Mobile Apps Add Up to Back-to-School Savings

Back-to-school shopping is one of the busiest times of the year for retailers – second only to the holiday shopping season – and with the new school year fast approaching, stores are gearing up for shoppers.

And, while retailers are hoping to make the grade with robust sales, shoppers are sure to be counting pennies in order to make the most of every dollar. According to the National Retail Federation’s back-to-school survey, families with school-age children will spend an average of about $635 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics in 2013 – down from about $689 last year.

With that in mind, many bargain-hunting parents will turn to mobile technology to help them add up their back-to-schools savings.

Mobile couponing apps, like SnipSnap Coupon, allow shoppers to toss out the scissors and let their phones do the clipping. Shoppers simply snap a photo of printed offers, and SnipSnap converts the text, images and barcodes into mobile-optimized offers that can be redeemed at participating stores. Those using the app can also opt-in to have coupon notifications sent to their mobile devices when they are in a store where they can use a saved coupon.

Finding the right product at the right price is easy with ShopSavvy and other free barcode scanners that allow a user to aim the phone’s camera at the product’s barcode and wait for the beep. ShopSavvy provides a list of online and local prices at competing retailers to help consumers make informed purchase decisions.

Several free discount calculators can be used to quickly determine how much will be saved and what the final price will be on certain products.

Of course, the best deal that these and other free apps offer is the chance to savor the last few weeks of summer instead of driving around in search of back-to-school bargains.