Back to school shopping season is in full swing! Kids aren’t cheap, and shopping for school supplies and clothing can make your budget even tighter if you don’t shop strategically.
This week we talked to Lauren Greutman on the podcast about school supply shopping tips and strategies to save money. Lauren offered up some great tips, tools, and resources to use to help parents save money but we couldn’t help but realize a lot of her advice can be applied to anyone who wants to save money when shopping – and not just during back to school shopping.
Lauren mentioned a ton of mobile apps throughout the episode and we wanted to elaborate on 3 of the best ones since we know apps are so convenient and popular these days. Many of us want to save more money but we may not have the time or patience to do. These apps will definitely help you save time and money in the store once you learn how to utilize all their features properly.
Most stores have weekly ads or circulars that they release to offer deals and discounts to shoppers. During back to school season I make sure I check out different ads from favorite stores to see which items I save money on. I also use weekly ads when shopping for groceries or household goods.
Flipp is a really cool app that modernizes this task by gathering digital flyers and weekly circulars with popular brands and retailers so you can compare deals straight from your phone. Instead of holding on to and organizing the paper ads you receive in the mail or pick up at the store, you can retrieve all this information on your phone with the free app. Plus, you don’t have to worry about updating what’s on sale or paying attention to expiration dates because the app will do all that for you.
Flipp delivers digital circulars from over 800 local retailers including Kroger, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy and more so you can find the best deals in your community. Flipp has some pretty cool features in addition to their digital weekly circulars from major retailers. When you download the app you can find and clip coupons, highly the best savings you find so you can come back to them later, search for a specific store, item or brand, and you can create your own shopping list to stay organized. Click here to download the free Flipp app and start saving money.
An easy way to earn cash back without having to use credit cards is with Ibotta.
To be honest, I’ve never actually used Ibotta, but looking at how easy it is to use, I might have to start. 🙂
After you download the app, all you have to do is verify your purchases with a picture of your receipt and product barcodes. Then your cash back is deposited into your account within 48 hours. It’s that simple!
There are other rewards and rebates you can earn by doing various tasks, but the cash back part of Ibotta is very simple. This is a great way to save money on things you were already planning to purchase anyway.
3. Target’s Cartwheel App
I love Target, but I hate clipping actual coupons. So when I found out that Target had an app for coupons that you could just click and save, and then scan at the register once you’re done, I was sold.
Cartwheel is a must-have app if you find yourself at Target more often than not. It’s available for iOS and Android, and it’s very easy to use.
To start, you have to register, which you can do with your Facebook or Google account, or you can create your own Target account.
Then you’ll see the three tabs on the top: For You, Categories, and Collections. “For you” might be empty if you haven’t used the app before, but based on what you save and buy, you’ll receive personalized offers here, which comes in handy.
Otherwise, the categories are extremely easy to navigate. If you want to get a feel for everything offered, just hit “all.”
But, right now, you’re trying to save on back-to-school supplies, right? Navigate over to “Collections” and you’ll see “college essentials,” “back to school,” and “happy kids,” among a few other things. They have coupons on everything from back to school supplies, to snacks, to clothing.
Just be careful and don’t go overboard, as there is a limit to how many coupons you can save. You can view everything you’ve saved in the bottom tab called “my list.”
When you’re ready to get in line at the store, just click the “checkout” tab at the bottom with the cart icon, and a barcode will come up that you can scan at the register. It even tells you what your total savings is.
How do you save money when shopping? Do you use any of these apps?