How To Save Money Back To School Shopping

In a few weeks, summer vacation will be coming to a close, ushering in the fresh start of the year that every mom knows too well: Back To School season. While this can be an exciting time for you and your child, it can also lead to certain stresses, including the dreaded expense of it all. The school supplies shopping list seems to get longer and more specific each year, and that’s all before you factor in clothes, lunch supplies and bulk items for your child’s classroom. Coming in as a new mom to the grade school system (my boy is starting Kindergarten this year), I plan on cutting all the stress and hassle out of the back to school shopping experience by using these methods to save money while having fun.

1. Check Out Sales

The easiest way to begin shopping for Back To School is by first searching for and identifying the biggest back to school deals from retailers. These sales are particularly great when you are looking for school supplies, backpacks and clothing. Some of the best online retailers to check out this season are,, etc.

For the majority of my school supplies products such as crayons, pencils, markers, etc., I relied on rollback prices from For backpacks and clothing, I shopped deals. I saved a generous amount considering most of their products are on sale.

2. Buy in Bulk

I’ve personally found that one of the biggest ongoing costs of the school year has always been lunch foods and snacks. After going over my budget in the past, I plan on staying on top of my expenses by purchasing lunch supplies and snacks in bulk. My favorite retailers to buy in bulk are Jet and Boxed. Purchasing Ziplocs, chips, Tupperware, drinks and other snack foods in bulk will save a generous amount in the long run.

Another reason I love to buy in bulk is to help provide supplies for my son’s teacher. Teachers often have to pay for all classroom decorations, paper supplies, and cleaning supplies for the whole year! To really show my appreciation, I love to buy a few bulk items to donate to the classroom such as paper towels, paper plates, cleaning supplies, and even some fresh-smelling scents to make the classroom more relaxing. I generally use Boxed for all my bulk items, and it’s great because you can get 2-day shipping.

3. Earn Money Back Through Shopping Apps

The last way I love to save money for back to school shopping is by actually getting money back for my purchases. There are different mobile apps that allow you to scan your receipts to earn gift cards. My favorite shopping app to use is Shopkick because not only do I get points (called kicks) for scanning receipts, I can also get points for just walking into stores, scanning items, and purchasing through online retailers. I generally make my purchases through Walmart, eBay, and Kohl’s. My kicks accumulate while I shop, so I can redeem my points for a Starbucks gift card to refuel after all that shopping!

Back to School shopping doesn’t have to be hard on your bank account. It’s meant to be fun, especially because you’re able to bond with your kids while preparing them to step back into the classroom for another great year of learning. Take the stress out of shopping while saving money by shopping sales, buying in bulk, and using shopping apps to get money back. These money-saving hacks have helped me tremendously as I get ready for my son to start Kindergarten this year. Now, it’s time to relax and soak up these final days of summer vacation and anticipate the exciting school year ahead! I know with just a little prep, he and I will be ready to take on his first day of school together. And, by using these money-saving shopping tips for your children’s school year, you will be too.

Happy shopkicking!

Download Shopkick today to start earning rewards towards a free gift card for the shopping you already do!

The 8 best cash back shopping apps to make every penny count

The 8 best cash back shopping apps to make every penny count

It sounds cliche, but when it comes to maximizing your budget and making sure that you’re saving all the money you can, every penny counts. I realized the truth about this recently because of my youngest son. He’s obsessed with video games (aren’t all kids these days?) and he wanted a Nintendo Switch, which is priced at about $300. That’s a lot of birthday money for a nine-year-old boy to save up, but I told him if he saved his money, maybe we could help him out.

Well, to my surprise he already had been saving his money, dating back to when we first got him a little novelty piggy bank when he was a kid. Honestly, I don’t know where it all came from, but he must have been saving change in it for a while because that thing was filled to the brim with quarters, dimes, nickels, a few silver dollars, and a good deal of pennies. When we counted it all out, our nine-year-old had more than $100! While we counted, he made sure we didn’t miss a penny and with cash back shopping apps, you can make all of your pennies count, too.

These shopping apps work through your phone and other mobile devices and they’re a lot more efficient and complex than stuffing actual pennies into a piggy bank like my son. Let’s take a look at the eight best cash back shopping apps to make every penny count!

The Best Cash Back Shopping Apps for Brick-and-Mortar Stores


Of all the various apps here on our list today, I think CheckOut51 might be one of the simplest to use. See, with this app you just go out and do your grocery shopping as you normally would, and then once you’re finished, you use Checkout 51 to upload a photograph of your receipt. I like to make sure I do this in the front seat of my car before even leaving the parking lot at the store—that way I don’t forget.

Once you’re done scanning your receipt, Checkout 51 gives you rebates in the form of credit for any eligible items that you may have purchased. The money adds up quickly, which is good because you need to have $20 worth of saved credit in order to cash out. Once you decide to cash out, Checkout 51 will then go ahead and mail you a receipt. See! I told you it was simple.


SavingStar is also a fairly simple cash back shopping app. How it works is that it’s a digital coupon app that pays users to shop at grocery and drugstores. More than 60,000 participating stores are part of SavingStar, and within their ranks you will find more than 100 retail chains.

Most of the time, this app is free to use, but beware. If you get busy and leave your account inactive for 180 straight days, SavingStar will actually charge you a fee of $3.99. To take advantage of SavingStar, all you have to do is either link the app to an existing store loyalty card or submit receipts after you make purchases just like you do with CheckOut51. Again, these savings add up until you can eventually cash out through PayPal, Upromise, or in the form of Starbucks, iTunes, or AMC Theater gift codes.


The way this one works is slightly different, in that it lets its users take pictures of printed coupons, which it transforms into digital, mobile-ready ones, thereby making them far more convenient to carry around and use. Users can also browse online directories and take advantage of coupons their friends have “snipped” as well.

This app doesn’t exactly pay, though. Instead, users save money like a traditional coupon. The idea is that coupons can all be easily kept in one digital space, instead of having an overflowing little billfold stuffed with paper cutouts.

The Best Cash Back Shopping Apps for Online Stores


If you’re anything like me, the online store that you frequent most is Amazon. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with this app, which is called CamelCamelCamel. It doesn’t have much to do with riding through deserts, though. It’s actually a website and browser extension that shoppers can use to save money by tracking prices on Amazon. It’s really a pretty incredible resource, given the changing nature of prices on Amazon.

With CamelCamelCamel, you get access to charts and details for extensive price histories to almost every product listed for sale on Amazon. You can see the fluctuations and know when you should buy an item or when you should hold off until the price is reduced in the future. I’ve never tracked it enough to be able to tabulate an exact amount, but I know that over a long enough timeline, I’ve saved quite a bit of money shopping online at Amazon with the help of information from CamelCamelCamel. Just be warned that you can find yourself spending way more time than you expected looking through the charts!

Coupon Cactus

With Coupon Cactus, you can get discounts on certain items when you shop online. Your savings sometimes add up to a percentage of the total price, generally up to 30% or as a flat discount, such as $2 off a featured product. Once your savings balance hits $10 or more, you can then make a decision to cash out the money you’ve earned through PayPal or even to have a check issued to you on a quarterly basis.

Coupon Cactus also does this cool thing that I find really helpful where you can sort the savings offers on the site by the most popular or the newest, making it easy to find the deals that people like the most or the ones that have been added to the app since your last visit.


You’d be crazy not to download this coupon app for groceries because of how much you can save with it through rebates. Ebates is a cash back shopping app that lets you save by giving you shopping rewards. Full disclosure, this one actually has a special place in my heart because it was the first one I used when I first started using apps that give you rewards.

Ebates is a centralized platform where shoppers can search for deals and coupons that are offered by nearly 2,000 retailers. It’s pretty awesome when it comes to shopping online, which is something I’d guess that we have all done much more of in recent years. To be totally honest, I haven’t used Ebates as much as of late because I’ve moved on to more comprehensive apps to bolster my budget. I’ve actually ended up seeking out newer apps, many of which are way more fun to use!


With three growing boys at home, I shop a lot. Between getting things for the kids, my husband, and on rare occasions even for myself, I’m always out shopping. Plus, I have to admit, I’ve always been one for a good sale. That’s why I use Pennyful, which requires that you hit a certain amount of savings or cash back before you can get paid. With my shopping habits, it’s easy to hit the mark. But, I’m also well aware that not everyone shops online as much as I do. For those who don’t, it’s possible to earn money shopping online with mobile apps that let you cash your total out without meeting a certain minimum threshold.

If this sounds like something that would work well for you, I highly recommend checking out Pennyful. Like Coupon Cactus, you just go online, make purchases at certain stores that are offering online coupons, and then you start to accumulate savings in an account that you can later cash out. And, they make it easy and fun to discover new products by dividing their offerings up into categories!

The Best Cash Back Shopping Apps for Both Online and Brick-and-Mortar Stores


I don’t know about you, but in 2018 my shopping habits have become a hybrid of both online and in-store shopping. There are some items that I just need to be able to get anywhere at any time with a quick click at my computer or mobile device, and there are others that I like to browse or see in person before making a final decision. That’s really where this last app comes in handy.

The beauty of Shopkick is that you can use it to get cash back on both your online and in-store shopping. You can even pair it with some of the other apps on my list because Shopkick rewards you for shopping through points (called kicks) for making purchases—or even watching product videos online. When I save up enough of these points, I can cash them in for gift cards. Shopkick even pays you to grocery shop, which is something I’m yet to figure out how to do online. Of all the mobile apps that allow you to earn money shopping online, Shopkick is the one you must have to take your shopping game to new levels.

So, there you have it, the eight best cash back shopping apps that you should use to make every single penny count. While you’re probably not saving up all the change you can find to get a Nintendo Switch, a few dollars of savings both online and in-store really does add up and make a significant difference in your budget.

I think that’s why my favorite on the list is Shopkick. You can use it when you go out shopping, or anywhere else for that matter. Simply put, there are tons of ways that Shopkickers can earn rewards right from the app—no need to go anywhere. These include kicks for watching videos and instant surprise kicks from going on Easter egg hunts in the app. Users can also get amazing deals where you can earn big points and rewards by shopping on your phone at stores like Amazon and Walmart. I highly recommend it!

Get one of the best cash back shopping apps that can help you make every last penny count. Download Shopkick’s free app today and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with a free, smartphone app sidekick.

And, if you love social media as much as you love your smartphone, join Shopkick on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a little daily shopping inspiration.