at Sainsbury's


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