Managing all aspects of a household can be challenging for busy parents. Meals need planned, groceries need bought, chores need finished, and, above all this, time and money need to be saved. The household stuff that parents need to manage hasn’t changed much over the years. But, the tools sure have. Here are just a few ways that technology can help families manage different areas of life and the household.
Meal planning is a must to keep the grocery budget under control. Planning meals also keeps the family healthy because it prevents the need for frozen pizzas or last-minute trips through drive-thrus.
Plan to Eat helps families manage food from picking recipes to making the grocery list. Users can collect recipes in their recipe book, drag the recipes into the weekly planner, and then print out a grocery list or refer to the list on their phone.
Yummly isn’t a meal planning app per se, but it’s filled with chef-inspired recipes families can choose from to create their weekly meal plan. After choosing recipes, Yummly will gather a list of all the ingredients that users can then print out and bring to the store. Users also have the option of sending the list to the Instacart grocery delivery service.
After all the meals are planned it’s time to head to the store. Technology can help simplify grocery lists, too. Grocery apps like Bread & Milk and GroceryIQ help parents easily manage ingredients and household supplies.
Bread & Milk has built-in items and categories that users can add, delete, and customize as needed. Categories can also be organized by aisle and by store.
GroceryIQ takes grocery lists a step further by offering users the ability to add items using barcode scan and voice search. It also displays relevant coupons based on the items on the list.
At FamilyTech, we have a line of chore apps to help the entire family manage chores and other household responsibilities. Toddlers begin learning about chore responsibilities with ChoreMonster. As children grow into teens they can upgrade to Landra. Both apps use positive reinforcement to help children complete chores and earn rewards. We also have a chore app for parents called HoneyDo, which helps couples plan and manage household responsibilities between themselves.
Parents can help their family manage time better with phone apps like Google Calendar. It helps families manage and sync their schedules and lets users create multiple calendars and assign a color to each one.
Older children can manage their homework time with The Homework App. Students can manage their projects and set subtasks in order to help them stay on top of homework. They can also color-code their subjects and set reminders within the app.
Another helpful app for managing homework is BeFocused. It’s based on the Pomadoro technique of working in 45 minutes sessions with 15 minute breaks in between. Students can add work intervals based on subject or activity. They can also set the length of the work session and breaks.
Mint is an easy-to-use budgeting system that users can access online and with a mobile version so all of their financial information is easily accessible. Mint pulls transactions from any connected account into a user-friendly dashboard. Users can set different budgets based on any category from groceries to coffee shops. Over time, Mint learns what budget each transaction fits into, making it easy for families to track how much money they are spending in each area. It also allow users to customize the categories and to set financial goals.
Younger kids can start learning about money management with Porkfolio. Porkfolio is like a smart piggy bank. It tracks how much money is put in its belly and connects to an app so users can manage financial goals. It also has an anti-theft device that triggers when it’s moved.
Smart Home Devices
Families can manage their household by turning their home into a smart home. Installing a smart thermostat like the one from Nest and smart blinds like the ones from MySmartBlinds help families manage the temperature of their home and also save on energy costs.
Families can manage their entire house and bring everything together with Google Home. Google Home acts as a central hub and assistant for every household activity including playing music, controlling smart devices, and shopping. It can even set alarms and reminders through voice commands.
Sometimes managing the multiple areas of a household can be challenging. Technology can help families gain control of and organize all aspects of their lives and home. And, a well-organized home means more quality family time.
Sara Woodard-Ortiz, owner of The HeartFull Journey, is an ally for heartbroken moms who are going through separation and divorce. Her goal is to help moms love themselves during and after divorce as a way to build a foundation to attract a new, satisfying relationship. Sara lives in Danville, IL with her daughter, Olivia, and their cats, Bianca and Katniss. When Sara is not working on her business, you can find her playing Minecraft or drinking coffee at a local cafè.