Smart home gadgets are all very well and good, but how much do they help in day-to-day tasks? I’ve learned that my smart home tech is a great assistant for a certain daily chore: meal planning and preparation.
6 Ways to Use Smart Home Technology in Meal Planning and Prep
1. Find recipes
Have an Alexa or another smart assistant? Ask for recipes for dinner! You can request any recipe, ask for a specific recipe like chicken divan, or ask for a recipe using the ingredients in your fridge, like beef, mushrooms, and cream. (Mine suggested One-Pot 30-Minute Beef Stroganoff.)
Of course, this (and most of our other tips) only work when your internet connection is on the up-and-up. If you find your Wi-Fi is less than desirable, it might be time for an upgrade.
2. Make grocery lists
Did you just remember you need something for your meal plan but fear you’ll forget? You can easily say, “Alexa, add cream of tartar to my grocery list.”
Just enunciate carefully. I’m not great at this, so my Alexa constantly records "belVita biscuits" as "Velveeta biscuits," which may or may not exist but is definitely more cheesy than I had in mind.
You can ask Alexa to read your grocery list back or bring it up on an Echo Show. And then when you’re out and about, you can view the list in your Alexa app.
3. Order groceries
If taking the grocery list to the supermarket is too much weight on your busy schedule, try using Alexa to order your groceries on Amazon.
Regular Amazon members can get five-day delivery, while Prime members get two-hour delivery. Prime subscribers can even get groceries from Whole Foods since the jack-of-all-trades company bought them out a while ago.
4. Order food
You can also use a voice assistant to order a pre-made meal from a delivery app. Uber Eats, for example, partners with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri for voice orders. I could place an order with them from one of the nine Echos peppered throughout my house.
Other delivery services that you might be able to use with a smart assistant include Doordash, GrubHub, and the Domino’s app.
Just a note: if you have dietary restrictions or limited dietary preferences, this mode of ordering may not work well for you since you won’t have a menu to look at. Generally, it works best with places where you’ve eaten many times and have a regular order.
5. Know when your food arrives
With a video doorbell camera, you’ll know exactly when your food or grocery deliveries arrive!
6. Preheat your oven
Once you have your groceries, it’s time to get cooking!
More and more ovens come with smart connectivity features these days. I have a GE oven that works with the SmartHQ app (alongside my washer, dryer, and fridge). That means I can preheat it with a voice command to Alexa. Once my food is ready, I get a notification on my iPhone and Apple Watch. Bon appetit!