Ahhh, back to school. Nothing signals the end of summer holiday madness more than realising that you haven’t seen your child’s pencil case since mid-December, let alone anything resembling a HB pencil.
After the excitement (some might say stress) of Christmas, New Year and the school holidays, it can be quite the crash landing when you realise that school is indeed returning, and your children will need more than a clean(ish) uniform and a smile.
And with bank balances still recovering from the festive season, us parents are looking for quick and easy solutions that require less painful shopping centre hours and some extra bucks left over in our back pockets.
Thankfully, Officeworks has stepped up to the plate yet again, removing the need for a last-minute trolley dash so that we can enjoy those last, school-run-free days in relative peace, with cash leftover for ice cream.
Here's how you can get the best value for this school year (and make bigger things happen for your little humans).
1. Upload your child's School List online.
Hands up who wants to spend a solid day ducking into and out of various shops, comparing the prices of pencil cases, glue sticks and whiteboard markers? Yeah, me neither.
One-stop shopping is the name of the game and Officeworks really delivers on that front. Using the Officeworks School List Service, parents can upload their school list online, choose what they need and check out, all with a couple of clicks.
And with the option to compare prices before clicking ‘buy’, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal. In fact, parents are saving on average 25 per cent on their school list prices when shopping with Officeworks.
I tested this out by uploading my son’s Year 4 school list. After submitting, I was presented with a shopping list to match what we needed. And with 11 items, including essentials like a pencil case, the specific ballpoint pens required by his school, whiteboard markers, glue sticks, a ruler and eraser coming in at under $20*, I am well and truly sold.
2. No school-list? No worries. Build your own.
If you’re a brand-new school parent (or have misplaced that pesky school supplies list), Officeworks has got you covered. The website offers options to shop supplies by grade or build your own customised list based on your state and your child’s year level. They can suggest the most popular and useful items and you’re able to ‘add to cart’ and/or add your own items.
I gave the customised list builder a go for my daughter who is in Year 1 and let me tell you, they got it spot on. From the six pack of HB graphite pencils (because let’s face it, you need a decent-sized stash), to the monster-sized Studymate Scrap Book and ‘right’ kind of coloured pencils (Staedtler Noris Coloured Pencils, in case you were wondering), all bases were covered.
I decided to put the price promise to the test and selected five essential items (the scrapbook, HB pencils, coloured pencils, a Bostik Blu Stik and the ever-important insulated cold box lunch box), which came to a grand total of $14.90. Running the same list through another retailer gave me a total of $25. I know where I’ll be shopping.
3. Compare devices to get the best value.
The world of BYOD (that’s bring your own device for the uninitiated) can be a daunting one. Choosing tech that is a) school appropriate and b) suits your child isn’t always easy and getting it wrong can be expensive.
Luckily, Officeworks is on the ball, with all the info to walk you through the most common BYOD requirements. They’ve also got extensive resources available for helping you choose big-ticket items like laptops and tablets.
You can browse by device type or by grade, and with the compare function, you’re able to shortlist possibilities and work out the best fit for your child. I perused the primary school tablet selection as we are on the hunt for one for our kids and was impressed by the range of products to suit all budgets.
4. Don't forget the little things - tick off the boxes in one go.
While laptops and tablet are important, it’s the nitty gritty of the school list that often gets forgotten about. Think lead pencils, glue sticks, water bottles and safety scissors. With Officeworks' list-building tools and top back-to-school categories, you’re guaranteed to tick every box and leave no school supply unbought.
It’s something you don’t quite realise the value of until it’s the night before school and you realise you forgot a pencil case. Then you realise, very quickly, how critical to your stress levels a comprehensive service really is. And with the budget-friendly options available in every category, you can make back-to-school work for your back pocket.
Officeworks is all about taking the stress out of back to school thanks to their school list service, customised shopping tools, and wide range of school supplies and educational resources. And, thanks to the Parent's Price Promise, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.
*Prices mentioned in this article may change.