As the end of summer draws near, it’s time to start preparing for the start of another school year. For most families, that means stocking up on new school clothes and supplies, an annual event that doesn’t come cheaply. The average family with children in school plans to spend nearly $500 on back-to-school shopping this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
It doesn’t have to be so expensive. Check out these money-saving apps while shopping as a way to keep costs down.
School Supply List (iOS, $0.99)
Impulse buys and duplicate purchases can turn into budget busters. Make a plan for what you need and stick to it with this app. School Supply List lets you choose from a database of items and create a list for each student, then check things off as they’re purchased.
Retail Me Not (iOS and Android, Free)
Everyone likes to save with coupons, but finding and clipping them can be a hassle. Streamline the process with this app, which lets you instantly find deals located nearby with coupons by just showing your phone at checkout.
Flipp (iOS and Android, Free)
Forget about thumbing through the circulars to find the best deals at discount stores like Target and Walmart. Instead, Flipp delivers the circulars directly to your phone, letting you find discounts on the go.
RedLaser (iOS and Android, Free)
This app takes all the work out of comparison shopping. Simply scan the barcode for an item while you’re in a store and it will let you know whether the same item is available nearby or online at a better price.
KeyRing (iOS and Android, Free)
Store loyalty programs can save you a ton of money, but lugging around cards and key fobs can be cumbersome. Leave them at home and instead load membership info for multiple stores onto this app, tracking your rewards the whole time.
Bank of Mom (iOS, $1.99)
If your kids are old enough to do some shopping on their own, this app helps them learn early personal finance lessons. Kids can earn money for their account and use the app to track their spending and saving
OverDrive (iOS and Android, Free)
Before you buy all the books on your kid’s reading list, see if they’re available on OverDrive. The app lets you “borrow” tomes from public libraries for free.
Pitter Pad (iOS, Free)
Need new kicks for a little one but want to avoid the chaos of the kids’ shoe department? Use this app to measure your child’s foot, so that you can order a pair online instead.
Textbooks.com (iOS, Free)
Textbooks.com offers eTextbooks up to 60 percent off print editions, with interactive features that can save you time (quick search, bookmarking your spot, highlighting). Access books directly from your smart device using the Textbooks.com Reader.
Parents, what are your money saving back-to-school tips?
Image courtesy of Flickr.