June is the month when a lot of parents in the Philippines are most strapped for cash because of the opening of the school year. With all the fees that come when school opens, it is difficult to cope with expenses without borrowing from friends and family, or without sacrificing some of the family’s other basic needs.
With only three more months to go before another school year starts, parents are once again on the lookout for ways to save money and get all the kids through K-12. Here are our tipid tips for Filipino moms:
No shame in secondhand
Have your child talk to his schoolmates who are a grade level higher than him, and ask to buy their books when the current school year ends. Better yet, have your child request for their parent’s contact details so you can talk to the parents directly.
You can also ask co-parents for secondhand uniforms and shoes. Going for secondhand school items can save you hundreds of pesos.
Go for quality in shopping for school supplies
When there are no secondhand alternatives, make sure to purchase items of good quality instead, especially those that your kids will need for a long time. School bags, for instance, need to be sturdy enough to last at least a whole school year.
If you are buying new school uniforms, it is also more frugal to buy those that are made with long-lasting fabrics so that your kids can use them for a year or two. You can also buy uniforms that are two or three sizes bigger to make room for your child’s growth.
Cheap uniforms can be bought in Quiapo, or you can check out The Shirt and Uniform Outlet in Binondo.
The same goes for school shoes. Your child will do a lot of walking, running, and playing, so he or she will need durable shoes.
Do your shopping early
Avoid the big crowds that are sure to flock to bookstores once school opens. When bookstores are too crowded, one tends to grab items from shelves without really looking at prices.
Doing your shopping earlier also allows you to choose between different brands of the same item more carefully.
You will often find good buys in smaller business establishments. So before heading for the nearest mall or bookstore, it is a wise move to first visit small mom-and-pop shops, where you can buy your school needs at discounted prices, especially if you are ordering by bulk.
Notebooks and pad paper are items that you can buy in bulk, especially if you have two or more kids.
Some shops you can check out in the City of Manila are: Prederick Wholesale School Supplies in Juan Luna Street, Pritil, Tondo, Manila; Danilo Wholesale School Supplies in Tabora Street, Zone 001, Tondo, Manila; Kyle and Kate General Merchandise along Antonio Rivera St, Zone 022, Tondo, Manila; Business Blessing Bazaar, Elcano Street, Tondo, Manila; and 347 Wholesale School Supplies in San Vicente St., Zone 019, Tondo, Manila.
Children look forward to the beginning of the school year not just because they will see friends and classmates they did not see over the summer break, but also because they know they will have new things.
While it’s tempting to give in to your child’s wants, it is best to stick to basics. Buy only what they need for school and nothing more. Doing so will save you hundreds of pesos, and teach your children wiser spending habits.
Make a list of basic school supplies your child will need and stick to that list.
Reuse old notebooks
At the end of a school year, you will usually find that many of your child’s notebooks have hardly been used. You can carefully take out blank pages from their binding, and put them together to make new notebooks.
It is a time-consuming activity, but you can always enlist the help of your children and make it a family arts and crafts activity. Tell your kids they can design their own notebook covers.
Sell your secondhand books
At the beginning of each school year, tell your children to take care of their books so that you can sell them when your kids are done using them. Once you’ve sold the books your children will no longer need, you can use the money to help pay for the new books you will buy for the following school year.
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