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#1 Paddlepop

Posted 02 January 2020 - 12:18 AM

The back to school sales are about to start. I thought it would be helpful to have a thread where we can share the great value products we find, cheap price for things, get help to find difficult items, and can ask questions about back to school things, especially for those new to having a child at school (eg Q - should I buy an expensive bento box for a FYOS student? A - no! not until you know your child doesn't tend to lose things at school).

I know that glue sticks will come up as a question. General consensus from the EB teachers is to buy the brand name glue sticks and avoid the generics. Also, I think that Bostik (blue lids) is preferred over UHU (yellow one). Something about Bostik not drying out as quickly if a lid is left off overnight, so it's more forgiving of not being stored properly.

My biggest hint is to buy school clothing when you see it in the shops, especially winter clothing. If you wait until it's cold you'll have a very difficult time finding the correct colour in the correct size in the shops. Guess what size your child will be by winter and buy now.

My favourite name labels are from Bright Star Kids. The name labels I bought from there when DD started Prep are still firmly stuck on her drink bottles despite being washed, frozen, defrosted and covered in condensation for the past five years. Very impressed with them.

DD is starting year 5 this year, and we don't need too many things this year. Lots of unused or barely used pencils, glue sticks, etc were returned from school. I know that we need to buy a protractor, some exercise books and some workbooks. Might need a new backpack because I don't think the current one will last the whole year, and maybe a new insulated lunch bag.

#2 MakesMeHappy

Posted 02 January 2020 - 01:02 AM

Your post has just reminded me to order DS’s backpack. He wants one from the US! It’s done now :)

I also agree with grabbing school uniforms when you see them in the shops. They disappear so fast and sometimes they are never to be seen again.

#3 Charli73

Posted 02 January 2020 - 04:56 AM

Great thread! I second the buying uniforms when you see them, especially the knee high socks and tights for girls because they ore never there in the colour or size you need at start of term 2..

Tiny me labels for us have been great too, still stuck on lunch containers after three years.. bright star kids have been good also for us.

Looking for a new lunch bag for my DD spotlight often have great school things so will check there this week.

Also our school shorts are only a few dollars more expensive than the best and less and target shorts ($18 and $25) so intend to just get the school ones for DS.

The closest in colour to our ink navy is big w, a huge school range.

#4 luke's mummu

Posted 02 January 2020 - 05:42 AM

Look thru last years items to see what can be reused before forking our more cash. Folders, pencil cases, bags can be washed.

#5 kimasa

Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:45 AM

I'm lucky, DD's booklist is part of the (very low, as I learned from the school fees thread we had recently) fees and are delivered to classrooms the day before. Love it.

Everything else except for shoes are fine for another year, but I'm putting those off until the week of because the past two weeks she has shot up and all her pants are turning into capris, so I'm waiting for her feet to catch up.

#6 Hands Up

Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:49 AM

Thank you! I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep DS1’s lunch and recess fresh and accessible (FYOS). I was thinking a thermos bag with an ice bloc or a frozen popper that can defrost? Then keep the small crunch and sip container separate and in a side pocket so he can grab it quickly? I think crunch and sip is quite early in the day.

Also recess and lunch are swapped from what we used to have as kids, maybe because of crunch and sip? So lunch at eleven and recess at 1:45. So I’m the recess little box should be separate from his lunchbox as he’s not used to rationing.

Decisions decisions. What did everyone else do?

#7 kimasa

Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:54 AM

Hands Up, we have one of those lunch box bags that has two sections, like this:
https://www.smiggle....box?colour=PINK

We put the forbidden FYOS bento (I don't get the hate, Coles sell them for the same price as an average lunchbox, and DD's school recommends them for FYOS because it's not a bazillion things to open and close) in the bottom with a flat ice brick, and crunch and sip and recess in the top and we have a smaller ice brick to go in there if it's yoghurt.

#8 Ozquoll

Posted 02 January 2020 - 06:59 AM

If you have a long skinny kid like I do, I recommend the Best & Less trackie-daks. They have pockets (unlike the only plain navy ones my local Target stocked last winter 😡) and the size 6 is much longer than other brands I've seen, while still being narrow enough in the waist. The size 6 will do DS until he's eight, I think. I bought them a few months ago - the B & L lady told me they do the same style every year and usually restock them in February.

#9 EPZ

Posted 02 January 2020 - 07:21 AM

I found the Tiny Me labels in Coles and they are blank so you can write names on. There are ones with pictures and blank ones.

I had also ordered labels online (before I saw the blank ones) but just had surname printed on them as I seem to always have a child who runs out first and this way I can use for both!


#10 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 02 January 2020 - 07:29 AM

Our local schools do scrapbooks as exercise books at least for FYOs to Grade 2. School uses Educ8 brand. They are a bit of an odd size but I have found EZcovers online if you want to buy reusable covers that fit.
Benefits to resuable covers- no more covering with contact ( DS has 11 scrapbooks in his stationery bag), you can use again if not damaged (DS, you were mucking around with scissors one day, weren't you?) and the scrapbooks can be recycled in the future without having to rip off the contacted covers.

#11 luke's mummu

Posted 02 January 2020 - 07:58 AM

Our primary school doesn’t have book covers/contact as part of their environmental policy. And by high school, contact is so daggy. Yay!

#12 Jingleflea

Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:37 AM

I covered DD's books in kindy in wrapping paper.
Easy to see her book in the tub of identical books.

Since then, book covers all the way!

#13 Hollycoddle

Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:43 AM

Do your schools have uniform pools?  I have never bought an item of clothing new in the 7 years my sons have been at school.  At our school fete which is held in November they have a stall where all items are anywhere from $2-5 each and you can buy stuff all year round at the front office.

Edited by Hollycoddle, 02 January 2020 - 08:43 AM.


#14 José

Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:59 AM

 Hollycoddle, on 02 January 2020 - 08:43 AM, said:

Do your schools have uniform pools?  I have never bought an item of clothing new in the 7 years my sons have been at school.  At our school fete which is held in November they have a stall where all items are anywhere from $2-5 each and you can buy stuff all year round at the front office.

Not at my school. No clothing pool or second hand shop and they won't facilitate purchases of uniforms in any way. E.g. if Bob is  selling a second hand jumper it would not be ok for him to leave it at the office for me to collect.

#15 MrsCee

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:04 AM

 Hands Up, on 02 January 2020 - 06:49 AM, said:

Thank you! I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep DS1’s lunch and recess fresh and accessible (FYOS).

I’ve used the medium fridge to go for my two since fyos. Keeps stuff really cold and good quality that’s lasts all year.

https://www.fridgeto...edium-lunch-bag

They are easy to unzip and then I popped one of these lunchboxes inside:

https://www.bigw.com...orted/p/250091/

Told (and labelled) my fyos that the top was recess and bottom as lunch. Fruit break in a seperate container, making sure kid can open it.

Drink bottle in the pouch on the side.

All are easy to open for little hands.

#16 Hollycoddle

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:06 AM

 José, on 02 January 2020 - 08:59 AM, said:

Not at my school. No clothing pool or second hand shop and they won't facilitate purchases of uniforms in any way. E.g. if Bob is  selling a second hand jumper it would not be ok for him to leave it at the office for me to collect.

That sucks.  How wasteful.  Where do all the old uniforms end up, in random op shops or binned?

#17 just roses

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:10 AM

 Hollycoddle, on 02 January 2020 - 09:06 AM, said:

That sucks.  How wasteful.  Where do all the old uniforms end up, in random op shops or binned?
Our second hand clothing selling/swapping all happens on facebook.

If you're lazy like me and don't want to bother with selling uniforms your kids have grown out of, you can donate them the school (or another school) to give to kids who go without.

I've found a school with a lot of low income and refugee families who have the same navy shorts and trousers as our school so I can donate to them.

I've managed to buy almost all of DD's uniforms second hand. But with DS at a new high school, I had to buy it all new as the uniform hadn't been around long enough for there to have been second hand stock.

Edited by just roses, 02 January 2020 - 09:15 AM.


#18 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:30 AM

Our local Red Cross shop has most of the 2nd hand uniforms.

I alway recommend quality lead pencils. I have a child who needs them and the cheaper ones normally on the stationary list end up all used by mid year. The Fabre castle school pencil packet ones are our go to (they are a silvery blue with a black eraser that actually works properly). They are basically $1/pencil though. But 10-15 will last him a year because the lead doesn’t break. Because he likes them super sharp. The cheaper ones get sharpened down quickly or the lead breaks. Steadler has good ones too.

One thing we do it have a smaller pencil case that sits in the larger one that My kids put their pencils, erasers, sharpener etc that they use all the time into. That way they are not digging around through the coloured pencils etc to find them.

The school brand best and less shorts last for bloody forever. I have some that have lasted 4-5 years. And my kids wear through their clothes.

Buy winter school clothing when you see it because otherwise you won’t see it again. Or use click and collect (someone from target told me this) if they don’t have the size you are looking for.

#19 José

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:34 AM

 Hollycoddle, on 02 January 2020 - 09:06 AM, said:



That sucks.  How wasteful.  Where do all the old uniforms end up, in random op shops or binned?

Either passed to friends or listed on Facebook sites.

#20 José

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:37 AM

 Paddlepop, on 02 January 2020 - 12:18 AM, said:

The back to school sales are about to start. I thought it would be helpful to have a thread where we can share the great value products we find, cheap price for things, get help to find difficult items, and can ask questions about back to school things, especially for those new to having a child at school (eg Q - should I buy an expensive bento box for a FYOS student?

My answer would be YES! I love the little lunch box co. bento lunch boxes.  A great size and so easy for little ones to open.

#21 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:38 AM

Great idea Paddlepop!

Target get nearly all of their school uniform items in to store in January. Most items are not re-stocked, so buy what you need now.

I like to have at least 3 sets of uniform for each season. Two is barely enough as with a grubby kid you have to wash daily.  Four is even better.

My ds lost 3 school jackets this year. All were named! While looking in lost property I found and returned 4 other kid's jackets. My point is - jackets are the most likely item to get lost, so make sure they are well labelled. If you can buy one 2nd hand or cheaper at Target, it won't be as bad if it gets lost for good. DS won't be getting any new ones at $40 - he gets a hoodie from Target for $10.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 02 January 2020 - 09:39 AM.


#22 José

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:41 AM

 Hands Up, on 02 January 2020 - 06:49 AM, said:

Thank you! I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep DS1’s lunch and recess fresh and accessible (FYOS). I was thinking a thermos bag with an ice bloc or a frozen popper that can defrost? Then keep the small crunch and sip container separate and in a side pocket so he can grab it quickly? I think crunch and sip is quite early in the day.


Decisions decisions. What did everyone else do?

DS has a pack it lunch bag. It's been great. His lunch container, fruit break and recess all fit in it.  No freezer brick required.  
I find it easy to have everything stored together but in separate containers.

#23 Mooples

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:41 AM

I need to buy 50 a5 exercise books for my grade. Anyone know where I can get these at the cheapest price?

#24 BECZ

Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:59 AM

 Mooples, on 02 January 2020 - 09:41 AM, said:

I need to buy 50 a5 exercise books for my grade. Anyone know where I can get these at the cheapest price?
How many pages?

ETA Officeworks currently have 48 page for 15 cents, but some years I've seen them as low as 3-5 cents.

Edited by BECZ, 02 January 2020 - 10:04 AM.


#25 hoohoobump

Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:07 AM

Good idea Paddlepop.

Bright Star Kids labels here too.

Harlequin school bag and pencil case with name on now going into their 6th year of use and colour etc still looking good.

For those kids who struggle with organisation or losing things I have found the clear pencil cases for important items useful.

Made for school do great hats for those who can just do hats of school colours - survive the washing machine, swimming carnivals and being shoved in bags.

We have ‘fridge to go’ lunch boxes as we need a good ice pack to last outside in QLD - expensive, but still going strong. Inside is lunch in different Sistema or Decor containers. Our school you bring one into the classroom for brain food mid-morning.

Second hand uniforms are great and I get enough for the week so mid-week washes aren’t required.

We have book covers - helps with identifying books/subjects - likely won’t buy any more due to plastic etc. they are all several years old and just get a new label each year.

For schools who swim regularly in terms one and four - Velcro shoes for as long as you can. I still remember that thread by a teacher about how many shoelaces get wee on them ...






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