Like most other people, I’m trying to rethink my eating habits for the new year. I’m not doing the best job at it, but at least it’s in the back of my mind. For Christmas, I received a much-needed Crock Pot upgrade. I decided to start planning a meal for the Crock Pot for each Monday since we have after-school programs that make planning dinner a headache. I also made a point to start scanning my various cookbooks and Cooking Light magazines for healthier dinner alternatives.The very first week that I did this, I picked out three new recipes. Since I try to do all my shopping on one day, I usually make a decent list then head to the store. That Friday, DH said “Let’s grab some lunch then hit the grocery store. We’re out of bread and other stuff.” He was right, we couldn’t even make school lunches let alone sandwiches for us. I said “Sure, let’s go get the necessities.”
We got to the local grocery store and he glanced at my hand-scribbled list. Baffled, he asked “Where are all the ingredients for the new recipes?” I said “I haven’t written them down yet.” He replied “I thought that’s why we were coming.” Misunderstanding, I guess. I thought we were just getting the basics. That afternoon, I sat down and wrote my grocery list for the new recipes.
So the following day, we headed out to WalMart. Figured we could get everything there while picking up a present for one of Miss M’s classmates. Guess what… they didn’t have one of the ingredients I needed. I would need to stop by the grocery store, again, the following day. Good thing, because I realized that when I transferred my recipe list onto my grocery scratch pad, I missed something anyhow. Three grocery trips in three consecutive days just for the sake of a few new recipes is not reasonable.
But this past week we hit Sam’s Club a little more prepared. Then the other day flew through WalMart with a nicely prepared list including notes about which products to use coupons on.
It wasn’t that I had created a new shopping style… it was because I was using my brand-new SmartShopper Grocery List Organizer. OMG. It’s the coolest gadget. It’s magnetic and sticks to your fridge (or has mounting clips for hanging elsewhere.) When I realize we’re almost out of something, I walk to the SmartShopper, press the button and say “Milk” and it brings up a list of three items that it thinks I may mean. If the item is among them, I click the select button and it adds it to my list. Trying to use it when you have a cold is a little more difficult since the computer can’t decipher stuffy-nose language. Even Miss M (age 6) and Miss K (age 4) have added items to our list!
When I am running through a recipe, I remove it from the fridge and set it next to me to record the items as I realize I need them. No more chicken scratches on note paper to decode while at the store and no more missing items when I recopy my recipe list onto my grocery list.
Let me tell you though, keep the printed master list of items handy until you get the hang of it. All four of us tried to get the SmartShopper to recognize that we wanted to buy “Pears” at the store but none of us could get it. No matter how we enunciated or spun it, it just couldn’t figure out Pears. I finally broke down and looked at the list to find that it isn’t included. But no biggie, there’s a feature to add items AND record the voice to go with it. So next time we say it, it knows what we want. It also recognizes some brand names so be sure check the list or ask for something by name first if you have a preference. If it’s not on the list, you can always add it.
A cool feature is that it can maintain two separate lists. I keep one for the grocery store/WalMart and another for Sam’s Club. If you only want to maintain one list, you can utilize the second one for errands. You can choose from the 65 existing – such as bank, library, post office and even ones like “donate blood” – or add your own.As I said before, there’s an option to add a coupon note or even change the quantity. When you’re ready to go, print out the list and head off. It’s all separated by categories like produce, dairy and pet. Click on the picture for a better view.
This is such a cool gadget that I’ve already started using it daily! If you think this will help you organize your life, check out SmartShopper’s website for participating retailers or Amazon. Otherwise, here’s your chance to win one!
One SmartShopper Grocery List Organizer.
…must provide a US mailing address.
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile. Winner has 72 hours from posting/notification to respond. If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the second random selection.Sometime on February 6, 2009, a winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) from all comments left.
How to enter: (CONTEST CLOSED)