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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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          Published on September 20, 2018

          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

          In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

          Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

          In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

          Minimizing Tabs

          Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

          Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

          Incognito Mode

          Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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          1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
          2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
          3. Download extension New Incognito Window

          This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

          Save Webpages as PDF Files

          Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

          Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

          Open Recently-closed Tabs

          Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

          One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

          The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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          Solve Mathematical Problems

          Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

          For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

          Play Media Files

          Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

          In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

          Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

          With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

          Stay Focus(e)d

          Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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          Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

          With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

          This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

          Grammarly for Editing

          Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

          You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

          Loom

          There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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          There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

          With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

          Chrome Calendar Extension

          No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

          Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

          Final Thoughts

          Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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