7 Ways to Use A Smartphone to Help Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping

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Hello, everyone! Today, I have a guest post from Amy Nickson at Working Moms Word. She is a professional blogger whom has started her own blog and also works as a contributor for the Oak View Law Group. She comes to us today with seven strategies to save money on back-to-school shopping. Enjoy!  - $eth

For students, back-to-school means learning new lessons, meeting with friends and teachers, attending the new session, and attempting new assignments. But for the parents, it only means blowing money on school supplies and having a lot of financial stress. The fact is, buying back-to-school supplies doesn't have to mean a lot of financial burden, but most of the parents often overdo it and fall into financial pressure.

Blowing money on back-to-school purchases is insane; in fact blowing money on anything is not fruitful. The reason is, a good shopping is possible without spending a hell lot of money.

Even the back-to-school shopping can be done by staying within budget. How? There's no secret that technology makes everything easier, especially when it comes to saving money.

Yes, the smartphone becomes a handy device for almost anything; you are booking a cab, a branch at your favorite restaurant, a matinee show, a doctor appointment, banking, etc. Now it's time to make the back-to-school shopping more affordable with the help of your smartphone.

How can you do that? Here are some ways your smartphone helps to save money on back-to-school shopping.

1. Create a digital back-to-school shopping list

Making a list and carrying that should be the first step for any shopping. Back-to-school is not the exception. This time, no paper and pencil; use your smartphone to make a list of things you need for back-to-school. Install Wunderlist and Evernote apps on your smartphone to get the advantage. You can even use the basic ‘Notes’ app on your iOS or Android device for the purpose.

2. Stick with a back-to-school budget

On back-to-school season, prevent yourself from overspending on school essentials by creating and sticking to the budget.

If you are too lazy to create a budget, then take help of some user-friendly budgeting apps like ‘YNAB’ , ‘VENMO’, and Around Campus.

Related: The Beauty of Creating and Sticking to a Plan

3. Save money with digital coupons

Some apps can help you find out useful coupons to save money on your back-to-school purchases. A popular app (The coupons app) not only helps to find the best deals around you, but also provide promo code to get gas, back-to-school clothes and supplies at a cheaper rate.

You know coupons help to save money, but finding and clipping the useful coupons can be a hassle. Some apps help to find deals instantly located nearby. 

‘Retail Me Not’ and ‘SnipSnap’ apps help you to scan, save, and redeem printed coupons on your phone. Thus, you don't have to carry the printout of coupons while shopping. 

4. Keep a close eye on all the social media platforms

Social media platforms are now key for almost everything. They make it easier to connect with people, get a good job, raise a voice, increase fan following, etc. It is a good platform to market a product as well. Knowing so, most of the businessmen are promoting their products on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, G+) to grab the attention of the deal seekers. Thus, there is high chance to get attractive back-to-school shopping deals and freebies on your favorite social media platforms.

5. Comparison shopping is now easier

Some back-to-school supplies like backpacks, laptops, and calculators are expensive; make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. 

Thus, it is advisable to compare prices before making any purchase. Visiting each store to compare the price of a product can be a hassle. But, ‘RedLaser’ (iOS and Android, Free) helps to compare the prices. Just scan the barcode of the item you want to buy; it will let you know whether or not the same item is available online or at a nearby store at a cheaper price.

6. Track the reward points to get benefit at the right time

Becoming a member of the store loyalty programs can save a lot of money. But sorting out the cards to redeem the reward points at the right time may not be possible; sometimes it can be tiresome as well. However, the app ‘KeyRing’ helps to upload membership information for multiple stores to keep the track of your rewards. By doing so, you can understand how much will be saved on your purchase.

7. Let your younger kids shop their back-to-school supplies

Why will you take the back-to-school shopping responsibility when your kids are old enough to do the task on their own?

‘The Bank of Mom’ is a useful app that helps younger kids to learn basic personal finance lessons. This app also helps to shop easily using the available money on the account. Your back-to-schooler can track the spending easily.

Lastly, according to the National Retail Federation, this year, the average American families with children in school plan to spend $500 on back-to-school shopping. After summer vacation, shopping for back-to-school is essential, but it doesn’t have to be so expensive. You need to be a little aware of the latest useful apps to cut costs on back-to-school expenses this season. For example, no secret, these days some textbooks come with a sky high price. However, the website ‘Textbooks.com’ offers up to 60% off on print editions. Many other websites and apps can help you to save your hard-earned money on back-to-school purchases; search online to become benefitted.

by Amy Nickson, a professional blogger - Please share your opinions by commenting below.

Note: I am adding in a bonus 8th tip to save money, but this one does not involve a smart phone. 

8. Take Advantage of Tax Free Weekends for Back-to School Shopping

Not all states have a tax free weekend, but if your state has one, take advantage of the savings that this weekend offers. Below is a list of states and the weekends in which you can purchase tax free school supplies.

  • Virginia - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing and School Supplies
  • South Carolina - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing, School Supplies & Computers
  • Oklahoma - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing
  • New Mexico - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing, School Supplies & Computers
  • Missouri - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing, School Supplies & Computers
  • Louisiana - August 4-5th - Tax Free Items: Personal Property <2500
  • Iowa - August 4-5th - Tax Free Items: Clothing
  • Ohia - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing and School Supplies
  • Florida - August 4-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing, School Supplies and Computers
  • Arkansas - August 5-6th - Tax Free Items: Clothing and School Supplies
  • Texas - August 11-13th - Tax Free Items: Clothing, Backpacks and School Supplies
  • Maryland - August 13-19th - Tax Free Items: Clothing and Footwear
  • Connecticut - August 20-26th - Tax Free Items: Clothing and Footwear

For more information, follow this link.


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