Technology changes extremely fast these days. It used to be that parents had to rely on their children to keep them up to date. More and more, moms and dads and even grandmas and grandpas are keeping up with the latest developments.
As always, the latest technology claims to make life easier. Whether you have your smart phone attached to your hip at all times or are just now creating your Facebook profile, the following ideas can help you harness your power as a tech savvy mom.
1. The Power of the Telephone
Cell phones can be used for way more than keeping in touch and calculating the tip. A smart phone can be a tech savvy mom’s best friend.
Clipping coupons can save plenty of money in the long run, but are those savings worth the time and effort? Not anymore. If you have an iPhone, clipping coupons is a thing of the past. Websites such as Coupon Sherpa offer mobile coupons applications that allow you to search for and use coupons right on your phone. Now you can check for coupons in between shops at the mall and watch the savings add up.
A smart phone is also a great way to cut down on the amount of stuff you carry around. My mom loves that she can throw her phone in her purse and bring along her camera, calendar, organizer, address book and even her television.
2. Outsmart the Competition
These days, sending a child to their room doesn’t have the same effect. Their room is often the most desirable place to be with televisions, computers and video games all liked to their friends and the Internet. Cisco has introduced a product called the Valet Plus that gives parents the power back.
This wireless router easily connects all of your computers, game consoles and phones with a simple USB drive. What’s more impressive is parents can restrict access to specific devices for set amounts of time. No more sneaking in a few more games on the Xbox after bedtime. The Valet Plus can be set to shut down only the Xbox network from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. if necessary. I am sure glad something like this came along after I was already a grown-up.
Cisco offers the Valet Plus for $109.99, but it can be found for less than $90 at stores like Target.
SURFING THE WEB
The Internet is kind of like outer space to many of us: vast and uncharted. In order to filter through all of the junk, I asked my mom about some of the websites that make her life easier.
Being a mom is hard work, but Supercook can make preparing dinner the simplest part of the day.
This easy to use website allows you to list the ingredients you already have in your cupboard. It takes those ingredients and compiles a list of recipes you can make using only the ingredients at your disposal. Now there’s no need for a mystery casserole when you’re scraping a meal together with minimal ingredients.
Mom was always the financial wizard in our family. Balancing the checkbook was a major event that required pulling out old files and receipts and pouring over them for hours.
Mint is a free, secure website that allows you to gather all of your financial information in one place. Instead of going through piece by piece, Mint allows you to look at the big picture and breaks it down with easy to understand charts and graphs that also help you plan for the future.
5. Plant Encyclopedia
The Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia is a “must” for moms who love to save money by gardening.
Not sure what will grow in your yard? All you have to do is type in your zip code and the Plant Encyclopedia will list hundreds of plants that are suitable for your specific climate. In addition to expert tips, Better Homes and Gardens also provides a free, interactive Plan-a-Garden tool. This feature allows you to play around with different design ideas without ever having to get dirty.
These days, there are an unlimited number of websites offering to help find information on just about anything. Many of them require a tedious sign-up process and don't deliver the details you're looking for.
BillShrink is the perfect place for detail-oriented moms. In just a few clicks, you can find better credit card rates, lower gas prices and cheaper cell phone service. Even better, they provide all the details of whom to contact, what to ask for and how long a promotion lasts.
7. Price Protectr
The Sunday edition of the newspaper just isn't the same as it used to be. I remember looking through all of the color ads with mom to discover how my allowance could best be spent on toys and games. Online shopping seems to have taken over those Sunday ads, but it's easier than ever to keep an eye on sales. With Price Protectr, just copy and paste the URL of the product you want to track and the website will e-mail you when the price changes. Now there are no worries about missing that sale at Best Buy again.
Since being introduced to Cheapism, I've found bargains on all sorts of quality products that I didn't even know I needed. Cheapism looks for the best "cheap" products out there without sacrificing quality. Their reviews provide information about the most important features of a product and direct you to the best prices. The family section of their website is a great place to start learning about everything from booster seats to strollers.