Guess what? I’m one of those people who are basically almost always glued to their phones. While I try to maintain a 9pm cut-off point for going on Twitter, I’m usually checking the social media apps on my phone one after the other first thing in the morning; only when my tube to work goes underground do I finally put away my phone and pull my book out.
It can certainly be draining to be constantly connected; in these grim times, I regularly find myself falling into pits of despair, and the immediacy of the news – the fact that it is right there, literally under my thumb, as I scroll through my feed – doesn’t really help matters much. On the whole, though, I love being on my phone, and having basically whatever I might need at my disposal, from being able to reach my loved ones through Whatsapp, keep track of my blog stats on WordPress and order a cheeky book or three on Amazon.
An area of digital that I am relatively new to, when it comes to apps on my phone, is lifestyle and shopping. These folders have exploded on my screen in recent months; they now brim with everything from period and Moon phase trackers, to Zoopla (a girl can dream…) and HSBC (…just as much as she can bury her head in the sand). Today, I want to tell you about 4 apps that have been making my life as a vegan that bit easier in recent months. If you have any apps to add to this list, let me know about them in the comment!
HappyCow | Google Play, App Store | £2.99
This was the first vegan lifestyle app I downloaded, and it has proven very useful in tracking down veggie-friendly eateries and business in my vicinity, while in my hometown of London as well as further afield. In fact, you can find vegan, veggie and veggie-friendly restaurants and stores in up to 175 countries worldwide using the HappyCow app. The app itself requires a one-time purchase; taking into account the time you save by not having to conduct a search on your mobile browser when out and about, I think it is well worth the investment.
One of my favourite features of this app is that you can use it to plan trips, putting together a list of foodie destinations before you’ve even set off. This will certainly please the organisation freak in me, and is a great way to get a sense of how catered for you will be on your travels.
Ocado | Google Play, App Store | Free
What was I doing before I started doing my food shops online? Bad memories of long walks home, weighed down under multiple carrier bags, are but figments of the past for me now that I’m ordering my groceries off of Ocado. I’ll be honest – I originally wrote Ocado off as I presumed it would be too fancy and expensive for me. However, while some stuff may well be cheaper elsewhere, I find the prices competitive and the range of vegan goods available unrivalled.
I order from Ocado roughly every two weeks, stocking up on things like tinned beans, pasta, sauces and Violife (we go through a lot of it in this house!). While I used to sit at my desk and order on the desktop, I’ve since moved this chore onto the sofa and have the Ocado app to thank for it. My Favourites – items I regularly order – are all easily accessible and can be added to my basket with just one tap. I rarely have to even use the Search bar on this app, as everything is already aggregated for me.
Perhaps my favourite feature of the Ocado app is that it lists your next available delivery slot on the homepage, before you’ve even started shopping. This helps me in terms of planning my shop; if I know they can deliver the following day, then I know it’s safe to order ice cream. If they can’t deliver until the day after tomorrow, though, off to the store I go for a tub of the good stuff (vegan, ofc).
Vegaholic | App Store | £1.49
With data collected by vegan booze-bible, Barnivore, the Vegaholic app is one of my latest discoveries, which was recommended to me via Twitter. I’m not the best when it comes to making sure the alcohol I occasionally consume is vegan, but with this app I can simply type in the name of the beverage and get a quick yes or no answer letting me know whether or not I can drink it. While I feel that the Vegaholic app would benefit from having different section i.e. for beer, wine, etc. I do think it’s a great app to have on your phone, to whip out at the pub or supermarket.
The best thing about this app for me is that it provides such a wealth of information on the particular drink you search for. For example, when I typed in Brooklyn Lager (a favourite vegan beer of mine) I got details from email replies sent from the company and from their website, all dated. It’s thorough alright!
Vanilla Bean | Google Play, App Store | Free
This app is relatively new on my radar, too. I like it as a companion to HappyCow, and it seems to have quite a lot more restaurants listed. Not only can you search for vegan and vegetarian places to eat, you can also filter to view establishments with raw food, organic ingredients and gluten free options. A number of the restaurants also have photos of their menus included on the app’s listing, which takes away the need to hastily navigate a un-mobile-friendly site to check whether or not somewhere can cater to your needs.
What I really like about Vanilla Bean is that it includes several high street chains, like Zizzi and Pho, and lets you select if you would like to also include listings of restaurants where fish and meat are served – this can come in handy if you’re looking for somewhere to go with meat-eaters, too.
I hope this post has given you some inspiration for how you can power up your vegan bad-assery through the magic of your mobile device! If you’ve used any of these apps, let me know what you think of them below.