Raising a family is one of the most rewarding things in the world. It can also be one of the most hectic and exhausting. But still, you wouldn’t change it one bit. Because of this, a little helping hand can be a lifesaver when things get a bit overwhelming. One of the things that can help is technology. But that needn’t be something like a super expensive gadget or a house-keeping robot. Something as simple and cheap as a good shopping list app can do wonders.
#1 Make Shopping Easier
It might sound a bit obvious, but a good shopping list app can really help you out at the grocery store.
Some organize items into categories that match grocery stores’ aisles. This means you can see and pick up everything when you’re in that aisle, rather than dashing around the supermarket in the order you’ve put things on your list or scanning up and down your list furiously to see if there’s something you need whilst there.
Because of this, there’s less chance of you missing items off your list.
Another handy feature is that crossing off items don’t require you to remember to bring a pen. You can just tap the screen. Again, this means less missed items because of a lack of pen upon your person.
#2 Save Money
Every family needs to be frugal, right?
Well, if that’s the case, every family should be using a shopping list or a good shopping list app.
Psychologist Paco Underhill found that our shopping carts are filled with up to 50% unplanned or impulse purchases. That’s a lot of extra spending. When you start to find out about the arsenal of sneaky psychological tricks grocery stores use to make us spend more than we intend, it’s not surprising we’re unintentionally overloading our trolleys.
But a good shopping list made on a good shopping list app can really help you fight back.
When you’re armed with a shopping list, you can do your best to doggedly stick to it and avoid temptation. By doing so, you will also save money by not buying unnecessary products.
What’s more, some shopping lists apps enable you to put prices into your shopping list. This means you to keep an eye on both overall totals and running totals of your groceries whilst you’re shopping. You can even figure out an approximate budget whilst making your list and adjust your meal plans accordingly. This gives you even more control over your grocery finances.
#3 Save Time
Time, for many families, is as important as money.
As well as saving you time by making your grocery shopping easier and therefore quicker, a good shopping list app can also save you time when making your grocery list.
Try and find a good app with a feature that not only predicts items based on what letters you input, but also makes suggestions based on your recent and most frequent items.
Some also have voice assistant integration or even direct voice input. You don’t even have to type out a shopping list anymore. Just sit down, speak up, and your grocery list is made in a jiffy.
#4 Improve Your Memory
We’ve all done it. You’ve gone to the grocery store thinking you can remember everything you need, only to leave it and realize you’ve forgotten about some crucial items. Sometimes, you forget about the one thing you went to the store to get to begin with!
But we’re all human, and we can’t remember absolutely everything. Trying to hold on to pieces of information unaided is even harder when you’re focusing on your family, your job, and goodness knows what else.
Using a shopping list will help you remember everything at the grocery store. It’s even been proven in studies that shopping lists are an excellent external memory aid. But who cares! As long as you don’t forget the milk, again.
#5 Give You Peace Mind
Raising a family can sometimes take a bit of a toll on your mental wellbeing. But did you know that making a shopping list can actually help improve it a little?
One way is helping you focus on other tasks.
Back in 1928, psychologist Maria Ovsiankina found that an unfinished task can cause intrusive thoughts during other activities. This is because your brain is trying to get you to finish it.
A follow-up study some eighty years later found that a group that was allowed to complete a preliminary task before the main task performed better those who weren’t allowed to complete it. This proves Ovsiankina’s findings that something unfinished can interrupt your focus.
But, by making and completing a shopping list, you no longer have to worry about your shopping. This means you’re free to focus, uninterrupted by your brain, on the rest of your day.
Furthermore, crossing off items on a list causes the brain to release dopamine, the chemical that makes you feel good, as a reward. So, using a shopping list can actually make you feel better as you check off each item.
#6 Help You With Your Diet
Sometimes family life can take a bit of a toll on your body, and we might put on a few extra unwanted pounds or kilos.
If that’s the case, you might want to go on a diet. Whether it’s the Mediterranean diet, keto diet, or the boiled egg diet, a shopping list app can really help with that.
Using a shopping list app can help you plan your shopping to include the healthy food you need. Some may even allow you to import recipes into your shopping list directly from the internet.
Just like saving money when you’re at the supermarket, having a list means you’re going to be less likely to succumb to temptations and more likely to stick to your diet. You could even put a “DO NOT BUY” section on your list to encourage you to stick to your goals.
#7 Help Organize Other Areas In Your Life
A good shopping list app doesn’t need to only be used for grocery shopping. If the app is flexible, allowing you to create custom items and categories, the limitations of what you use it for are hindered only by your imagination.
Planning a party? Create a list that not only has things to buy but also a checklist of what to organize. Film fanatic? Create a bucket list of classic films you want to see. Upcoming wedding? Create a wedding preparation checklist.
You can even just make a “to do” list to help keep tabs on your daily tasks. It’s humdrum but super effective.
So, don’t stop at using a shopping list app for just shopping. Going beyond your groceries can help other aspects of raising your family.
Author Bio: James Waygood studied BA(Hons) Accounting & Law at The University of Manchester. Graduating in 2007. He went on to work in student support at British and American universities for 10 years.