As a busy parent, I am definitely a fan of technology if you use it to help teach your kids. Apps seem to make my life easier sometimes…especially when it comes to the grocery store. So with apps in mind, I have come up with the top five must-have family apps that I use on a daily basis to make my life easier. I hope you will find this helpful, especially if you are a busy person like I am.
1. Forks Over Knives – This app recently came out and is WONDERFUL! I use this app each week to come up with the meals that I will spend time making for the week. I usually pick no more than three meals per week that I am going to make from scratch. Not only can you choose the yummy meals you are going to make, but right from the app you can add the ingredients for the recipe to your shopping list for the store and check it off as you go. If you don’t already know, FOK is a documentary that is a must see. It has been on Netflix for a long time as one of the top documentary films. The best thing is that when I do make a dinner meal, it tends to last into the next day for lunch and that is a major bonus!
2. Waze – When I am picking up kids from daycare across town from my work, every minute counts. I do not have time to sit in traffic and “hope” that I get there in time. I cannot rely on news reports or a radio station to give me my updates exactly when I need them. Waze gives me traffic updates and so much more! This is a shared community of user-updated traffic and directions (with GPS navigation) that will allow you to get the most up-to-date and current info from your community. Through a shared network of your fellow drivers who are Waze users, you will find updated traffic patterns, hazards in the road, weather warnings and police sightings. You can see where someone reported a traffic jam and how long ago to decide whether or not to avoid that area. You can see if there is something in the road that you need to avoid like a heavy piece of lumber, etc. The best way to use it though is for the traffic patterns. Being able to see red where there is a traffic jam on a major highway is a great way to know that you should use backroads to get your destination on time. Of course it does traditional GPS directions too. It’s fun to use, but try not to do updates while driving by touching the screen. Wave your hand in front of the screen and talk to it and you can put an update in. Try it out…you will love it.
3. Dirty Dozen – Fruit is fruit right? It is all good for you, right? Wrong! Learn what foods have the highest levels of pesticides and chemicals and buy them organic. With this app you will be armed and ready when you go to the grocery store. Take a look at the list before you buy anything in the store produce section. If it is later in the list, like 30-50 (papayas, avocados), you will be okay to buy the conventional version of the produce, but if it is high on the list like 1-12 (apples, strawberries, grapes), you should NOT be eating the conventional versions ever. I know what you are saying…”it is so expensive to buy organic.” I say that it is more expensive to deal with the medical issues caused later in life by eating pesticides…your choice. If you look in the frozen section, you will find the frozen organic fruit is just as good and a bit cheaper for those watching their spending (and wanting a bit more shelf life).
4. Trello – Organization is huge for me. I have tons of things on my mind and lots of things that I need to get done that I just can’t remember. That is where I rely on Trello to help me. Trello enables me to organize lists and maintain to-do items in the most user-friendly way possible. I have a ton of different boards from my work to my personal to-do items to my meetings with my wife where we talk about scheduling issues. Not sure how to use it? Check THIS video out. It wraps it up in a nutshell pretty nicely.
5. Vitacost – As some of you know, I use vitacost.com to get all of my supplements, snacks and food delivered right to my door. I mostly use it for quality supplements made in the USA (Virginia to be specific) and all of them are organic and non-GMO. They have a great customer service team that will take care of you no matter what. The thing I love about this app is that you can enable a bar code scan function on it to compare the price that you are looking at in the store with the price online. I have used it many times and put together my virtual “shopping cart” at the same time as I am filling my real shopping cart. Sometimes stores have deals that are better than Vitacost, like buy one get one, but Vitacost has BOGO and Buy One Get One 50% often times too. Check it out!