5 items in your back to school shopping list you should buy before Christmas

I bet this long holiday has thrown you off completely. You are not the only one. Between our girls going to their two grandparents, we are finding ourselves with no choice but find engaging programs for them to be involved in for this long break.

These things cost money! Na mshahara ni ile ile

Your employer doesn’t care that your house budget has suddenly shot up and you almost feeling like telling him that the bonus should come through without fail.

Then there is the Christmas madness where the  temptation to shop till you drop will be on every screen you face. Come January, you will need grace and an advance salary just to see you through the month. However, there are some things you can do now before the November and December salaries hit your bank account in quick succession. You might think that money is a lot but wait till January and you will wonder if you got robbed.

Here are 5 things  in your ‘back to school shopping list’  that you should buy by Mid December before going on your Christmas break to save yourself  migraines come January 2017.

School fees
Whether your child is going to class one in a new school or the next level in the same school, you have already been given the fees structure for next year. Please pay as soon as you get the money. However little it is, just deposit that money into the school’s account and take a photo of the slip just in case you misplace it (to avoid this, just buy a folder for your child’s school documents and file it there)

School Uniform
Most schools, in a bid to have uniformity in design, colour and shades, require that we buy uniform from specific places like school outfitters. If you are buying uniform direct from the school then you will be covered under school fees. If not, then save yourself the January craze of being one of the hundreds of parents flocking these shops wondering why they are so lazy and asking if the clothes are designer made

Course/text-books 
Whoever said ‘If you thought education was expensive, try ignorance’ had clearly not taken their child to a Kenyan school system. Despite Primary education being free, that is PR that Kenya sells out in international Government conferences under MDGs.
Go to those textbook shops before the festivities start. If  you can, just dedicate your November salary and side hustle income to buying course books, Uniform & paying your school fees. You will be able to get all the requested book with ease and at a better rate.

I worked for a book publisher for 7 years so I know what am talking about. Booksellers get bulk discounts when they order from publishers towards the end of the year, take advantage of that.

School Shoes
Normally, the uniform shops don’t sell you shoes so you need to find school shoes elsewhere. I am not a huge fan of Bata shoes. Due to huge demand, I think they compromise a lot on quality and I would rather spend twice the amount and get good quality leather shoes at exclusive leather shops. If you are in Nairobi, there are quite a number along Kenyatta avenue. I wrote about my nasty experience with those toughees. You can also try getting some good quality 2nd hand black shoes at Toi market at half the price.

Stationery, leisure books & board games
The rule of supply and demand applies in every aspect of our lives. Most shops will be focused on holiday shopping items like Christmas lights, decorations etc. This is  the best time to buy school stationery. Buying story books, coloring, tracing, puzzles and all those other fun books, is best done toward the end of the year. If you can, buy in bulk and keep them away to be used in the course of the year.
Board games such as Lego, Scrabble, drafts, Chess and Monopoly are things worth investing in especially if you hate seeing your kids glued to screens the whole day.

There are different games for different ages so don’t worry if you buy and your kids don’t like some of them.
Most shops that sell these items will often have discounted rates over the festive season. Some of these games will also come in very handy if you plan on doing some long trips out of town.

While other parents will be wishing someone had told them, don’t be one of them.

PS. This post was inspired by a tweet shared by Kellie. 

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  1. Pingback: Budget-friendly holiday activities for the family - AfroMum

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