Simple, easy Grocery App
May 1, 2020 1:04 PM   Subscribe

I just need a simple, easy and fast to use app to make a shopping list from for the grocery store. I want to quickly scan what I normally buy and add stuff, then check the cupboards for existing stuff and then go and buy the remainder. Simple and fast, but too many options are causing confusion for me.

There are a million different versions of this kind of thing now and no central and reliable rating or review system/company that I know of that isn't swamped out by the kind of sites that have generic, half assed reviews collated from app store reviews or app descriptions with a bunch of made up links and phony text for ad clicks. So it is overwhelming trying to understand what these do, which are the good ones and what the downsides are. So here I am. I'd appreciate recommendations and especially pitfalls and annoyances!

Ideally grocery only, iPhone only:
Requirements as follows:
Simple to add things from a 'favourites' style list (or from 'previously purchased'). I want to scroll down a list of things I usually buy and add them from there, I don't want to scroll through fifteen different types of onions or a billion cereals to find what I want.

Add (and maybe even remove) items from lists entirely.

Shareable - so me and the missus can use it at the same time (ie adding stuff while someone else is on the way to or at the store).

Filterable by store - if I assign stores to things I should be able to scroll down 'stuff I buy at Costco' for when I am going there, even if I also buy the same stuff at HEB or Raleys or Safeway.

Other things/info:
Bar code scanning? Don't care. Don't really need that.
Recipe integration? Zero interest.
Cost? Don't care so much as long as it does the stuff properly. I'm fine buying something if it is the RIGHT thing.

If they have extra stuff? Great, but I don't care if they don't and don't want them if they actively clunk up the basic stuff. Save me from the intense irritation that quarantine and zero attention span is killing in my attempt to make an informed choice.
posted by Brockles to Shopping (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Our Groceries is what you want. There’s an ad-supported free version, or for a few bucks you can eliminate the ads permanently. One way it works differently from what you’re picturing is that you can’t filter by store per se, but you can assign items to categories, and the shopping list is then sorted by category. So, you can use the categories to achieve something very similar to what you asked for.
posted by jon1270 at 1:41 PM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Actually, I’m wrong. It only lets you assign one category per item, so it won’t do that part of your request. It will do everything else well, though.
posted by jon1270 at 1:45 PM on May 1, 2020

ShopShop hits all these buttons, I think. It uses Dropbox (and maybe iCloud?) for sharing. My wife and I have used it for nearly a decade now. Also free!
posted by rockindata at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2020

I'm sure this doesn't quite fit your requirements, but this is what I use Google Keep for. I have several different grocery lists: a general Groceries; Asian; Trader Joe's; and Costco. (The main drawback of this system is that plenty of stores will have overlap: I can typically find a decent brand of oyster sauce, which goes on the 'Asian' list, at my local honky-mart, for instance, so I have to scan each list briefly before I head to the store so I don't overlook something that's on one list but not the other.)

I made a few different notes in Google Keep. Each has an overarching label (Groceries, Trader Joe's, etc), and each is shared with my partner. When one of us stops by the store, we check off the things we pick up. Later, we can view the checked-off items and un-check them when we need them once more, which is a handy way to remember things we often buy and might want to pick up again.

It's a pretty decent system, at least insofar as that it doesn't require a lot of fiddly tagging things with separate stores. That said, I'll be checking out the other grocery-specific apps other folks recommend, just in case they're a better fit.
posted by tapir-whorf at 2:25 PM on May 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

My spouse and I have used Our Groceries on our iPhones for years. We have multiple stores set up so we can have a list for Costco and a different list for other groceries. Checked off items go to a crossed off list below the active list and can be re-added from there.
posted by ElizaMain at 2:34 PM on May 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Our groceries users here too for years and it works well.
posted by merocet at 3:11 PM on May 1, 2020

Best answer: We use AnyList for this, and I'm pretty happy with it. It does let you assign and filter by stores. And it does have a favorites and recent items list that makes it easier to remember staples.
posted by mmc at 3:46 PM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I came to recommend ShopShop, but I see that my husband already did. It is simple, meets all your requirements, and is utterly hassle-free. Minimal bells and whistles, but no learning curve and no “features” to get in your way,
posted by juliapangolin at 5:56 PM on May 1, 2020

You can do something like the Google Keep suggestion above in Apple Notes, which are shareable. But I’m looking at these suggestions for something a little more...automated? Computer-y?
posted by lhauser at 6:12 PM on May 1, 2020

Best answer: We recently started using AnyList and one big benefit (at least to me) over OurGroceries is that you can "undo" a crossed-off item (unless that functionality has been added since last time I used it).
posted by sm1tten at 11:02 AM on May 2, 2020

Best answer: I love AnyList. I have the paid version. Multiple store lists, grocery, big box, Asian, hardware. I know you are not as interested but it is easy to add recipes from most websites, and I can add ingredients from the recipes to a grocery list if I want and I do simple menu planning so I know what to defrost or pick up. I also share lists with myLove and daughter.
You can make lists of anything so I also have travel packing lists. Once made, easy to maintain
posted by ReiFlinx at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Doesn't really hit your requirements, but since you mentioned HEB, the My HEB app has a shopping list feature that will organize the list by aisle for you for easy travel through any HEB store. Sharing functionality coming soon :)
posted by theRussian at 9:40 PM on May 2, 2020

We use Bring and are very pleased with it. You can create multiple lists and it handles multiple users well. Big icons that are easy to tap in store, and frequently used/recently used icons are always close to the top for re-adding to the list.
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:04 PM on May 3, 2020

Best answer: Thirding AnyList - the paid version is well worth it, but the free is fine too. The best part is that you can import recipes for the web and, with a little editing of the ingredient lists to make them consistent, generate shopping lists. It will even detect duplicate ingredients, so if you add two recipes to your meal plan for the week that both use eggs, it will total up the actual number of eggs you need. Highly recommended.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:12 AM on May 4, 2020

Response by poster: Ok so I played around with them and I have decided on Anylist. I liked Our Groceries, but prefer Anylist. I have even used the import recipe thing which is (I have to admit) awesome.

Also, I am using it for general lists too, like 'places we want to go to in the area' and the like as it works fine for that. We got the paid version because it was what was needed. Enjoying it so far.
posted by Brockles at 2:52 PM on May 22, 2020

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