'Look for discounts, buy in bulk and plan ahead so you don't get a shock in August'
ENTREPRENEUR Michelle Rudden will have three children in school this September.
That should make it easier to get on with her business, but it will add considerably to the cost for her and her husband Gary Rudden.
She founded Ireland's only crayon-making company in 2013. Funky Crayons produces non-toxic crayons in a range of shapes, such as numbers, letters, animals, and fairytale characters.
Ms Rudden currently operates from the kitchen but is seeking capital through crowdfunding to have a log cabin built in the garden.
"It is taking over the kitchen, that is too much," she jokes.
Her husband Gary has a truck business. They have three children - James (11), Elliot (7) and Sarah (4). Sarah is starting school in September.
As Funky Crayons is not making money yet, money is tight. This calls for an emphasis on cost-saving when it comes to back-to-school expenses.
Ms Rudden is heavily involved in the parents' council in her children's school, a gaelscoil in Cavan town.
The parents managed to raise enough from car washes and cake sales to supply every child in the school with an iPad.
And when it comes to costs like uniforms, Ms Rudden has an eye for value. If she sees clothing items offered at a discount, she bulk buys, which means she will have bought some of this year's uniform when the items were on special offer last year.
She also uploads credit on to a bookshop gift card throughout the year when she has spare cash to ensure she has the funds in place to buy the likes of copy books and pens when the return to school is approaching.
"I reckon it will cost around €400 for the three of them to be equipped for school," she says.
Her advice is to plan ahead because few people have the money for the big spend in August for back-to-school items.