Admit it. If you could hire a personal assistant to do your shopping for the week, you would. Problem is most parents like myself can’t afford that luxury. Lucky for modern parents everywhere, we have some help in the form of apps and services. Here are six mobile apps that help me keep organized, save money and make shopping more fun.
FOR ORGANIZATION AND CONVENIENCE
Wunderlist – I LOVE this list making app. You’re able to make folders with lists and in your list, you can make subtasks. For example, I have a folder called SHOPPING LISTS, a list within that folder named GROCERIES, HEALTH & BEAUTY, KIDS and more. Under my GROCERIES list, I have a list of the markets I shop like Trader Joe’s, Costco, etc. I add items as subtasks. Super easy to navigate, you can share the list with your hubby via email, text or through the app. You can add comments, add attachments, due dates and set reminders. I use this app for my work and home projects as well. It’s easy to use, simple to navigate and I can’t live without it.
Sift Food Labels – This app is a God send! There are four of us in my household – each with different needs in terms of food. My husband is pre-diabetic and my daughter is adverse to gluten. Overall, we lean more towards a Paleo diet; and I pay close attention to added sugar and harmful ingredients. The truth is there are a lot of ingredients approved by the FDA that are bad for us and banned in other countries. I’m very conscious of this because cancer and heart disease has touched my family. I don’t want my family eating GMO products or cancer-causing ingredients. While I mostly stick to real foods, I don’t have the time (or inclination) to make my kids healthy snacks such as granola bars, nut butters, yogurt, etc. We are like most families on the go. We buy packaged foods. We read the labels to determine if they are healthy enough. Problem is – those labels are riddled with confusing ingredient names! Enter Sift Food Labels. Scan the food label. Up pops a list of the ingredients with flags on questionable ingredients that you can click on for explanation. ALSO, the best thing is you can buy diet filters for $2.99. I bought No Added Sugar. The app tells me whether the item is compliant with a No Added Sugar Diet. Families with allergies and/or restricted diets will especially appreciate the selection of filters which includes Dairy Free, FODMAP, Gluten free, Paleo, Soy Free, Vegan, Whole Food and No Added Sugar.
BEST FOR MONEY SAVING
Basket – Okay, I realize that the time I spend running all over town does not warrant the savings sometimes. As we say in business, time is money. But when you’re on a budget and picky as I am about the food we buy, it is what it is. Basket does the comparison shopping for you. It finds the best price for items you buy regularly at grocery stores near you. You create a Grocery list by looking up or scanning the product. For example, I added A2 Milk and Vital Farms Pasture Raised Eggs. I click on the item to view where it’s sold and at what price. Right now, the best deal for A2 Milk is at Sprouts; and the eggs I like are the same price at Walmart, Ralphs and Target. Now, I can make my lists for each store and do my runs more quickly knowing I’m paying the best price.
Retail Me Not – This app has saved me some money. I am forever running to the store last minute and kicking myself thinking I should have looked up a coupon. This has happened when I’m picking up art supplies for my daughter at Michael’s or Joann’s or buying a shirt at Macy’s for my son’s dance performance. With this app, I can look up the retailer while I’m there. More times than not, there will be a coupon code or sale that I can present at check out. You can favorite the stores you shop at most for easy reference.
REWARDS FOR SHOPPING
ShopKick – This app makes shopping a little more fun. There’s something satisfying about getting kicks (points) just for walking in a store. A round circle pops up when you enter the store that says “Hi, you earned kicks.” You tap on the circle to redeem. At some stores, you can earn more kicks by scanning specific items. My son loves this. It’s like a game. The goal is to earn enough kicks for certain rewards – gift card to your favorite retailer (i.e. Starbucks, Amazon, Sephora) or a donation to a charity such as Feeding America, Red Cross, and more.
Shoparoo – I recently joined this fundraising app for my daughter’s high school. Essentially, you scan your receipts of places you already shop. The company gathers shopping habit information for retailers. (Privacy note: You don’t have to put in your private information and they don’t share it without permission.) You earn “Roo Points” that translate into dollars. At the end of the period, a check is sent to the school. It’s fun because classes and individuals are competing for the most Roo Points. There’s a leader board that shows which class is ahead and which parent is leading with the most points. It brings out the competition in everyone. Plus, it’s one school fundraiser you aren’t coughing money up for or have to sell something to friends and family.
Are there apps or services that you can’t live without? I’d love to hear what you use to make your shopping chores easier.