Even back before smartphones I wanted to help my wife escape the paper based shopping lists. Paper is so inflexible and if you’ve added something to the list once, you’ll more than likely do it again. When my wife got her Android (a few months after I got mine one of the first things I went looking for was a shopping list program that I could use too. I tried many different ones but I was looking for an app that would sync to the net, had a web interface and wasn’t overly complicated. Sure you can get apps that track costs and have the above, but my wife and I found that these others were too complicated. I stumbled on OurGroceries and haven’t looked back.
What does the App claim it can do?
The claim on the play store is quite simple “OurGroceries automatically keeps your family’s grocery list in sync with the latest changes—on every family member’s phone or web browser. Every change to your shared shopping list is visible in seconds. See items being checked off as your partner shops!“. The Play store doesn’t even have any features listed, in fact this statement is about all it says on the play store. Instead you have to go to the website to get a feature list. Included in that list are things like manual sorting, categorizing, sharing lists, adding new lists, making recipes. All lists and recipes are synced online and are pushed out to all the devices that are sharing the lists. Multiple devices can be synced using a single email address which is registered when creating the account on the web.
Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?
I can only say one thing about this app, it is awesome. Even though the feature list isn’t on the play store there’s a good one on the web site. It’s not going to link up to your budget and you can’t add the cost of items but something that isn’t listed anywhere is the ability to scan the bar-code. I haven’t found a use for the bar-code yet but you can store it at least, maybe there will be a use for it later. After you’ve done the shopping with it at least once you can search for items by voice or by keyboard.
As you tick off the items in your shopping list they appear at the bottom of the list nicely grayed and stricken out so you know it’s in your trolley. If you’ve made a mistake (which happens to me a lot) you can scroll to the bottom and click it again to re-add it to the shopping list. You can clear the items off the list that you have put in your trolley by clicking the “Delete all crossed-off items”. I got worried the first time I clicked that, I thought that it would delete my list of items completely from the program, but it really just deletes the items out of the current shopping list.
In my family my wife uses this application more than me and we have lists for movies we want to watch, movies that we want to buy, books to buy, gift ideas for different people, and a few more.
One thing that other shopping lists don’t do well is integrate recipes into the shopping list. We have a few recipes that we’ve added and the trick here is that we only put the major items to the recipe because if we want to make pizzas we would go through a tin of tomato paste, a packet of ham pieces a block of feta and other big items but we won’t use a whole tin of olives so it doesn’t go on the list. If we want to do pizzas one week then we can just add the ingredients of the recipe in two clicks (Settings->Add recipe to shopping list). The recipe section also helps us to remember what the ingredients of that yummy salad or marinade that a friend made.
What do I like most about the App?
I like that it’s synced to the web and that I can add things to the list as well as my wife. I like that it’s simple and the advertisements do not take over the screen. I like that you can add things that you can’t find at the grocery store. I like that my wife likes it and uses it. To pick one thing that I like most is that I like that the syncing is almost instantaneous. I can actually sit at home and watch my wife go through the list (not that I’ve done that, too many other things to do)
My wife really likes the recipe’s function and that the app remembers all the items you’ve ever added to a list
What’s not to like about it?
Since my wife uses this app all the time you’re going to hear her thoughts on it. She doesn’t like that you have to add items one at a time which is really annoying if you’re sitting at the cupboard generating your list just before you go to do the grocery shopping. My wife would really like to click multiple items at a time. EDIT : The people from OurGroceries have pointed out that there’s an option in the settings to turn on multiple additions.
What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?
Sometimes I think that to tick off items from the list you should have to long press the item because it’s really sensitive. My wife doesn’t have this problem, probably because she’s use to it by now.
Why did I decide to keep/remove it?
I have recently looked at the “Similar” apps on the Play store and I’m not really inspired by the offerings. Most of the similar apps are specific to the USA or Canada and others are huge and full of what I might consider as bloat. I might put in a feature request to the authors about my wife’s suggestion and hope that they add it.
Would my wife use it?
She uses this app more than I do.