6 Great Back-to-School Apps for Parents
You simply can’t escape it. You see the back-to-school promotions everywhere—in magazines, online, in TV commercials. But most of all, you know it’s that time of year when your kids won’t stop pulling on your pant leg and begging for new jeans, backpacks, hoodies, colorful notebooks and just about everything under the sun.
We at The Recapp know how stressful this time of year can be, so we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up the best shopping, planning and coupon apps to help you get through the back-to-school season. From an app that syncs to-dos and calendar appointments across all family members’ smartphones to an app that gives you the best deal on school supplies, these apps are sure to boost parental super powers until that classroom bell rings in the new school year.
Download these six apps to transition your kids from summer to school in the cheapest, most organized and stress-free way.
This iPhone, Android and Blackberry app is made for families whose daily routines would make a single person’s head spin. Cozi is an online organizer that channels the entire family’s appointments and obligations into one portal that can be easily accessed and updated by all members of the crew. Set reminders so you don’t miss important events and filter appointments by individuals, or view the entire family’s agenda.
On top of that, the app puts a strong focus on one of the biggest daily family collaborations—dinner. The Shopping List feature allows everyone to add on items from any mobile device or computer (even when you’re physically at the store, so read carefully). And the Meal Planner and Recipe Box features allow you to store all your recipes in one place, add items to your shopping list straight from a specific recipe, and plan out dinner for the entire week. (Free for Android and iPhone)
Having a strict shopping plan before walking into a Target megastore might save you time and, more importantly, prevent you from splurging on impulse buys. Try looking up school supplies and clothes (Shaun White hoodies and denim, anyone?) on the Target app before you buy them, check out all the product details, then add them to your in-app Shopping List if they meet your criteria. Or, you can purchase them right then and there within the app.
Our favorite bonus features: The Daily Deals and Weekly Ad tabs keep you updated on Target’s best offers, and the Coupon Alert pushes deals directly to your phone. (Free for Android and iPhone)
If you’re a bargain shopper (let’s be real, most parents are these days), the Quick Scan app will give you an instant price comparison for that extravagant lunch box your daughter has her eyes on. While browsing through a store, Quick Scan utilizes your smartphone’s camera to scan a product’s barcode and give you a rundown on better deals from other major retailers such as eBay, Amazon or Best Buy.
The History tab records all your scans so you can easily refer to those product details, and the Favorites tab keeps track of all the things you’re considering buying. If you’re always subconsciously wondering if you could have gotten a better deal online or elsewhere, then this shopping app is for you. (Free to $0.99 for iPhone)
Sunday newspaper circulars offer tons of great deals for those new sneakers and jeans your kids have to have for the new school year, but sifting through those newspapers and leaving your living room floor covered with a layer of inky paper isn’t our idea of fun.
Use the Weekly app and receive circulars right on your phone for all your favorite department stores including Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Old Navy and Sports Authority. Click on the Sales tab and Weekly will use GPS to find department stores near you. Once you select a store, browse through its circular and tap a specific item. Weekly will pull up all product details, and if you’re interested, you can add the item to your Wish List for easy shopping when you get to the store. (Free for iPhone)
Maybe it's not the shopping you dread during back-to-school season, but the challenging task of getting your kids back in the schoolwork mindset. After swimming in pools and sleeping till their hearts’ desire all summer, homework is the last thing on your kids’ minds. That’s why the myHomework app is helpful—it helps your kids (and you!) get back into the school routine, ensuring all homework assignments and tests are prepared for.
MyHomework serves as a digital planner and homework tracker, so your kids can go paperless while tracking every single assignment, test or presentation that comes their way in one place. All they have to do is plug in the due dates. By using the Calendar tab, they can sift through individual days of the week and see what they’re in for.
For $1.99, users can also create an account and view all their school-related business on myHomeworkApp.com, which syncs to mobile devices and allows for one of the app’s handiest features: homework reminders pushed straight to smartphones. (Free for Android and iPhone)
Back to school for kids means back to making lists for parents. (Thank you, sports practices, orchestra concerts and PTA meetings.)
Wunderlist is a popular to-do list app and cross-platform task manager. It reminds you of those small, yet essential tasks, like “Don’t forget to grab bread for lunches.”
Besides lists, you can create tasks and set reminders that push straight to your phone or your email. The cross-platform syncing is the key to this to-do list app. You can access your list on your smartphone, desktop or any web browser. (Free for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry)