I Was Not Prepared for the Madness of School Supply Shopping

This post is sponsored by Flipp, a free shopping app with everything you need to save time and money. All opinions are my own.

Because we homeschooled last year, our back-to-school shopping was pretty much non-existent.

I think I picked up one pack of mechanical pencils while I was grabbing groceries and ordered some textbooks and workbooks online. Easy-peasy.

This year was less straightforward and significantly more expensive.

Both the girls had school supply lists from their teachers and I definitely got a little bug-eyed at all the things they needed, from paper towels to dry erase markers and about ten million things in between.

We went to the store as a family and spent approximately 10,000 hours going up and down the aisles, and circling back to pick up something we’d missed.

Then when I came home and sorted it all out so that the right items went to the right school, I discovered I’d missed three things on the list and bought three things that weren’t on the list.

Not to mention the items I absolutely could not find (dry erase crayons, anyone?).

Since then, I’ve started using Flipp, which is pretty much the most genius app I’ve seen.

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

I feel like most of my life right now is spent deciding whether I value time or money more, and Flipp makes it so I don’t have to choose between the two.

Once you download the free Flipp app, you simply enter your zip code and then it aggregates all the fliers from the stores near you. I receive the grocery store fliers in the mail, but I never get ones related to school supplies, so I never know who is having a good sale or what store I should be shopping at.

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

One of my useless talents is that I remember the price of almost everything I buy on a regular basis, so it’s easy for me to price-match in my head, but I buy school supplies only once a year, so I never know what a reasonable price is for a box of crayons or a package of notebook paper.

With Flipp, I can just type in the product I’m looking for in the search bar and it shows me the price at all the stores around me (also very useful with groceries!) so I know which store to shop at and if it’s worth going to multiple stores.

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

The app also has a great shopping list function. For example, if you have a supplies list, you can snap a photo and it’ll upload it right into the app, creating a digital shopping list (you can also share the list with someone else via the “invite” function, so you can each go to a different store and check things off the same list making sure you don’t double up on items).

Once items are on your shopping list (entered manually or by photo upload) you can easily see which stores carry the product and at what price, making it easy to see at a glance which stores are most worth your time to save you the most money.

Plus, if you have a store loyalty card, you can sync it up to Flipp, which means I won’t have to keep getting a new Kroger card every single time I go to Fry’s (I’m embarrassed by how many I have now).

For those who want additional savings, the app also has coupons. You can add these right to your loyalty card – which you now have in the app – and use them in the store straight from your phone.

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

And the feature that basically blew me away? Store mode! With this feature, you select the store you’re at, choose store mode and it will tell you what aisle every item on your shopping list can be found. That would have easily reduced my shopping time in half a month ago.

Thanks to Flipp, I also now know that I wildly overpaid for dry erase markers. Also Ticonderoga pencils.

Happily, because most of you probably haven’t started school yet (since Arizona starts ridiculously early), you can use Flipp when you make that big back-to-school shopping trip and snag the best deals on all those very exciting purchases like pencil sharpeners and rulers.

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

For someone like me who loves to find the best deal whenever I can, this is basically like having a little superhero app on my phone.

The fact that the app is free is just the icing on the cake!

best money saving app for groceries and school supplies

You can download it for iPhone and Android and use it to save on everything from milk to spiral notebooks.

And then use the money you saved to buy something that’s more fun than a pencil sharpener (Ella would contest that there is nothing more fun than a pencil sharpener).

Photos by Christie Knight Photography

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  1. Fortunately our new school just asks for a monetary donation and they get supplies from the district warehouse for a better wholesale price so I don’t have to do school lists anymore. But before that I just did it all through Walmart Grocery pickup.

  2. I was really surprised by how specific our school supply list was in terms of brands that it wanted. “Blunt tip fiskars scissors”, “Crayola only EVERYTHING”… Ticonderoga only pencils… I feel like it’s a lot more intense then when I went to school. Also this app sounds dreamy and I’m totally adding it to my phone as soon as I find it in my messy house.

  3. There is always a reason that teachers request what they do. If they request Crayola it’s because the cheap crayons and markers break/dry out quickly. Pencils from the Target dollar spot and Dollar Store are cute, but they break like crazy and you have to sharpen them constantly. Teachers spend a ridiculous amount of their own money (trust me, I just spent the afternoon shopping for my classroom and still need to buy some supplies for my own kids), so let’s remember that we’re all in this together! Until schools are adequately funded, we’ll be buying dry erase markers, paper towels, etc. It’s sad but true.

  4. Sounds like a great app. We’ve been lucky so far to have pretty minimal school supply lists, but I know a lot of people do get the crazy long lists. I’m all for helping out, since it is public school and I know teachers have to end up spending a lot of their own money, but I think it’s gotten a little out of hand! Do you feel like they take advantage of the school supply list? Since parents generally fulfill the list, I wonder if more stuff just keeps getting added every year!

  5. I wish I CLD find the function that let’s me compare the price of one item at several stores. When I type in an item to find the best place to purchase it, I only see place that have the item ON SALE. What if the item ISN’T on sale? If it is not advertsed in any ad, it isn’t listed. So, no comparison shopping available 🙁 Help??

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