Six grocery shopping apps to replace your paper list
If you're used to consulting paper grocery lists, you know that they're easy to lose—and to forget. If you carry a smartphone with you, it makes a lot of sense to put your grocery list on your mobile device. A number of apps can help you organize your shopping, create master lists of things you buy every time you go to the store, and even share lists with your spouse or partner. Here are six great grocery list apps you can use on your smartphone.
Basic list managers
The simplest way to create grocery lists is to use the basic list apps available on iOS or Android. On the iPhone, Apple's Reminders app lets you make lists, and it syncs them to your iCloud account. You can share lists with others, so you and your housemate can use the same list, adding and deleting items as needed. (Though you can't share from the iOS Reminders app; you'll need to do it on a Mac, or on the iCloud website.) And you can create as many lists as you want: You could set up one for each store, for example, or one for each person.
On Android, you'll need to download Google Keep, which syncs lists to your Gmail account. Unfortunately, you can't share lists, at least not so more than one person can edit them. (You can share them by email.)
With both iCloud and Google Keep, you can also access your lists on the web, so you can easily update them from a computer as well.
You should also read our hands-on review of the Hiku scanner and grocery-list manager.
Another general list app that you can use for groceries is Wunderlist (free; iOS and Android). This app lets you create to-do lists with due dates, alarms, and the works, but you can also use one or more lists for your groceries. It's free for the basic service, and $50 a year for a pro version, designed for businesses, with more advanced collaboration features. You can share lists with others who use the app, and they can add, edit and check items. When you've finished shopping, you can uncheck the completed items to use for your next trip to the supermarket, or delete the ones you don't need again.
Apps like this are useful if you already use them for other task lists, and don't want a separate app just for groceries, but they lack the food-specific features of apps designed for groceries.
Just for groceries
AnyList (free; iOS) is a tool specifically designed for grocery lists and recipes. When you start typing to add a new item, AnyList displays an auto-complete list. Tap an item to add it, and AnyList groups items in your list by store sections: Bakery, dairy, meat, frozen food, and so on. You can create multiple lists—one for each store you usually frequent—and you can share them with others who use the app. You can also add recipes, so each item needed gets added to your grocery list. An AnyList Complete subscription, for $8 (individual) or $12 (family) a year gives you web access, lets you add photos, and more.
Grocery IQ (free; iOS and Android) from coupons.com is designed to help you manage your grocery list and save money at the same time. Different categories show when coupons are available, nudging you toward specific brands. You can scan barcodes to add items to a list, find local grocery stores (for me, it only found certain chains, not all of the stores I shop at), and share lists, as well as access them on the web. If you're a coupon maven, you'll find this app practical.
Recipe manager Paprika ($5; iOS and Android) has a built-in browser that helps you find recipes you like on the web, then imports them to your personal recipe list. Paprika will store the recipe so you can make that meal, and you can add all the items you need to a grocery list, then remove the ones you already have.
You can change serving sizes, and Paprika adjusts the quantities you need. Set up meal plans for the week, and each time you go to the grocery store, you'll have a full list of everything you need.
You can't share lists, but if two people log into the same account, Paprika's auto-sync will let them view and edit the same grocery list. You can also email your grocery lists if you want to send them to someone who doesn't have the app. When you're actually cooking, you're better off using a tablet; it's a shame there's no web version to be able to check complicated recipes on a computer.
With all these options, you my finally eschew those paper lists you keep forgetting. Put all your grocery lists on your smartphone and make your shopping a lot easier.