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5 Tech-Savvy Ways To Save Time When Grocery Shopping

5 Tech-Savvy Ways To Save Time When Grocery Shopping

I did not like the amount of time I had to spend to shop in stores. I knew that the long search for items in stores, inability to check online inventory, or even stressful parking, can be left behind with a modicum of technology. The brick-and-mortar retail was lagging behind online retail in technology. But the recent leaps forward in this multi-trillion market gives consumers a number of opportunities to save time. Here are some of my favorite methods to save time when grocery shopping, which may help you to spend more time doing things you love to do.

1. Check in-store inventory online.

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    Many big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot avail their in-store inventory online now. You may check the nearby location of these stores on their websites or online apps. Google shopping allows you to search for stores around you in a single session. The trick is to check the “Available Nearby” checkbox on the left in Google Shopping search to include only local stores. The local-first startup Mantele makes in-store search easier, which searches across Walmarts and some local stores in a single search. For example, I recently found a fire-pit in the local Walmart, which was two to three times costlier on Amazon and Walmart online.

    2. Find items on mobile.

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      A major pain I have in grocery stores is finding the item in-store. I used to walk up and down every aisle to find that one item. Now, many stores are getting better at it. Stores like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot publish their item inventories online. Though you need the mobile app of the chain to get the full functionality, these websites also offer limited searching of the items. Some even provide a map of the store with directions to lead you to the shelf.

      3. Maintain a grocery list in mobile.

      I run out of things like milk or sugar and end up making mid-week trips to stores to get a single item. Or worse, I forget to buy that one item which I want the most and end up driving back. There are a number of mobile apps like Out of Milk or Anylist that maintain an active grocery list. I add an item to my mobile list when I notice that it is about to finish. Further, I check and clean my refrigerator before my grocery trip and add any veggies I needed to the list. Notably, most of the items I need every week are repetitive and I can just copy the same list from last week. The best part is that my phone is always with me, so I don’t forget to take the list with me to the store!

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      4. Save on home delivery.

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        If all of these fail, I sacrifice on my freedom to choose myself and rely on home delivery. Many large players and startups like Google Express, Amazon Fresh, Walmart, and Instacart offer grocery-delivery services to your home. The delivery usually comes with a charge. But, due to intense competition in this emerging multi-billion market, many offer free delivery for the first few months (e.g. free for the first 3 months for google express, a few deliveries free for others). A perk for Amazon Prime members is that you get credit for pantry items if you opt for a slower shipping for many Prime items – credit that you can use later for free Prime-pantry delivery. Even with charges, home delivery may save more time (and time is money) if you buy everything together using your mobile list above.

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        5. Curb-side pickup.

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          The startup Curbside allows you to order online and pick up items in front of the store without getting out of the car. Though they recently lost Target, they are still active in many shopping malls and large chains. Unlike the home delivery, they do not charge consumers extra.

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          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

          1. Zoho Notebook
            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
          2. Evernote
            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
          3. Net Notes
            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
          4. i-Lighter
            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
          5. Clipmarks
            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
          6. UberNote
            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
          7. iLeonardo
            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
          8. Zotero
            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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