When I got my first smart phone I browsed through the app store for apps that could make my life easier. I found a few that allowed me to access information and take action when I was on the go – away from my desktop or laptop.
I started using apps to access my bank account, to check the gas price when I needed to refill my tank and maps to find directions. One of the early apps that I found was a grocery list shopping app named grocery IQ. Grocery IQ helped my family coordinate our grocery shopping. The app contained a basic shopping list that worked well for a while.
What is wrong with coupons?
Over time the Grocery IQ app started showing coupons on my list. When the coupons first showed up, I tried to find coupons for products that I use or coupons for replacement products.
- I rarely found any that met these criteria. Moreover, the majority of the coupons are for unhealthy products that I had already eliminated from my shopping lists or never would have purchased.
- A 50-cent coupon does not motivate me to venture to a far or out of the way supermarket.
- As a member of a club such as Costco or Sam’s club, I can buy most of these products that are offered a coupon, at a lower or equivalent price every day.
Coupons turned out not to be useful for me. I know that certain people use coupons and enjoy the fun of coupon clipping. There is a sense of success in a hunt for a better deal when using coupons.
What is Grocery IQ for me?
If my grandmother, who was born in the first decade of the 20th century, would have entered a modern supermarket today, she wouldn’t recognize most of the products on the shelves, let alone the ingredients found in the products.
Most of us don’t really know what we really eat when we pick a box off the shelf and try to read a list of 10 or more ingredients. Ingredient names are confusing and misleading.
What I was looking for was a product that would increase my grocery IQ and guide me through the maze of the supermarket aisles. A real Grocery IQ to me means an app that helps me make better choices and improves my knowledge of products and their ingredients.
Increasing my ability to make smart food choices at the store was the spark that started FoodSmart. When I visit a store the grocery wizard is accessible to me. I start by scanning a product; I get single color coded ranking that I use to make my healthy choice.
If I find a product that is ranked low, I may choose to further explore and understand the ingredients, what they are and the scientific data that supports this. The information is presented in short and clear, color coded formats.
Finding healthier alternative products
When I find that a product is unhealthy, I ask myself if there are similar healthier products that could serve my needs. When I use FoodSmart I can do exactly this.
How would I remember all the healthy Choices?
To address this important question FoodSmart provides a very simple and easy to use grocery shopping list. I create multiple lists, either by stores, by events or by any method that works for me. I scan a product barcode or enter its name. I check the health ranking and add the product to one of the lists.
I prepare my lists at home or at work – I use my smartphone app or FoodSmart’s accompanying website.
I share the list with my spouse and my children – each one of us adds products to the lists. When planning the next meal or when we run out of milk – we add the item to the list by using a laptop, a tablet or a phone. When I arrive at the store, we pull the phone out of my pocket and I have the list ready to go. I never find myself at the store and the list on the kitchen table.
What if I don’t find my product?
Although our database is large and growing, we realized that new products are added to the market every day. I can now add my personalized products to the list and even add a picture of the product (iPhone only for now) to help me buy the specific product I wanted. If someone else added the product, the picture helps me at the store.
Increase you grocery IQ using FoodSmart!
Your real grocery IQ should not be focused solely on the product price, but on what you get for your money. Use technology and other sources of to understand what you are offered at the store. Choose what is good for you and put your dollars where your mouth is.
About The Author
Avi Sachs is a parent who is engaged with feeding his family healthy food choices on a budget. He trains regularly for, and participates in, marathon, and tries to eat healthy food. Avi is the co-founder of wHealthy Solutions, a company that translates the overabundance of information on healthy eating and exercising habits into practical and actionable plans.