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I need a list when I go grocery shopping. If I don’t have a list I wander the aisles in search of any foods I’m trying desperately to remember if we’re out of or not. Without a list I forget things and tend to make more impulse purchases. I mean, come on – I can’t help it if muffins call me from two aisles over or cookies jump into my cart.
One of the most important parts of having a list is that the things you need are actually on that list. In my house the shopping list is on a magnetic pad of paper on the front of the refrigerator.
Through the week I write the items we need from the store and any other errands that I need to run while I’m out. Sometimes certain people in my house neglect to tell me they’ve finished something or need something, so those items don’t go onto the list. Heaven forbid those people just write it themselves. So yeah, grocery shopping for my family has needed some help and organization for a while now.
Enter the SmartShopper.
The Smart Shopper SS101 is an electronic grocery list maker that works on voice recognition. It measures at 7 1/2″ x 4″ andit is only 1 1/4″ thick. It operates on four standard AA batteries and can either sit on a countertop, hang on the wall or hang on your refrigerator with the built in magnet. The unit contains a built in library of 2,500 standard items. You also have the ability to add your own items to the library. To use the SmartShopper you just press record and say the name of the item you want to add to the list. Items that match or sound like what you said appear on the screen and you can choose to add them to the list. Once you’ve found your item you can add the quantity you want and even mark if you have a coupon for it. When you’re ready to go to the store all you need to do is press the print button and your complete list, broken down into product categories, will print out on paper of similar size to a register receipt. The SmartShopper has a 90 day warranty.
The SmartShopper uses thermal printing so it does not require ink. The box includes three rolls of paper.
I hung my SmartShopper on the fridge, inches away from the list. The list hasn’t been used since.
During the first week I had it there did seem to be a small issue with the screen that the folks at SmartShopper were very responsive about. They were willing to trouble shoot the problem or take the product back under the warranty. The problem corrected itself after a few days. The feeling of the folks at SmartShopper is that it may have been somehow related to the batteries. The problem hasn’t reoccured again. Once the screen was working correctly it was basically smooth sailing. It understood almost every item I said even with the kids and television/radio in the background. Where I wanted a specific brand instead of just the generic word I simply added it to the library. I found it worked best when you speak in a normal voice. My Dad tried it speaking loudly and it didn’t understand him. Some of the results it gave him were pretty funny.
I think the SmartShopper is a terrific idea and I really like it. I do wish it had a longer warranty, since 90 days isn’t all that long when you conside the price of the item. I’d love to see this item incorporate Bluetooth in the future, so that I could add to the list from other areas of the house.
Although I only received it in the spring of this year, the Smart Shopper I have is no longer available for purchase directly. It has been replaced by the SmartShopper Deluxe, which sells for $99 and may be purchased from the SmartShopper website.