15 apps all moms need to keep them healthy, on budget and sane
Back to school means back to business for all the mommas out there. With those few extra hours of “me” time during the day, moms have to use their time wisely to keep their families on track and organized. If you are anything like me, I want to make sure I’m up to date on any possible way to make my mom life easier, but often lack the time to do all that research. Well, I used my “me” time the other day to take one for the team and get all the details! Without further ado, here are the 15 apps I’m convinced all us mommas need to keep us healthy, organized and sane!
One of the first things a mom can do to make her life (and the life of her family members) easier, is to design a budget — and stick to it! It can be difficult to find the time and resources to sit down and make that plan come to fruition, but with the apps below, it will now be easier than ever!
Mint – Moms needs a simple way to budget and see all of their accounts in one place. No one has time to log into bank accounts, savings accounts and cross-reference. We need a one-stop-shop to see it all in one place. Enter: Mint. This app lets you sync all of your accounts in one place; schedule bills; check on stocks/savings; and maintain a workable family budget.
Shop Savvy – Designed to be your eyes and ears for all the deals at your favorite stores, Shop Savvy is an awesome tool that allows you to scan the barcode of an item you are interested in and within minutes the app will produce a list of the best prices for that item in your area. Shop Savvy will also provide you with a list of reliable reviews about the product and compares discounts on scanned items. No more regret when you realize you could have paid $50 less for the camera you just purchased only five miles up the road.
Honey – Honey is an online browser extension app that simultaneously searches for the best Internet deals on websites prior to you clicking “submit order.” If there is a penny available for you to save at your favorite retailers, Honey will let you know! Their promise to you: “If there’s a better price, we’ll find it!”
Flipp – Who has time to flip through all the hundreds of circulars that enter our homes throughout the year? It seems every day the “junk” mail continues to pile up. The Flipp app is designed to make you even more confident about chunking the circulars in the trash and conveniently thumbing through the savings online. You never have to worry about missing an insane deal or awesome coupon again because Flipp has you covered.
I have said from day one of #MomLife that if I could hire a meal time fairy who would magically enter my home at approximately 4:00 p.m. each afternoon, whip together a healthy and enticing meal, while also cleaning up after herself, I would officially be living my best life ever. To my chagrin, said fairies are currently either unavailable or wildly too pricey, so I shall prepare my meals like the rest of the free world. However, I can certainly make it an easier process, right? The following apps are about to make your mealtime mania subside substantially!
Mealime – Mealime’s motto is “meal planning made easy.” Um, yes. Thank you in advance for your time, Mealime. The second I downloaded this app and dug in, I was mad at myself for not having done it sooner. Mealime allows you to scour through countless databases of easy to make recipes, select your favorites for the week, add them to the family schedule. It even generates you a shopping list at the end of the process. Run, don’t walk, to download this app today. You’re welcome.
Shipt/Instacart – The person who invented grocery delivery is the wisest and wealthiest soul who I feel deserves a hug from every mom in the world. These apps now allow moms to sit on the couch (or more likely, barely regain sanity long enough to quickly log on whilst fending off fun-loving tots, make their selections, and re-enter crazy town) and grocery shop from the confines of their safe zone.
P.S. If you’d rather go to the store to pick up your items, but don’t have the time to saunter through the aisles selecting your bounty, don’t forget about Wal-Mart and other retailers’ offering curbside pickup! Yet another great way to save you time!
Cozi Family Organizer – Do you know a mom who always has her life together? Because I do not. It seems there’s always balls up in the air, schedules to manage and events to attend keeping all of us from living up to the Pinterest mom persona. Well, the Cozi Family Organizer app is here to save the day. Now, you can sync schedules with every member of your family, maintain all family events in one place and even meal plan together! This app is a win-win for everyone!
Out of Milk – I can’t tell you how many times a week my husband and I SOS text each other: “Do we have any milk?!” “Are we out of cereal?!” “Do we need paper towels?!?” Out of Milk to the rescue, friends! I’ll just let them tell you what they’re all about: “Out of Milk is a tool for your phone that will help you keep track of your shopping needs, your pantry’s inventory, and manage your to-do list items. Never come home from shopping just to realize that you forgot to buy lemon juice, eggs and baking soda. Never buy yet another container of cinnamon when you already have three in your spice rack! Have something to remember? List it in Out of Milk!” You can sync these lists with members of your family so that everyone is on the same page. Cheers to never storing 47 thousand boxes of spaghetti noodles in your pantry ever again!
Keepy/Artkive – These apps are gonna pull at your heartstrings, y’all. Let’s talk kid artwork. Some of you just shuddered thinking about all the clutter. But others of you, like me, swooned over the thought of your tiny tot gluing together two pieces of construction paper and feeling like it was worthy of display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The thing is, as much as some of us would like to save every single popsicle stick our kids might have touched to show off to the world, it’s just not feasible … or even healthy. Enter: Keepy and Artkive. These two incredible apps offer you the gift of preserving your child’s artwork forever in a beautiful coffee table quality book to show off for years to come. Simply upload photos of your child’s artwork to the app and the company will send you a customized album of the artwork in no time. For those of you who don’t have the time to snap photos, you can also opt to mail all of the artwork to the company and they will professionally photograph each piece of the artwork in the exact same lighting/background in order to compile a seamless, stunning album for you to treasure for a lifetime.
Christmas is coming, y’all! Is there any gift more personal than this? Hint for all the men out there: This would be an extremely thoughtful gift to give your wife! Trust me when I say you will get major bonus points for the creativity and effort! You’re welcome.
Make my life easier apps
Waze – So, with all the 14.2 billion birthday parties, ballet classes, art camps, football games and church activities my children are daily involved in, my car and my sanity get a constant workout. Time is the most precious commodity these days. And mothers don’t have time to research the quickest routes, secret backroads and traffic patterns in order to make it most efficiently to their next destination. But we really wish we did have the time, you know? Waze is here to save the day! Waze is designed for you to put in the address of your next destination, and it will guide you step by step to get there using the absolute quickest route possible. Waze factors in traffic patterns, accidents, and even secret backroad options. They do it all. So, sit back, momma, and let Waze show you the way!
Venmo – $20 to PTO. $15 for Christmas party favors for class party. $45 for art lessons. The little expenditures pile up constantly. Checkbooks are out. Venmo is in. How awesome to have an app designed for all those moments you owe money, but forgot your wallet at home! You no longer have to feel like a loser when sitting down to eat with friends and discover the card you need is in the car. Simply set up the app to sync with your preferred method of payment, and the app will automatically sync to your contacts for fast and secure immediate payment!
Stay in touch/communication apps
Peanut – Do you need a friend? Are you stuck in that weird stage of #MomLife where your “real” friends are in different life stages and the connectivity is just not there anymore? Do you feel like it’s difficult to discover life-minded mommas who can join you on your journey? Mommas, rejoice! Because finally there is a dating app for moms! Don’t let that little tagline scare you. Peanut is seriously the coolest way to connect with other moms in your area. The app gives you so many ways to personalize your profile so that you and other mothers can get to know one another before taking the huge plunge of meeting in person. Take a few seconds to check out some other moms on the app and set up the play”date” of your dreams, friend!
Voxer – I want to be vulnerable here. I hate talking on the phone. With a passion. Like, if you are reading this and you know me personally, please don’t call me. I don’t want to seem rude, though. Because I love my people fiercely and want to stay in touch daily. I feel like the Voxer app was made just for me and those like me! This app is essentially a walkie talkie for grown ups. You can chat back and forth throughout the day via voice memos when it is convenient for you to talk. I don’t always have time to sit down and take a 10-minute call that turns into a 45-minute catch up session (I’m triggered). But, I do love catching up throughout the day via little spurts when a free moment arises like in carpool line, or while I’m cooking dinner, or after I put the kids to sleep at night. So, join me in the coolest form of communication since AOL Instant Messenger!
Marco Polo – Marco Polo is just like the Voxer app, but with video. So, if you enjoy seeing your own face and the face of the person you are interested in connecting with, try Marco Polo! I like to think of it as a string of recorded facetime calls.
Seriously, busy moms. These two communication apps are about to save you so much time!
Health and fitness app
Sworkit – In the very rare moments that someone has foolishly asked me how I stay in shape with kids, I either answer: (a) I literally chase two crazy fun kiddos for a living; or (b) Sworkit. Sworkit is the underrated dream for busy moms. It is essentially a personal trainer right on your phone giving you workout tips that you can execute on your living room floor. Um. Yes, please. Forget about having to drag the kids to the gym or running outside for an hour to turn into a sweaty disgusting mess. Sworkit will meet you where you’re at and get you to where you’re going. Cheers to checking back into you, mmma!
To receive encouragement and read more about thriving rather than simply surviving in motherhood, check out Erin’s book, Cheers the Diaper Years: 10 Truths for Thriving While Barely Surviving here.
Erin Brown Hollis is Yellowhammer’s lifestyle contributor and host of Yellowhammer Podcast Network’s “Cheers to That” podcast. An author, speaker, lawyer, wife and mother of two, she invites you to grab a cup as she toasts the good in life, love and motherhood. Follow Erin on Instagram ErinBrownHollis or Twitter @ErinBrownHollis