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Palmtop Organizes Grocery Shopping

Palmtop Organizes Grocery Shopping

My wife recently broke her leg. Because of the severity of the break, she is saddled with an unusually heavy cast. She cannot do anything without assistance, so I have taken over as caregiver and head of running the household.

In order to bring some joy to my routine tasks, I started entering a running grocery list on my HP 100LX using the NoteTaker files. As I shop at the grocery store, I delete the items as I go down the aisles. Thus, I only have an active unfilled list on the screen. I find this more helpful and certainly more fun than carrying a written list with a pencil to cross off purchases made. Moreover, I am apparently somewhat of a curiosity in the local Harris-Teeter market, as many people ask me what the device is I hold so tenderly in my hand.

My wife only knows by manual, visual inspection the contents of her freezer. I took inventory of the freezer and added the contents to another NoteTaker file. When an item is withdrawn from the freezer compartment, I delete it from the list. I find this useful when I am in the grocery store, as I often see a special on a meat or frozen product. If it is not in my home freezer inventory, I am more likely to purchase the special.

Also, I would not ordinarily bother to check unit prices in the grocery store. But having the convenience of a built-in calculator in my HP 100LX, I often find myself checking unit costs. You would be amazed at the price difference in similar items when you reduce them to unit or ounce cost. Quite revealing.

I am now attempting to develop a model stock plan or an automatic replenishment plan for my 100LX. I have inventories on all those items such as sugar, flour, salt, pepper, etc., in Lotus. I am working out what our minimum inventory of these items should be for normal weekly use. The idea is to take inventory on occasion and enter the amount. Lotus will then indicate to me when to add or how dangerously close we are to replenishment time.

I admit this visionary objective is fraught with problems and I am far from having a model stock system that is fully operational. I keep trying to work out the bugs. Needless to say my wife thinks I am crazy. She can hardly wait to get back to operating her kitchen the old fashioned way.

Ervin Jackson, Jr. Charlotte, NC

[There is a dedicated shareware shopping list program named SHASS - Hal.]

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