My 10 Favorite Mobile App Reviews for Mommy Survival
Do you love saving time, money, and having entertainment in the palm of your hand? As a mother of a toddler, any time saving, money saving, sanity saving mobile app is a helpful tool in surviving the daily experience of motherhood.
The iPhone or any cell phone for the matter is a godsend to the modern stressed out mom. I use my phone daily to check emails, pay bills, get money back, make money, and keep my child from having an all out meltdown at Target by letting him watch Elmo (you know what I’m talking about there).
While the downside is sometimes your child steals your phone and takes it over, the upsides are too many to count. Check out the list below of helpful apps that I love and use everyday.
This is an amazing app specifically designed for children which allows you to control what your child views. Once you do an initial search for a video, YouTube will recommend similar shows. My son is almost two and really loves Blippi, Elmo, and any video with cars, trucks, and trains.
I don’t have to worry about inappropriate videos, but sometimes do see somewhat violent kids commercials promoting video games. While I understand screentime is a big issue, I have found that he is learning new words and how these big trucks operate in real life settings.
It’s been such a great educational tool for us. Amazingly, my son has also figured out how to swipe to the next video and enlarge the screen. I would be careful though to not let your little one stare for too long, as my son tends to hold it on his lap and look down.
2. Amazon Video
I’m really sounding like a TV junkie, but sometimes, you need a break while you’re tied down to nursing for however long your child likes to take. In the early days, when my life shifted drastically, time slowed way down.
I had to focus on making sure my son was breastfeeding whenever he needed to. But sometimes, nursing got me stuck at wherever I was at and with how constant and draining it could be in the beginning, I sometimes relied on being able to watch a show just to give my overworked body a break.
Now, Amazon Video also has great shows for kids such as Tumble Leaf and Daniel Tiger. Both of these shows are amazing in their content. Tumble Leaf takes an interesting approach to problem solving through creative research in the natural environment by emphasizing using what you already have. Daniel Tiger is a spinoff of Mr. Rogers which I loved as a kid, and also has great parenting tips and tricks.
Since I’m on the tv junkie train, if you have some time to kill and need to make a little extra money, I highly recommend this app. You earn points for watching videos, taking surveys, and by shopping with their partners. The points in return may be redeemed for gift cards or the money can be transferred to your Paypal account.
I personally haven’t seen much success because I find that watching so many movie trailers is mind numbing. I also have had a hard time qualifying for surveys.
If you are diligent however, you can make a few hundred dollars a month according to some. It’s worth checking out if you have the time and interest in the activities.
There are several bill paying apps out there to choose from, but I ended up choosing Prism to keep track of all my bills because of it’s easy set up and it’s functional design. You simply register for an account and then you search for bill pay accounts.
For each company, you will have to use your sign-in information. For some utility companies, they may not be available yet as the app is fairly new.
I am still waiting on our utility company in Fort Wayne, Indiana to be added. Once the accounts are approved, you can set up when your bills are due and how much. Once that is set, every month Prism will remind to pay your bills.
You simply click on the bill, swipe down, and it’s paid within two days. They even have a money back guarantee if they are late paying your bill. You do have to provide your banking information, but I have yet to have a problem in providing this information.
It’s all the rage online, but truly, it is a great app to use to earn money back for groceries. It takes out the search work and saving coupon clippings from the paper-which I still do.
You get cash back on common grocery items such as eggs, milk, coffee, bread, and cereal. Once $20 is accumulated, you can cash out through Paypal. The payouts range from $.25-$1.00 for items.
Sometimes you’re required to buy two of an item to receive the cashback. The app tracks your earnings and all you have to do is take a photo of your receipt with the matching UPC code of the product.
Within the app there is also a barcode scanning app to verify a product match. For some cashback items, you are asked to answer a quick survey. While there are a lot of boxed goods and not very much cashback on produce, they do add new products all the time. Medicine and vitamins are also available at times.
This app is my favorite app of them all. I am a creative person and when I’m in a creative rut, all I have to do is search on Pinterest to find inspiration. It took me a long time to adapt to this app as I’m always skeptical with new technology.
However, if you’re an info junkie, art maniac, DIY guru, cookbook fanatic, you name the interest, Pinterest will have it. Pinterest blows all apps out of the water in my opinion. You can easily get lost down a Pinterest black hole, but once you find you’re way out, you’ve just discovered literally hundreds of new Pins that are just as inspiring as the original one you went seeking for.
If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s an amazing opportunity to find resources for everything under the sun and be able to catalogue them on boards.
It’s a great place to promote your business as well as meet other Pinners with similar interests. I have found anything from last minute crock pot recipes to job opportunities for stay-at-home moms.
Ebates is a fantastic app that allows you to earn cash-back on all your purchases from 2,000 major companies such as Amazon, Old Navy, Walmart, Petco, Nordstroms, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and so many more. Every time you shop, do it through the app.
It was initially hard getting in the habit of remembering to opening up the app to make a purchase, but once you get used to it, here comes the cash. It’s like receiving double the rewards if you are also using a card that also gives you cashback for your purchases.
Streaming tunes just got easier. I used to use Pandora and now I’m a friend of Spotify. It’s streamlined, aesthetically pleasing, gives you so many choices, and it’s kind of like Facebook in the sense you can see what your friend’s music tastes are.
Plus, they can make you a digital mixtape! Another huge bonus, I think the content for the ads for the free account are less annoying than Pandora’s ads. I also enjoy Spotify’s own stations where I have discovered so much new music. My son has his own station with loads of Rafi, foreign language kids songs, and rhymes. It makes the long road trips go by a little smoother.
9. Google Photos
This app’s features are pretty fantastic and a no brainer Google app to have on your phone. Google Photos stores unlimited high resolution photos and videos in one organized place and provides an “assistant” that creates videos and collages. An assistant you say? YES!
Sometimes you have to delete a few random photos from the videos, but it’s so handy and makes you go “aww” when it puts all those holiday photos together with a catchy song. It does possess the creepy capability of recognizing faces and themes, but this is what makes the app so cool.
I will also mention that it does take up space on your phone. But you can delete the app from your phone and it will still save all of your photos in Google. You can then switch to another device to look at the photos. The one thing I wish it had was a way to send the photos to Target or Walmart within the app so I wouldn’t have to download another app for that. Google will figure that out and maybe they already have and I’ve missed the update.
I’m a late adapter (once again!) to Snapchat and finally saw it’s use: a major time killer, battery eater, and comic relief session for when motherhood is really feeling like a drag. You take a photo of your face within the app and then voila, it gives you a makeover.
It’s not your ordinary makeover though. Your face can appear as a dog, underwater queen, an art piece, or something holiday themed. It allows for an extra face for certain themes and what’s so fun is that you share these quick impressions with friends. It doesn’t save anything you receive but you can save your own snaps in your memories. It makes you really appreciate the moment sometimes.