By JORDANA RAPUCH
The iPhone and the iPod Touch are the sort of awesome, super-expensive gadgets that make us throw caution to the wind and sign absurd wireless contracts. So after giving so much money to Rogers or Bell, we should at least try to keep the costs down when it comes to downloading apps. That’s why free apps are the way to go. And there are tons of them. Many paid apps have free (or “lite”) versions, which offer fewer features, but are generally similar to the evil expensive “full” version.
Here are our top 5 picks, all free and very applicable to our everyday lives:
Spend – The app for us Bandits. Keep track of six different spending categories of your choice, which are monitored to help you stay within budget. By inputting your own data, Spend can calculate your remaining balance (set by you) for each category. And if you want to spend a little extra on any given day or week, you can allow a rollover to the next spending period (that’s dangerous business, though). And this simple app uses colour-coding to make life a little easier. It’s exactly what budgeting busy-bodies like us need, and all in the palm of your hand.
Mixology – This is an amazing app if you’re a frequent pre-drink or dinner-party host. It’s the ultimate bartending guide, which includes every drink category you can imagine — cocktails, martinis, shooters, Jello shots and hot drinks to name a few. The app helps you make über-incredible alcoholic beverages by searching for drink combos based on what you have on hand. You can also find great recipes, learn bartending terminology, and even find liquor stores nearest you via GPS and Google Maps.
Period Tracker Lite – It’s TTOM again – or is it? Don’t fret. You can now monitor your period, so you’ll know exactly when to stock up on tampons. Period Tracker Lite, a.k.a. P Tracker, predicts your future periods. And best of all, you never have to remember when your last period was – a quick glance at your personal calendar can tell you in a split second. This aesthetically adorable app can track your symptoms, ovulation and even your moods (a PMS warning never hurt anyone). P Tracker makes going with the flow easier than ever before.
Grocery Gadget Lite – Your sticky-note grocery list may do the trick. But you’re more likely to forget or lose a tiny piece of paper than your cell phone. Plus, this app is so much cooler than your average list of groceries. You can make your lists by browsing through the app’s huge selection of items, or you can add items of your own. You can then check off each item as you plop them into your buggy. But here’s where the app gets smart: it can scan barcodes in-store and add those items to your master list, identify where to go to get the best deal on a particular item, share or sync lists with friends and family, and so much more. You’ll have to check it out to understand how helpful this app can really be.
Lose It – You don’t have to want to lose weight to love this app. It can help you set and meet goals if you do, but it can also assist you in staying healthy if that’s what you’re looking for. You can record what you eat as well as your exercise routines (or lack thereof), and a daily calorie count is determined for you. It’s truly comprehensive and easy-to-use. Any girl could find Lose It handy.
Forget about those expensive apps. They’re just not worth it, and they can really add up. But there’s a solution to every tight budget. So don’t worry, be app-y.
Photo Credit: Period Tracker Lite