This article was published on June 28, 2019

How to simplify your shopping routine with these handy apps

Never forget milk again!

How to simplify your shopping routine with these handy apps
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

I hate shopping.

I hate the aisles. I hate the noise and the random tannoy announcements. I hate the chaotic changes in smells and temperature as I drag myself from the deli counter to the cold section. I hate unexpected items in the bagging area. But most of all, I hate remembering what I need to buy.

When I go shopping I like to operate with military precision. I like to start out with a clear cut plan, execute to the letter, and wear combat trousers.

So, anything that helps me (a) plan my operation and (b) remember everything I need to buy is a good thing. Enter shopping list apps.

There’s quite a few to choose from, but this article takes a look at three hand-picked choices you need to know about.

We’ll start with one of the simplest, easiest, and quickest to setup options.

Google Shopping Lists

Shopping Lists is technically not a standalone app as it’s web-based, and forms part of Google assitant when used on mobile.

Starting a list on Google Shopping Lists is super easy. Just go to, sign in with your Google account, and start adding items. Swipe right to delete an item from your list, swipe left to tick it off as bought. You can also fire up Google Assistant and tell it to add things to your list, which is neat.

The great thing here is that you can add friends and family members, and they can also add or delete items on the list, too. There’s not really much more to it.

Microsoft To-Do

If you need a bit more functionality though, Microsoft’s To-Do is worth a look.

Like Google Shopping Lists, To-Do offers users a basic list app to help organise not just your grocery shopping, but other tasks you might have to complete.

It also lets you set deadlines for completing tasks, and add sub-tasks (or additional items) to things already on your list. (See how buying bananas is far more complicated than just buying bananas.)

As ever, you can share and collaborate on these lists with friends and family, though, in this case they will have to download the app to do so. You can also add shortcuts to lists to your phone’s homescreen to make things really handy when you’re carrying out your shopping operations.

Out of Milk

Another option, and one of my favorites, is dedicated shopping list app, Out Of Milk.

On top of the last two apps, Out of Milk lets you scan barcodes of products and add them directly, it will also pull up price info and keep a running total of how much your shopping will cost. For those on a budget, this is a great little feature.

But Out of Milk has another trick up its sleeve. If you want to branch out and try cooking something new, Out of Milk has a recipe book function which lets you browse recipe ideas, and add the ingredients you need to buy directly to your shopping list.

It’s as easy as searching for a meal idea, selecting the items you need to buy, and clicking add to list. They’ll then be categorized by type, and will appear in your list. Better still, the full list of ingredients will stay in your recipe book if you ever want to cook that meal again. Great if you have a memory like a sieve!

Now you have no excuses for not stepping up your shopping game.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with