Five tracks for an economical and ecological back-to-school season

Every year it’s the same puzzle for every family.The rush of school supplies occupies the last days of the holidays.So how can you buy less, save money, buy better, buy greener, and buy with peace of mind?


Don’t make any last-minute decisions

“Ideally, a new school year starts at the end of the previous year,” says Anne Goffard, president of the Northern Federation of Parent Councils (NFPC).And for good reason: “with less than 15 days to go before the start of the school year, it’s complicated.Besides, prices are higher now than they were in June.

To avoid seeing the start of the new school year as a fatality, you should anticipate it and spend your last days on holiday…on holiday! Well, for this year, let’s face it, it’s a little late…


There’s strength in numbers, buy in bulk.

It’s well known: to pay less, you have to buy in bulk.”I do group shopping with other families.Thanks to this, we can negotiate with suppliers and therefore earn money,” continues Anne Goffard, who is also a mother of two children in primary and secondary school.”For my first year in first grade, I managed to reduce the cost of supplies from 80 to 30 euros.” Some parents may be offering the same thing near you, or you can check out sites like Scoléo.


Order supplies online

For Brunehilde, from Lambersart, there’s no question of searching for hours for A4 notebooks or sheets with large squares.”I ordered everything on the drive.Today, we look at the school bags and diaries on the spot, because the children choose them carefully”.

Some websites allow you to group together to order and reduce the price, while others simply offer to compose your basket based on a list provided and send everything as a relay point, which is practical when you live far from the shops.And an undeniable time saver.


Think about recovering old products

For supplies, it is possible to recover them.Before we buy anything, we take an inventory of what is left from previous years.Pens, binders, rulers…a lot of supplies are still usable from one year to the next.Unused sheets from the notebooks can be used as drafts.We can get closer to the resorts and to Emmaus. You can also buy used products : it’s better for the planet and you’ll safe money.

Read also How to make the back-to-school season green and without overpackaging?

For Marie, from Marquette-lez-Lille, mother of three children in CM1, cinquième and seconde, there are also other ways of recycling: “we came to return the used schoolbags to the store, and we left with two 10 euro vouchers”.


Benefit from aid from your municipality or the Region

“For primary school, many schools in the region are donating supplies.For the college, it’s a different story,” explains Anne Goffard.

In Loos, the town has provided 1,350 school supply kits to primary school children.As in Anzin, in the Valenciennes, where the municipality also allocates a specific budget to teachers to supplement.Lens, Avion, Denain, Méricourt and others also provide supplies.In the Seclin area, many municipalities also help families.

The Region offers, through the Générations Hauts-de-France card, direct aid for the purchase of books at the lycée, 100 euros for the first year and then 55 euros, and equipment for apprentices.

Incomplete list from the Ministry of Education

Comparison made on Tuesday, August 20 for a student entering the sixth grade in the region.The list used is the standard list of the Ministry of National Education for the start of the 2019 school year.It only concerns small equipment, to which teachers may have to add additional supplies, often a science gown and a flute, which increases the final cost.

The products selected for this comparison correspond exactly to what is requested in the list, in terms of size, quantity or pages, and are the cheapest products offered by the retailer.