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List in one hand, Starbucks coffee in the other, follow along with us to see how you can get all of your family’s back to school shopping done in one trip around Athlone Towncentre.

First stop Marks & Spencer to tick off the biggest item – the uniforms. We’re here for anything that will save us time and money, right?. The extra features on the M&S uniforms, like the adjustable lengths mean they won’t grow out of them as quickly, and the crease resistant fabric means less ironing for us parents!

Next we headed down to level 0 to Clarks Shoes and Skechers to sort the school shoes. There’s a good selection of classic black school shoes for boys and girls, and then more funkier colours & styles in the sportier kids collections. (FYI Clark’s also have the soft indoor shoes that some schools require for the classroom, if they are on your list!)

Older kids in particular like to get their school shoes in JD Sports which also has a great selection, and of course you might pick up a few other bits for their after school activities while you’re there!

Available in Clarks Shoes

Available in JD Sports 

Available in Skechers

With footwear ticked off the list, it’s was on to search the sale rails in Regatta for their school coats. So many styles are half price right now, you might even pick yourself up a nice jacket – no more soggy school runs or getting soaked at the side of the pitch!

Check out Name It for jackets too, especially for the smallies as they have lots of fun designs and the quality is great! I can tell you we’ve had hand-me-down jackets from Name It that have done the rounds with several siblings and cousins and are still perfect!

Available in Regatta

€34.99 in Name It

€36.99 in Name It

Right next to Regatta, we popped into McGorisks Pharmacy to pick up a couple of months supply of kids multivitamins, and after a quick refuel at the carvery in Harvest Homemade it was time to hunt for the school bags and lunch bags; Eason, TK Maxx, Eurogiant all had a great selection of lunchware , but it was the Dex the Dino Lunch Set from The Works that was the winner for us on the day!

€7.50 The Works

Was €12.99, Now €6.49 in Eason

Was €6.99, Now €4.99 in Eason

With the lunch bags sorted it was on to school bags, we spotted some in TK Maxx and JD Sports, and even Art & Hobby which isn’t somewhere you might usually think of checking for school bags.

€9.99 in Art & Hobby

€28 in JD Sports (also available in pink)

RRP €57, TK Maxx price €29.99

We left the best job until last – the stationery! We may have went a little over board as we were spoiled for choice in EuroGiant, The Works, Art & Hobby, and Eason but there’s just something very nostalgic about shopping for school stationery! Here’s just a few of the bits we selected….

Was €29.99, now €14.99 in Eason

€3 in Eurogiant

€7.50 The Works

5 pack €1.99 in Eason

€4.50 The Works

Job done, there was even time for a quick stop at Jump Juice Bar to try out their new real fruit smoothie pops before home to enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Our Top Back to School Shopping Tips

  • You can drop your school book list into Eason with a small deposit and they’ll get everything ready for you, and text you in a few days when it’s ready to collect – easy as ABC!
  • If you aren’t bringing the kids with you, try to take some measurements at home so you have a better idea of sizes, and if in doubt, size up!
  • If you are bringing the kids, I always find leaving their favourite store (The Works, in our case) until last means they are more interested and cooperative during the day.
  • When you arrive, follow the car park signage to park in the Long Term Parking section on Level B for €3 all day parking!
  • You’ve smashed it by getting everything sorted for school in one day so why not pick up the Dine in Deal in M&S for dinner before you leave so you don’t have to cook dinner from scratch when you get home!