Are you looking to decorate a room in your house, but not sure what colour will match your sofa? Or are you on a health kick and struggling to keep track of the food you're eating? This blog is here to help! Below are 5 free smartphone apps that can make your life easier and more productive.

1. Gone for Good - Donate your unwanted goods to charity - Available on IOS and Android devices - FREE

Gone for Good is an easy, free app that allows you to instantly take a picture of any unwanted items using your smartphone and donate them to a local charity. It allows you to turn your clutter into something good that benefits the environment and the charity receiving the items.

The app is super simple and allows you to take pictures of any unwanted items using your smartphone or tablet, choose what the item is and then select your chosen charity to arrange a free collection. This app simplifies the donation process and allows charities to see donation offers before they are collected, which avoids waste disposal costs if the item is unsellable. What's so good about Gone for Good is that Emmaus South Wales are listed as a charity on the app! So make sure you choose us as your favourite charity. We look forward to collecting your unwanted items via the app!

To download the Gone for Good app and donate items to Emmaus South Wales, click here

Gone for Good appChoose ESW as your favourite charity

2. Mealime - Healthy food planner app - Available on IOS and Android devices - FREE with in-app upgrade options

Want to take the hassle out of working out what's for dinner? If yes, then this app is for you!

The apps ethos is to make healthy eating simple in just 3 steps. 1. Picking meals for the week, 2. One grocery shop a week and 3. Healthy meals in just 30 minutes. The app is personalised from the get go, allowing you to choose your diet, whether that be classic, vegetarian or low carb. As well as asking if you have any allergies or dislikes and how many servings you need per meal. 

The Mealime app allows you to create a personalised weekly meal plan choosing from hundreds of recipes. You can also filter your recipe search by calorie content or dish type. Once you have chosen your dishes for the week, the recipes will then appear in your meal plan. All of the ingredients needed for the dishes will appear as if by magic into your grocery list. The ingredients are then listed in different categories with the amount you need and how long the shop will take! You can then tick off all your ingredients as you put them in your trolley making shopping quicker and more productive.

The only downside to this app is it's American, so some of the recipes and ingredients are Americanised.  

Mealime app- choose your mealsIngredients automatically appear in your shopping list

3. MyFitnessPal - Fitness and lifestyle app - Available on IOS and Android devices - FREE with in-app upgrade options

The My Fitness Pal app is a brilliant tool to help you on your fitness journey. It allows you to set your goal, whether that be to lose weight, gain weight or maintain your weight. You then include your activity level and the app gives you a daily calorie goal. On your profile, there is a diary where you input your meals and snacks throughout the day as well as any exercise you've carried out.

The best thing about this app is the barcode scan feature. If you have a bowl of soup, you simply scan the tin and all the nutritional information is added for you! The My Fitness app is a brilliant way to track what you eat and how your exercise impacts your goal. It is quite an eye opening tool to watch your daily calorie intake and how this affects your goal.

My Fitness Pal app diaryAdding food items in to fitness pal diary

4. Dulux Visualizer- Home decorating app - Available on IOS and Android devices - FREE

 The Dulux Visualizer app aids you with your decorating and makes selecting the perfect colour for your home easier. The app allows you to match and co-ordinate colours, instantly visualise paint colours on your walls live and buy paint. The app is very easy to use, all you have to do is take a picture of the walls/room you wish to paint and select a Dulux colour from the colour palette to instantly see it on your walls. If you decide on a certain shade, you can then view all the Dulux product range and locate your nearest stockist. This app is great for visualising potential colours when you are looking to decorate your walls and it probably saves a lot of time and money rather than getting a selection of paint testers.

Dulux visualise appDulux visualiser app afterwards

5. Banking apps- Banking app - Available on IOS and Android devices - FREE

Banking apps are a brilliant way to keep track of your finances and your spends. A lot of banks also offer cash back offers for customers who utilise online banking. Why are banking apps so good? Well, they allow you to manage your finances wherever you are. You can pay your contacts, bills, make faster payments as well as checking your bank balance. As mentioned, many banks now have 'cash back offer' sections on their apps allowing you to earn cash back on your everyday spends. This can include utility bills and phone bills or anytime you use your card in high street retailers. 

Online banking can really make your life easier, especially as many banks are closing branches across the country. Make sure you ask your bank about online banking and take full advantage of any cash back offers. 

Banking app managing offersBanking app offers

Thank you for taking time to read this blog. 

(Please note, apps mentioned in this blog are not endorsements and all written content is the opinion of the author not Emmaus South Wales.)