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Are Shopping List Apps Really Worth the Effort?

All Bread and No Avocados

Get your groceries organised. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

"I got bread!" Hubby calls as he comes in from work.
"Um...I also got bread. Did you get avocados?"
"No, I only went to the garage, they don't have avocados."
"I thought you were doing a supermarket shop on your way home?" I say, puzzled.
"I was going to," he says, "but then I remembered that you often swing by the market on a Wednesday, so I thought you'd get some there. Didn't want to end up with double avocados, like last week."

Does this sound familiar? Does it happen in your household too?

Not organised enough for a 'big shop' each week? Trying to work off one shopping list scrawled on the back of an old envelope which one partner can't read and the other forgets to take with them?

This was us for years. YEARS.

Is it you, too?

There's an app out there to help you.

Forgotten, lost, illegible. Paper shopping lists are so last century. Photo by David Ballew on Unsplash

What you need is a handy little shopping list app. It will change your life. And the inside of your fridge.

I discovered one called Our Groceries, and it has revolutionised shopping for us.

It's a free app, (a paid version is also available), which stores your shopping list. It remembers your favourites, and you can add or remove things from your list with a simple tap.

Importantly, it updates in real time to the same list held on the device of anyone else you've linked it with. Your partner, your grown-up kids, your lodger, the cat. Anyone who might be out and about and might be persuaded to do a bit of shopping can easily see what is needed, and what isn't.

Also, it completely negates any excuses from anyone who might have finished up the last of the milk and forgotten to mention it. They can put it straight onto the list in their phone without needing to tell anyone or find that scrawled bit of paper that's hanging around the kitchen (or was that last week's?)

More than that, you can run multiple lists at once. Say, one for the supermarket, one for the DIY store, one to use as a reminder that a suit needs collecting from the dry-cleaners and a cheque needs taking to the bank.

What else can it do?

If you still shop in bricks and mortar stores, this will revolutionize your groceries. Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Not enough for you? You can also add ingredients lists for your favourite recipes, so that if you want to cook something particular this week you can simply click on the recipe and select the items that you need, without having to thumb through multiple recipe books first.

It gets better. You can specify quantities required, and categorize the items on your list so that all the fruit, dairy, or frozen items are helpfully grouped together. If you upgrade to the premium version, you can add a picture of the product, so that you can be sure whoever is doing the shopping gets the right brand. There's even a bar code scanner.

The Review

We've been using the Our Groceries app for a few years now, and it hasn't skipped a beat. Occasionally if my phone is running slow (really must clear out the memory) I accidentally tap on something from the list that I haven't bought yet without seeing what it was. No problem, I just scroll down below the list and the items I've crossed off are listed in reverse order just below. Easy.

Both hubby and I have each changed handsets since starting to use this app. No problem for either of us, just download the app, sign in and the verification process starts automatically. It is straightforward and simple.

We use this app for all kinds of different lists, not just shopping. It's a good place to store household chores, ideas for family days out, or gift ideas for your upcoming birthday. Hint hint.

Yes, there are ads, but these would disappear if I paid for the premium version. Yes, a message pops up occasionally to ask me if I'd like to upgrade. Personally, these things don't bother me, but if they did, it's just £2.99 to get rid of them and add in the extra features.

Overall, Our Groceries is a great app that I wouldn't be without. I'd definitely recommend it.

Best of all, I have the right amount of bread. And avocados.

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Are Shopping List Apps Really Worth the Effort?
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