Back to school

Reporter: Lucy Polkinghorne

Pen's, pencils and scissors alone won't cut it in the classroom anymore.

Preparing for the new school year can be costly. As mum of four Libby Tweeddale knows all to well. "shoes, extra uniform because they've grown, stationary, pencils, pens, pencil case, new lunch boxes, drink bottles, new school bags, books. It's about $300-$400 each kid"

And if you've got multiple kids it does add up. The biggest expense are uniforms and text books. But according to parenting expert jodie beniviste families may be plesantly surprised this year. "fortunately we are going to be spending less on back to school costs than last year, so it's a drop of about $60 per student"

But parents are still expected to fork out around $340 per child according to an officeworks survey. So we set jodie a challenge to see whether she could do the full back to school shop- up for less.

These are her money saving tips. "shopping online does really help you to save money, it is really easy to save money and get the best deals and then you get the added convenience of everything being delivered to your door, so that really helps, the other thing to save money is check what you have and don't go and buy things you don't need, focus on things you don't need year after year and to involve your kids in the shopping to make sure you are getting things they are going to use and be happy with"

Stockist details: Officeworks, www.officeworks.com.au

� Casio Scientific Calculator: $17.97

� SanDisk 8GB USB Flash Drive $4.73

� Acer Netbook $248.00

� Studymate A4 Notebook 96 Page: $0.54

� Nude Food Mini Rubbish Free Lunchbox: $6.99

� Bostik Glu Stik 21 Gram: $1.55

� Staedtler Highlighters: $4.37

� Maths Set: $0.99

� Bic 4 Colour Pen: $1.00

� Papermate Ballpoint Pens (10 pack): $1.99

� Smash Stealth Bottle: $2.99