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Just because a billion humans do something every day, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

There are grocery stores across the globe packed with shoppers. Many of them are struggling. They’re forgetting things they made a note of that morning, walking down the same aisle they’ve browsed three times already, and making many impulse buys. There’s time, money, and gas down the drain, and they still don’t have all the food they intended to buy.

This whole seat of the pants thing isn’t working. It’s time to think of a plan of action. You don’t have to use your smartphone to help you remember things, but, you know, it works. These five Android apps could be what you need to get control.

1) Buy Me a Pie!

When it comes to shopping lists, pen and paper can get the job done, but they can require rewriting the same items down every time you go shopping, and if someone thinks of something for you to pick up while you’re out, the best they can do is call and ask.

With Buy Me a Pie!, your list changes as your needs do. The app saves items for future use, and colorful tags help you keep everything organized. Separate food from the cleaning supplies, or if you really want to get specific, demarcate the produce from the spices, drinks, and frozen goods.

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Buy Me a Pie! lets you sync lists across multiple devices, so two people can build them together over the course of a week. When one person goes out to the store, they know what to get, and their information is current.

Lastly, the app is cross-platform. So if your shopping partners don’t use Android, you’re not out of luck.

Download: Buy Me A Pie for Android (Free$2.98 | Widget)

2) Bring! Shopping List

If you want something that looks at home on Lollipop devices, add Bring! to your list. The developers have managed to create something that showcases material design Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More  while still sporting its own sense of style.

Not only that, Bring! has its own unique workflow. Rather than think of items off the top of your head, the app provides categories and depictions of food you may regularly need. All you have to do is tap on one to add it to your list.

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Syncing is available, but to create multiple lists and share them with others, you need to create an account. Fortunately, you can do that for free.

Download: Bring! Shopping List for Android (Free)

3) Grocery IQ

With the ability to keep lists and sync them across devices, Grocery IQ provides the core functionality we expect from a shopping list app. The interface is a little older, but it’s still pretty usable.

AndroidGroceryApps-GroceryIQ

Two features help set it apart. You can easily add items by scanning their barcodes. This lets you insert multiples at once relatively quickly.

Then there’s the coupons, one of the great ways to save money while shopping Shipping Smartly: 5 Frugal Tips To Save Money When Shopping Online Shipping Smartly: 5 Frugal Tips To Save Money When Shopping Online You're shopping around online, you find the perfect item just within your budget, but the shipping is just way too much? Here's how to cut those fees down to size. Read More . Grocery IQ provides you with a list of products on which you can save money. You tap the ones you like to “clip” them, which adds them to your list. From there you can email them to yourself, print them out, and use them at the store.

AndroidGroceryApps-GroceryIQ-Coupons

While Buy Me a Pie! and Bring! aim for simplicity, Grocery IQ allows for more depth. You can add prices, weight, quantities, and other descriptive qualities to each item.

Download: Grocery IQ for Android (Free)

4) Our Groceries

Our Groceries is more basic than the previous apps, but it isn’t without its merits. You have two kinds of lists: Shopping Lists and Recipes. The latter doesn’t actually provide you with instructions and measurements.

Instead, it lets you store lists of items you need to make your favorite dishes. Tapping on any of these adds them to your shopping list. In effect, this kills two birds with one stone. You know what you need to make dinner, and you actually remember to buy it.

AndroidGroceryApps-OurGroceries

Aside from that, you can group items and assign colors that help you tell things apart. The app will learn from you over time and prompt you to re-enter words you type often. You can share lists via email, SMS, and other apps, but it’s not the active syncing you get elsewhere.

Download: Our Groceries for Android (Free)

5) Out of Milk

We’ve covered Out of Milk in-depth before Always Know What You Need To Buy With Out Of Milk Shopping List For Android Always Know What You Need To Buy With Out Of Milk Shopping List For Android Out Of Milk Shopping List looks a little like a regular to-do list, and indeed can be used as one if you wish, but it really excels at looking after a shopping list for you... Read More , but three years have passed since then. Unsurprisingly, the app has received a visual overhaul. It doesn’t look entirely at home next to Google apps, but it’s close enough. The functionality remains rock solid, and there are numerous reasons to check out this app in particular. Its pantry list supplies a place to keep track of the stuff you already have, which can help you determine what you need even when you’re not at home digging through the shelves.

When it comes to saving money, Out of Milk provides an extensive list of coupons. Not only that, it keys in to local retailers in your zip code. It even lets you browse by store. This makes it perhaps the best recommendation for folks wanting to shrink the size of their receipts.

AndroidGroceryApps-Out-of-Milk-Coupons

Download: Out of Milk for Android (Free) | $1.99)

Honorable Mentions

The apps on this list serve as relatively comprehensive shopping companions. But if you want to save money in particular, there are ways to expand upon what these apps offer. ShopSavvy lets you scan barcodes and compare prices. Checkout51 provides a constant supply of coupons. Both serve as cost-cutting complements to the shopping list apps above.

For the record, you don’t need to a get a dedicated grocery app for your shopping trips. There’s a good chance your smartphone came with an app for keeping notes. Using that should at least cut down on the likelihood of you forgetting to bring your shopping list to the store.

Google Keep Simple Notes On The Go: Google Keep For Android Reviewed Simple Notes On The Go: Google Keep For Android Reviewed There are some amazing note-taking apps out there, but here's one that merits a closer look: Google Keep, a note-keeper which has both a great-looking Android app and a slick webapp. Read More provides general note-taking capabilities, but it syncs everything to the web, and you can share notes with other Google accounts. So if you and your significant other both use Gmail, you both have all you need to start shopping with Keep 4 Google Keep Tips And Tricks For Better Notes, Lists And To-Dos 4 Google Keep Tips And Tricks For Better Notes, Lists And To-Dos Read More .

There are general to-do lists — Android has a ton of those 9 Best Apps For Managing To-Do Lists On Android 9 Best Apps For Managing To-Do Lists On Android If you need to keep track of what to do next, these Android apps could be a life saver. Read More . You can also get by using Microsoft OneNote. Or you could fire up Google Drive or Office 365 and stick to storing your lists in a document How To Use Google Drive To Capture Your Great Ideas & Never Lose Them How To Use Google Drive To Capture Your Great Ideas & Never Lose Them Move over Evernote -- here's how you can use Google Drive to keep and grow your ideas. With the Google tools at your fingertips, put them all to good use for nurturing your ideas. Read More . Some approaches may sound better than others, but all of us work differently. Find what works for you.

What Do You Do?

We all go shopping, or we all know someone who does it for us. Unless you make everything yourself, you probably have a regular grocery routine.

What do you do? Do you use any gadgets or services to help you out? What are your favorite apps? Share your approach with us. Maybe we will all learn something new.

Image Credits: shopping basket via Shutterstock

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  1. Zmade
    August 3, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    One of the main issues when using these types of apps is the fact that they don't search for coupons at the same time. My biggest hurdle while grocery shopping is to create a list that is taking advantage of sales, coupons, or rebates. Since I'm like pretty much everyone else in the world and don't want to spend too much time and effort, I just focus on the few I know that work for me. This might not work for everyone, but the app that I use most for creating my grocery list is Ibotta. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but when I saved $40 stocking up on booze alone (for a party) I was sold. The trick is to check in before you shop and scan your receipt directly after. I don't have the time or memory to remember coupons, so getting refunded for purchases works better for me. Many times, the same items you get a rebate for will have coupons available at the same time, so you can stack them. They have also been adding more stores you can shop at like Krispy Kreme and JoAnn Fabrics! That way, I can see what I will get rewarded for instead of searching for coupons independently or store circulars.

    Basically, you sign up for Ibotta and then search for the store you'll be shopping at. Then you can select the products you'll buy that have rebates. Many times, stores will have rebates for "any item" receipts meaning you only have to buy something, not something specific from a specific brand. Plus, they have been introducing more things like produce rebates where you can get rebates for non-brand specific loose produce items. There are also bonuses if you - or your team - reaches certain rebate levels during the month. If you sign up under someone else, you become part of their team. If you use the referral code ykxrjab then you can be part of a team to get bonuses faster plus earn a referral bonus.

    Since I vary what I buy and cook almost every day, this app has saved me a lot of time without a lot of planning. I just buy the things I might normally buy, or whatever I'm craving, then get a discount on them later. Easy peasy.

  2. Cottontail
    July 2, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I know it's an old app, but I was disappointed that this article doesn't mention Splash Shopper. This app is great for saving money because it allows you to save prices for at least three stores (maybe more, I don't remember).

    This way, you can go through ads, enter the process at your stores, then go to each store for the best deal on that item.

    As such, once you find out which store carries your desired item, you can save it to that store so you don't make needless trips.

    It took a lot of time, but I once bought a trunk full of groceries for $65.00 (in 2007 dollars) using this method.

    Another useful aspect of Splash Shopper is that over time, you'll be able to see which store has the best prices on the items you buy most.

  3. AJ
    May 9, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Does anyone have a suggestion for an app that is good for sharing with my spouse, but also can get more specific? We look for more natural products and find we must go to several stores to get the best option of a certain product. For instance who has organic, free range chicken and if it is whole, breast, strips, nuggets, etc.? Or a "Jello" product that is more natural. Does one cater more to telling you that you can only get frozen organic orange juice at Trader Joe's in the Twin Cities and who has Luxor cherries? This would save us so much time.

  4. Jacquie
    July 20, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Why hasn't anyone invented a shopping list app yet like Out Of Milk (which I love!) that automatically searches for coupons as you add items to the list?! I hate spending 3 hours before I go shopping looking up coupons for everything on my list then having to stand in line fishing through them all!!!

  5. Gary
    May 7, 2016 at 11:15 am

    You might give NandOut a try. It is a free app on Google Play and has some nice features, like the option to sort your list in aisle sequence.

  6. Anonymous
    September 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    A great list of applications! I'd like to add one more: TuLista (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.blackpent.tulista&hl=en) For me is one of the best I've tried. It's very easy to use and its functions are slick and powerful. You can have serveral list and each list has a history of product with theirs prices, so is very easy to have a register of products and prices of every supermarket where you go.

  7. Anonymous
    September 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I use ToMarket. It also allows sorting by aisle and setting up different aisles for different stores. It stores different prices by store as well. So that when you are shopping at one store, it will let you know if you have a lower price recorded at a different store.

    • Craig A. Lance
      December 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      I've used ToMarket Pro (which means I paid for it) over the last four years and three devices. Although it's extremely useful, I wouldn't buy it again. I've had a terrible migration experience twice. There's a bug the developers known about for years that would be very simple to fix, but since they haven't done work on this old product, they've said it would be too much work to implement it. The problem is that the import has a hard coded SD drive that has not been updated for newer (and even some older newer) Android smartphones. I had to manually move the database to different drives until ToMarket could see it. They're just not updating this old app anymore.
      I'd look towards an app that uses the cloud to store it's database.

  8. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Out of Milk has been awful about keeping lists synced between different devices. I love the app, but this is a show stopper for me and my wife. We need a reliable, simple, always synced list.

  9. Anonymous
    July 14, 2015 at 9:41 am

    As Pokie stated earlier...why do none of these lists have sorting by aisles for different shops? I'm stuck taking myancient iPod as it has an excellent Shopping List App that learns where things are in each store and can have loads of stores remembered. Key feature for me.

  10. Anonymous
    June 6, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Thanks for those useful suggestions. I was using Google keep for quite a long time but actually looking for a app created for this specific purpose. The reason being, I could not enter the quantity and details/photograph of the items.
    I tried the above apps and best for me is Our Groceries as it covers the Google keep limitations. Our Groceries app worked very well on my android and good part is it is on web and the best is you can sync.

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2015 at 1:40 am

      One more feature is has the import list option in Web interface. I imported the entire Grocery list from Google keep and it did reflected in Our Groceries within seconds.

    • KickinLady
      June 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Yes, I share with my husband, and Our Groceries syncs immediately when either of us add and item. You use one master email address to link to, and everything syncs once the users are approved. I have had no problem when upgrading my phone, either.

  11. Anonymous
    June 5, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I've used all of these and right now I've settled on Listonic (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.l&hl=en). It's simple and fast. I've found that all the extra bells and whistles just make most of the apps more futzy to work with. Adding items is fast and easy like a basic notes app but items are automatically categorized for ease o shopping. You can get into each item if you want to customize it more.

  12. Anonymous
    June 4, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Why does nobody mention sorting?! The number 1 feature of a grocery list app, in my opinion, is that it presents the items on your list IN THE ORDER YOU FIND THEM IN THE STORE! I don't want to go through my entire list every time I enter a new aisle to find all the items I should get while in this aisle. I always forget something and have to go back. MightyGrocery is the only app I've found that can do different aisles for different stores, but it would be nice to have other options.

  13. Anonymous
    June 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Google Keep does me too. I use it for shipping, packing for a weekend, loading the car for a day out, etc.

  14. Susan Bellwood
    June 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I use Google Keep with the checkbox option. If I need to buy milk again I uncheck it and it's on my list again. I find Out Of Milk and Our Groceries cool for the recipe option and pantry option. I might try those. It would help not to buy duplicates of what I already have. One thing I don't like is my screen blacking when I'm shopping and my lock screen code that I have to enter. I'm too lazy to adjust them tho.

  15. cliosp
    June 3, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Your article has an error. Actually Our Groceries does have syncing and it works very quickly. We sync between Android, IOS and the PC all the time.