This time around, the search for the ideal app came to a halt when I found OurGroceries. There are many list-making apps for free on the iTunes App Store, that range from being very simple to those that have more features but offer complete features in the ad-free, paid versions. Very few of them allow sharing lists by features other than email. If I really wanted to email lists back and forth, I could just use the email app, but the OurGroceries grocery shopping software makes sharing grocery lists so simple. It really makes everything easier, especially if you have a family.
OurGroceries [iTunes link, BlackBerry App World link, Android users just need to search for OurGroceries in the Market app] is an incredible free find that does a few unique things, proving it invaluable for anyone that has more than 1 person in his/her household. Let’s see why OurGroceries is a must-have.
Only One User Has To Make An Account
The first thing I thought after reading OurGroceries’ description of having to use one master email address to access the lists, was, “Well, I could just let my trustworthy friend access my wunderlist with my email and password, so I don’t see how this app’s doing anything better.” In reality, with OurGroceries, only one person needs to set up an account and password, but does not have to share the password with anyone. As the owner of the master email address, you can grant others access to your lists. You only need to share your email address with your, say, your roommate Anna, who will input that address in the login information screen in the OurGroceries app, and then, you will get an email about whether or not you give permission to the owner of “Anna’s iPod” to access your account.
Share & Sync All Lists Instantly
Once you grant your roommate (or family member) access to the account, the items sync unbelievably quickly with no need for manual refresh.
You will have the option to create as many lists as you want, but keep in mind that all of them will be shared with your roommate, or whomever has access. You can also add and edit items on the web interface, which sports a very similar look to that of the iPhone app and thus, could be used if you’re on a mobile browser of an unsupported phone model, like a Symbian or Windows 7 phone.
Additionally, you can create recipe lists with only items to buy so if you have planned a weekly menu with KitchenMonki, you will know exactly what you need for that recipe.
Use Categories To Classify Items By Supermarket Aisle
Not only can you use pre-existing categories, but you can also edit and add more categories to match the layout of the supermarket you frequently go to and make navigating it a lot easier. If you go with, say, your spouse to get groceries and both of you own a supported phone, you can even split the tasks, go on separate ends of the supermarket and cross each item off as you each pick up a product. Not only do you save money using a set grocery list, you can also save time.
Create & Share Wishlists
Since you can create all sorts of lists of items to buy, writing a wishlist just makes sense and would ease trying to figure out a gift, and especially, trying to figure out if the other person likes the gift or not.
You could also create a list for all the things you want to try out together with your roommate or family member, like restaurants, movies, places to go, etc. which are all purchases, so OurGroceries could essentially be a planner of sorts, because more likely than not, you will be doing all those things with someone else.
So now that I’ve listed the features that make OurGroceries shine over other grocery shopping software, we should also mention that the apps are ad-supported, which isn’t bad, but you can always upgrade with the Android app and get rid of the ads. Another thing that would be nice to see in OurGroceries, is the ability to choose what lists to share. All lists get shared, so if you have a gift list, you will probably have to use another app to house that list, unless you want your surprises ruined. Also, like I mentioned earlier, there’s no mobile-friendly site yet, but the web interface sort of makes up for that, as it resembles the iPhone interface and thus, there’s not as much zooming and panning involved.
If you’re looking for a similar app, but that can scan product bar codes to instantly add an item to your grocery list, check out GroceryIQ. Also, if you don’t have a smartphone, check out this list of websites that can help with your printable grocery list!
What do you use to simplify your grocery shopping experience? Let us know in the comments!
Photo credit: Matt MacGillivray