Shopping for shopping list apps
September 13, 2013 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Grocery shopping list app for iOS, as simple as can be, does it exist or is it not allowed?

"Why doesn't the simple most basic app I need not exist" is what everyone always imagines, however wrongly. And so do I.

What I'd like is a grocery shopping list app for iOS I can use on my iPod Touch (latest generation). I performed a search on Ask, and found a question for Android, but not for iOS (unless I missed it).

My requirements strike me as super basic (ha!), but here goes:

1)I shop at 2 stores once a week. I'd need one list per store. The list of items doesn't change, but which items I buy that week might. So, for example, I buy almonds every single week, but, say, beer, only once every other month, eggs, every other week etc.. I'd like my f.ex. Trader Joe's list to have ALL the items on it, with a checkbox next to every item which I can select, which then shows that this week I'm buying THIS(checked) item; also, when I put that item in my cart, I'd like to be able to uncheck the box as the item has been purchased, but I don't want the item to disappear altogether from the list

2)For the love of dog, can it please allow for fairly tight spacing, so that I can fit 15-20 items on one screen and therefore not have to scroll quite as much, but can see the whole list with one glance (more or less, some scrolling OK) - example of what does this well is the Apple native app Note - tight spacing.

3)Can I please just get to the list without having to wade through multiple pages and subgroups and so forth. I'd like to tap on the app, and select a list right away and boom, it's there.

4)Can I please not be pelted with multiple dialogue boxes demanding/asking/suggesting that I sync with the "cloud", Mars, share with friends, strangers, my neighbors dog, etc..

5)The fewer functions the better - just a list please, with a checkbox that I can select and de-select and the items don't disappear. I want it to live *locally* I don't want to connect to the internet (it's for the iPod Touch, not iPhone), so nothing online, please.

It boggles my mind that I can't find such a super basic app, but here we are. I have tried the following with each and every one a fail of one kind or another:

Notes & Todo
Grocery List
Next Thing
Tote Bag
Buy Me A Pie!

Thus far, I've simply been using the Apple native Notes, and while it is simple and quick and tight, it doesn't have a checkbox.

Honestly I'd use a paper list, but 1)it crumples and smudges 2)it's 2013 and I have an electronic device, dammit.

Thank you for all your suggestions!
posted by VikingSword to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I use Clear for this. You can uncheck/check stuff as well as reorder and edit at will, and keep multiple simple lists. It also satisfies in that its completely local and doesn't encourage sharing at all. Very minimal.

The only downside is that only about 12 items fit on-screen at once.
posted by thirdletter at 5:43 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I use AnyList, which I think hits many of your requirements. It doesn't have the checkbox functionality, but it does allow you to add notes to items.
posted by KathrynT at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2013

We use GroceryIQ. It's not great. It does have a "history" tab that you can quickly reload your list from, but unless you don't uncheck stuff, it will remove stuff from your list.

It's kind of annoying, but it does allow multiple stores, etc, plus a master list.

(We like it because it does allow syncing with the cloud, though, so ymmv. )
posted by leahwrenn at 5:55 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Give Wunderlist a try, my husband and I use it and it meets some of your requirements like the checkboxes.
posted by crankylex at 6:45 PM on September 13, 2013

I also use GroceryIQ which, I agree with leahwrenn, is kinda the best of a bad lot. I don't use a lot of its functionality, but the core list stuff works well enough. It doesn't pester you about its sync features.

VikingSword: "I'd like my f.ex. Trader Joe's list to have ALL the items on it, with a checkbox next to every item which I can select, which then shows that this week I'm buying THIS(checked) item; also, when I put that item in my cart, I'd like to be able to uncheck the box as the item has been purchased, but I don't want the item to disappear altogether from the list"

If the check-then-uncheck workflow is a dealbreaker for you, I think you're going to have a really hard time because list software just doesn't use that paradigm. You're always "checking off" things you've done, not the other way around.
posted by mkultra at 7:14 PM on September 13, 2013

My entire life exists in a series of Paperless lists in my iPhone. It may not satisfy your tight spacing criteria but it just does checklists. That's it. I keep a single grocery list on it (though you could do multiple ones) and when I shop I check things off. Then when I prep to shop I uncheck the things I'll need.
posted by marylynn at 8:05 PM on September 13, 2013

Take a look at Grocery Gadget.

I think they have a free app to try.

You prep a list with a quantity (0 is a quantity.) Check things off as you go. When finished you can reset the list. IT has a Prep mode and a shop mode.
It learns which items you're checking in what order - and in doing so, it builds the order that you'll likely find them next time in the store.
I don't think you're going to get tight spacing - I'm assuming you want it so you don't miss items; after 1-2 trips, Grocery Gadget has learned where items are in a store.

4&5 are optional. IT can scan barcode labels etc ...but I think it might be what you want.
posted by filmgeek at 8:10 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

We use Our Groceries. I read the recommendation on The Kitchn. I absolutely love it.

- It has the ability to make more than one list, and the items on the list can be customized. Just add things to the list.

- One click, and it's crossed off and moved to the bottom of the list. Another click, and it's un-crossed. You can then keep all of the items on that list. (There is an option to delete, but you'd just keep items un-crossed.

- I just opened the app, and it opened to the list I had last used. Or it will open to the main page, which has a list of your lists. There are no fancy screens or interfaces.

- Items can be categorized. This is helpful for me to know what to get from the dairy aisle, etc. You don't have to use this function, but I think it's uber nifty.

- It can be synced with other people. We have up to three people using it, and it's helpful for someone else to add something to the list.
posted by frizz at 10:21 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is not specifically a grocery list app but maybe ReDo is what you're looking for? It's meant for to-do lists that you do again and again but it has that check off but doesn't go anywhere functionality you're looking for. You can then uncheck only the items you want to purchase this trip. Of course, it doesn't have any grocery specific functionality.
posted by peacheater at 5:24 AM on September 14, 2013

Clear is perfect except for the tight spacing. To add an item, you just drag the list downwards. You swipe to the right when you buy an item (it appears with strikethrough) and swipe to the left when you want to put that item back on the list.

I use Clear for EVERYTHING - shopping lists, packing lists, to-do lists. It does not get any easier or simpler.
posted by desjardins at 7:33 AM on September 14, 2013

Response by poster: I'm going to check the suggestions so far - thank you everybody! If anyone still wants to chime in with a suggestion, I'm always open to hearing more!
posted by VikingSword at 4:58 PM on September 16, 2013

ShopShop is my solution to this problem.

I think that it fits your specifications here (except for the recurring list). It's incredibly simple, and free. All of the others that I've tried, including many that you've listed here, have struct me as too over-designed.
posted by owls at 12:03 PM on September 25, 2013

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