When you’re a busy mom with plenty of errands and activities to attend to every day (in addition to the kids), you need some apps for your smartphone that are going to save time, save money, and make your life easier.  So here are just a few for your iPhone or Android that are sure to help you out on a day-to-day basis.  And the best part is that they’re all free!

  1. My Days.  This app for Android users isn’t the to-do list manager it sounds like, but it is useful for just about every mom out there.  It will track the days of your menstrual cycle to keep you on top of your fertile days and when your period is slated to start.  So whether you’re trying to add to your family or you’d rather hold off on getting pregnant again, this calendar will help you to set and stick to your goals.
  2. AllRecipes.com Dinner Spinner.  Every mom can relate to the dilemma of finding an answer for the oft-voiced question, “What are we having for dinner?”  It can be difficult to come up with delicious, nutritious, and easy dinners night after night, which is exactly what this Apple app aims to remedy.  All you have to do is choose the type of recipe you want (entrée, side dish, etc.), select one or two key ingredients, think about how long you want to spend on it, and then “spin” to find a recipe.  With access to over 40,000 entries, you’re sure to find plenty of new ideas that the whole family will love.
  3. Grocery IQ.  Once you’ve decided what you’ll be cooking, you might need to pick up a few ingredients at the market.  This app for your favorite iDevice will not only help you build a list from a database stocked with millions of food items; it will also allow you to tally up your favorites, store multiple lists, sort items by aisle, and scan barcodes to add items that you purchase regularly.  And it provides coupons to go with the foods you prefer.  It’s like having your very own personal shopping assistant.
  4. Shopsavvy.  Android has taken savvy shopping to the next level with this app that allows users to scan a barcode in order to compare multiple websites to find the best prices around, either in-store or on the web.  This can not only help with grocery shopping, but also when you’re looking for housewares or items for the kids (or if you happen to find an overpriced pair of pumps that you just can’t live without).
  5. The Weather Channel.  You’ll find this essential app available for both Apple and Android, and since it’s free, you shouldn’t hesitate to download it.  Get instant access to area weather patterns so you can decide at a moment’s notice if it’s time to pick up the kids from the park and start securing the storm shutters.
  6. MomsZeal.  There are about a zillion chat rooms and forums online for moms seeking a bit of advice, a clothing swap, the best daycare center, or even cars and trucks for sale.  But if you’re looking for a mobile way to connect to other mothers, this app for Android is the way to go.  Use it to make some friends, get parenting tips from moms who know best, and even chitchat while you wait for kids to show up for carpool.