NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s almost time for the kids to head back to school, and that means there’s a lot of shopping to be done.
And back-to-school shopping can definitely add up.
According to a national survey, nearly 30 percent of parents say back-to-school shopping puts a strain on family finances, CBS2’s Alex Denis reported.
“We are definitely going to see prices increasing,” Sara Skirboll, of RetailMeNot, said. “Parents in particular are going to be buying their kids electronics for the back-to-school season. Tablets, laptops, even smartphones — and those things add up.”
But there are some apps that can save your sanity while also saving you some money.
RedLaser is a mobile app that keeps your loyalty points all in one place. And if you have a bar code of a product you need, the app can also help you find the best deals, so you aren’t paying more than you need to.
Shopkick gives you points just by walking into stores, which can then be redeemed for a gift card.
And the RetailMeNot app highlights discounts and sales at some of the tops stores and big-box retailers.
“JC Penny has great offers on apparel and accessories. Bed, Bath and Beyond has great deals on everything from lunchboxes and binders,” Skirboll said. “Sears and Target also have really great steals and deals for back-to-school in particular.”
The apps may also help save on trending seasonal items — like items highlighting your child’s favorite television and movie characters — which can be up to 30 percent more expensive than traditional items.
“Big box office hits are influencing back to school trends. Star Wars, Frozen, Angry Birds all of these types of images on everything form binders to backpacks to lunchboxes,” Skirboll said.
If you want to avoid higher prices altogether, buy a plain backpack or lunchbox and then let your child decorate it with stickers of their favorite characters — for a lot less money.