There are two kinds of people in the world: Organized list-makers … and everyone else. Kidding aside, lists make everything easy to remember, and with the advent of digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, you can have your digital butler add to your list at any time. When it comes to grocery shopping, having a list keeps you organized and on-budget. These are some of the best.
If you have a favorite grocery list app that we haven’t mentioned here, be sure to add it in the comments. And if you really want to get organized, read up on the best iPad Pro productivity apps, too.
The absolute easiest way to start, maintain, and curate any list is to use what your phone supplies. The iPhone’s Notes app lets you ask Siri to create and add to topic-specific lists. “Hey Siri, add milk to my grocery list” couldn’t be an easier way to note something you’ve run out of before you forget. It syncs to Apple’s iCloud, so it’ll stay updated across different iOS devices, and you can even snap pictures of any handwritten grocery lists you have in order to keep them easily available.
Google’s Keep app lets you create lists by store or topic and add to it with the help of the Google Assistant. It syncs up to Google’s cloud services, and it has a desktop app as well, making it incredibly useful for jotting down quick lists before you head out the door in the morning or at night. You can even share notes with certain people, so you can run a collaborative grocery store list for your household. All of this comes at no cost at all.
This productivity app can be adapted for groceries, to-do lists, and collaborative tasks, so it’s a true workhorse. Todoist lets you customize themes and comes with animated movements that give you a bit of a boost when you check something off. Due dates mean you’ll get a reminder on the day if you need to pick up bananas, and you can set tasks to repeat as well — perfect for regular shopping trips.
This app has been around for a while. With both a paid premium version and a free app, Our Groceries lets you link your Google Assistant so you can add items by voice with any Google smart speaker or Google Assistant app. You can use the barcode scanner to easily add specific items to your grocery run, and when you cross items off, it drops them to a separate list so you can still see them until you choose to delete them permanently.
Take the functionality of a basic grocery list app, add the ability to include a photo of what’s on the list, and you’ve got AnyList. While you’ll need an upgraded account to access this feature, photos mean you can share your list with someone else (perfect for pandemic shopping) and still get exactly the brands and sizes you want.
AnyList also organizes your groceries for you by where items are located in the store, and it has a vast database of items already in the app so you can add food quickly with a single tap. Need to add more information to your list? AnyList has the ability to tack notes on to individual items, which is another standout feature. There’s also built-in recipe storage that allows you to post items to the grocery list from within the recipe itself. Naturally, your grocery lists are shareable, too.
The best feature of this app is the ability to scan barcodes. Do that, and it will automatically add them to a list, with no typing required. In testing, we opened up the pantry and scanned anything we were running low on. It took seconds to make the entire shopping list. You can also add prices to each item so you can see what your bill will be — before you get to the checkout. Out of Milk also allows you to create a dedicated shopping list of things you need immediately and a pantry list for things to pick up down the road or when they’re on sale. An integrated, basic to-do list rounds out this handy app.
This app is a personal favorite simply for its ease of use and freebie status. ShopShop allows you to easily add items to your list and cross them off when you’re done. You can then keep those items in view or remove them for a cleaner, shorter list as you wind through the store. ShopShop will also store your foods in its memory, so you can quickly add repeatedly-purchased items to your grocery list with fewer taps. Create multiple lists and color-code each one, too. ShopShop lists can be sent via text or email, so you can pass on what needs to be picked up, too.
Are you more of a visual person? The Bring! app uses small boxed pictograms to populate a list with line-drawn icons to create more of a match-game grid. You can also add your own items, and Bring! will create a custom icon. All lists are shareable, and the app’s Inspiration tab lets you surf recipes if you’re stuck on what to cook for dinner this week. You can also manage your lists from your Apple Watch and ask Siri to add items to your list. This one is a favorite of ours, thanks to its unique layout and visualization.
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