Back-to-school is a lot like Christmas: it’s a joyful time that’s also financially trying and you get a hard-earned break afterwards. Well, there are some apps out there that can help with the financial part of the equation, allowing you to earn cash back, alert you to deals, and help you organize rewards.
The app: Ebates.ca.
Want up to 26% cash back from stores like Indigo, Amazon, Ebay, and 650+ other stores? Sounds good to us. Aside from offering you coupons and regular deals, Ebates shoppers get cash back from lots of featured retailors (basically, Ebates drives customers to retailors and said retailors give Ebates a percentage of sales). Be sure to sign up friends for a $5 bonus.
The app: ShopSavvy.
Platform: iOS, Windows, Android.
ShopSavvy is currently the best barcode scanning app out there (note: RedLaser no longer works). You use the app to scan barcodes and it’ll search online and your local area for the same product, allowing you to easily comparison shop. If you don’t have a barcode handy, you can search for products by name. Suggested power move: use ShopSavvy at a store that does price matching.
YP ShopWise Canada
The app: YP ShopWise Canada.
Platform: iOS, Android.
It seems that every retailor is sending out back-to-school flyers full of deals right now. ShopWise users are ahead of the pack, though; they already have all the flyers from every major retailor in their area. You tell it where you are, it shows you the flyers for all the big retailors around you. You can search by special interests if you want, and you can tell ShopWise to send you notifications too.
The app: Checkout51.
Platform: iOS, Android.
The premise behind Checkout51 is pretty simple. Every Thursday they update their app with a bunch of new deals. If you take advantage of one of those deals, you upload a photo of your receipt and they credit your Checkout51 account. When your account reaches $20, they send you a cheque.
The app: flok.
Platforms: iOS, Android.
If you need to sort through the loyalty programs of all the stores you regularly go to, flok is the app for you. Lots of businesses offer loyalty programs, free rewards for joining, and have shopping events where they’ll double points for a period of time, and flok makes it easy to sort through it all. They offer simple summaries of the various loyalty programs in your area and help you keep track of your rewards with the programs you join. It even stands in for your rewards cards, so you can leave those at home.
The app: SnipSnap.
Platforms: iOS, Anroid.
You see a coupon in the Sunday paper that you’d love to use. But you can’t imagine clipping the coupon and carrying it around with you until you have a chance to go shopping. Enter SnipSnap. With SnipSnap, you take a picture of the coupon, the app recognizes the words and barcode, then it creates a digital version of the coupon. That way, you can carry all your coupons around in the app without worrying about paper.
The Bottom Line
Remember, a few dollars here and there adds up. These apps make it easier to locate deals and shop around. We suggest putting the savings into an adults-only back-to-school party fund.