The Best Apps for Moms of 2011

We asked the best experts around -- our readers -- to share the apps that make life as a mom easier and more fun!

Cozi Family Organizer

woman on her ipad

iStockphoto

We've mentioned this app before (in our September 2011 print issue and in our Best Back-to-School Apps for Parents online feature), but moms love it so much we had to give it another shout-out. Cozi has everything a busy mom needs to keep her family on track, including appointment reminders and a calendar that can be color-coded for each family member. You can assign everyone in the house a to-do list and send it out over email or text, and create a shopping list organized by aisle or category. A family journal allows you to record treasured memories through photos and blog-style posts, and then share them by email or through a personalized website. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; cozi.com)

Mint.com Personal Finance

Who isn't on a budget these days? Getting your finances in check is a snap when you sync all of your info (checking, savings, investments, credit cards, loans, etc.) to get a clear financial snapshot. You can add transactions while running errands instead of waiting until they get home (no more rummaging for receipts in your wallet!). The app keeps a detailed account of what you spent money on each month, complete with graphs and charts, and send alerts if you go over budget. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; mint.com)

My Health Records

When it comes to health issues, Mom knows best -- which is why she's usually in charge of making doctor's appointments, maintaining immunization records, and refilling prescriptions. But keeping track of the whole family can be a daunting task, which is why this app is well worth the splurge. All of the medical info, including family history, important documents, emergency contact numbers, insurance details, and physician information, is kept in one place. You can store other life-saving info, too, such as allergic reactions to medications, lab reports, and surgery records. ($5.99; iPhone, iPad)

My Fitness Pal

To say our readers love this free app would be an understatement: So many moms gave it props for helping them lose weight (and keep it off) by maintaining a detailed account of what and how much they eat. Some studies even show that keeping a food journal can double your weight loss -- making this app the perfect pal for those still trying to lose baby weight! You can set a daily calorie goal and then record your daily food intake through its calorie counter, which has over one million foods in its database. You can also log your workouts and set exercise goals. The app links to the My Fitness Pal main site, which offers a BMI calculator. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; myfitnesspal.com)

Weatherbug

Whether you need to know how to dress the kids for school or how to pack for an upcoming family vacation, get up-to-the-minute weather conditions in thousands of cities across the globe. You'll have access to live local weather conditions, hourly and weekly forecasts, and National Weather Service alerts. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; weatherbug.com)

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Grocery IQ

Are you constantly running to the supermarket because you forgot your shopping list? Or do you overspend by buying items you don't need or already have? Busy moms can put together their grocery lists by adding items manually or scanning barcodes to save time. Comparison shop by prices, organize the list by aisle, and use integrated coupons for a stress-free shopping experience. You can sync the list with another phone (like your husband's) so that you can both look at the same list. (99 cents; iPhone, iPad, Android; groceryiq.com)

Key Ring Reward Cards

Most moms either have a slew of customer loyalty cards crowding their key chain or they toss the cards someplace and forget to take them on shopping trips. This app lets you store all of the loyalty numbers in one spot, lightening the load of your key chain and wallet. You can also use it to enroll in new loyalty programs and access exclusive coupons and discounts. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; keyringapp.com)

Coupon Sherpa

Moms are always looking for good deals, but they don't always have time to comparison shop online or in the store. Enter Coupon Sherpa, which does all of the hard work. It uses locations to create a list of nearby retailers that are offering coupons and discounts. Tap on the store, view the offer, then bring up the coupon and print it out. If you're not near a printer, some retailers may accept the coupon if you show it on your smartphone. There are dozens of coupon categories, including jewelry, clothing, office supplies, auto parts, and children's toys. No matter what you're looking for, you can find the best deal in the area. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; couponsherpa.com)

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

Coming up with new dinner ideas each and every week can be exhausting. Now moms can let this free app plan meals the whole family will love. You can choose by dish type (appetizers, entrees, desserts), prep time, or main ingredient. The app quickly pulls up a listing of Allrecipes.com suggestions that fit the criteria. Don't have a clue? Shake the phone or hit "spin" to get a random selection of dishes and ingredients. You can even email recipes to other moms and mark favorite dishes for future use. Rest assured you'll never hear "That again?!" from your kids at the dinner table. (Free; iPhone, iPad; Android; allrecipes.com)

HauteLook

Indulge your inner fashionista and bargain shopper without breaking the bank. Daily deals (up to 75 percent off) include sales on designer clothes and shoes, beauty items, jewelry, and handbags. Shop for kids' and men's fashions, educational tools, holiday gifts, home d?cor, and even luxury vacations. You can preview upcoming events, access the site's Deal of the Day, and set up reminders so you never miss great ways to spend less. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Android; hautelook.com)

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

Linda DiProperzio is a mom and a freelance writer covering a variety of topics, including parenting and pregnancy. Her work can be viewed at www.lindadiproperzio.com.

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