Grocery Gadget on the Wall


Flipping through a magazine, an advertisement caught my eye.  A happy woman was pressing buttons on a sleek device.  The ad stated, “Stress Free Shopping is just a button away.”  The advertised item was an electronic grocery and list organizer that mounts on a wall.  Impressive.  To use it, you press a button and speak the name of the item you’ve just run out of and the device saves the recording.   Then when you are ready to shop, it prints a list.  The ad gushes “How many times have you had to make return visits to the store because you forgot something?”

I see a couple of things wrong with this logic.  How would I remember to find the device (now where did I stick that on the wall?) to press the button and carefully speak the name of an item I need to buy?  More importantly, how often would I remember to print a tiny receipt-like list and put it in my purse?  The ad claims that the device “requires no ink replacement!” probably because no one has ever used it long enough to run out of ink.

I would guess they’ve sold a few thousand of them, though.  “Stress Free Shopping” and the line about return visits to the store will get ‘em every time.  We all hope that there is an easy, pain-free solution to every problem.

Since I don’t want to spend $149.99 on the Electronic Grocery and List Organizer, let’s talk about some ways to keep your grocery list handy and helpful.

First of all, do shop with a list.  Going to the grocery store tired, hungry and without a list is a setup for food budget disaster. 

Keep it simple.  For some, this means a homemade permanent list of the items you commonly buy.  One friend of mine made this list on her computer and gave it to her husband.  He won’t shop without it.  Your list may be a scrawled note on the back of an envelope.

Ask for help.  A quick “What do we need from the store?” inquiry can alert you to items you’ve forgotten.  Until the comedians start calling out “Candy!  Root Beer!  A new TV!”

Have a place to keep track.  Having a central list that others can access and add to is a nice way to have your list mostly written for you.  This can be anything from a magnetic pad of paper on the fridge, to a marker board in the kitchen, to a notebook in a drawer.

Organize your list.  In its simplest form, this means “food on one side, non-food on the other side.”  You may want to group items according to the area in the store.

Take your cell phone.  This is one of my favorite things about the cell phone age.  You can always call from the store and ask, “Do we need detergent?”  Back in the old days you had to wait until you got home to discover the bad news.  Now you only have that problem when you leave the cell phone on the bathroom counter at home.  

Try using a cell phone app for your shopping list.  I use a cell phone app to do most of my shopping these days.  I’ve used the notepad feature on my iPhone, but my favorite is Awesome Note.  It has cute little colored folders for tasks and I have a “To Go/To Buy” folder.  Paperless is a simple and pretty note app.  I recently downloaded 2Do, but I still prefer Awesome Note.  And wish I hadn’t spent the money on 2Do (please tell me this happens to you, too).  Others have recommended Cozi and Grocery Zen, but I haven’t gotten that fancy yet.  I’m into simple and zero learning curve.

I don’t know—you may still be convinced that you must have the Electronic Grocery and List Organizer.  You probably have just the spot for it on your kitchen wall.  At least you’re convinced that a grocery list will save you time and money.  And you’ll need to save money after spending $149.99.
Leave a comment (or recommend an app)!




  1. I’ve purchased Grocery Gadget for my iphone and use it if I’m away from home for a reminder, but at home I have an index card for each store I use (including online) taped to the side of the fridge.  I shop Costco once a month, get great deals online at Vitacost on several food & personal care items, and then shop at the local store for perishables and those family favorite brands that are only carried at certain stores.

    Pricebook is one app that I truly love.  Since moving to the country, I’ve learned to have a pretty good stock of items so that I rarely run out of anything.  Utilizing that app, I can purchase items for my extended pantry at the best prices.

  2. Johanne aka Clarity says:

    “Stress Free Shopping is just a button away.”

    Isn’t it the T-Tapp website moto? !
    and I would add ” stress free WORKOUTS for a better health are just a button away”

    … just my humble opinion.

  3. I like 2Do because I can sync it between my iPhone, iPad and my laptop (using Toodledo (free!)).  I like being able to type long lists of things on the computer (I type much faster on the laptop)). It’s prettier (to me at least 🙂 ) than most of the other options. 

    A free option that I like too is Wunderlist.  You can use it on your computer/iPhone/iPad too but it doesn’t have as many whistles and bells as 2Do. 

    An app I bought (and it saves me money!) is Appshopper.  You can look for apps that you are interested in and you can see their history (how often they have updated the app and the price changes that they have made. This lets you know if you can expect (sort of) them to lower/raise the price in the future or not. ) You can then put the app on a wish list in Appshopper and it will notify you of updates/price changes to the app.

  4. Charlotte, I love the Awesome.Note app that you endorsed.  I’m having a lot of fun with it this afternoon.  Thanks!

  5. Wanted to share GROCERY GADGET with you.  It’s a fabulous iPhone app and worth every penny.  I like it because you can ring in the bar code AND take  a picture of the product (very helpful for the menfolk who are unsure of WHICH brand you really use).  I can also separate my list by store.  Finally, you can include the price and KNOW to the penny how much everything should cost at the register.  I use it for my regular list and my big monthly shopping at Costco.  Hope it will help others.  Oh, and here is a quick link to their website: (works on more than just iPhones, too)

    1. Anonymous says:

      Haha, I didn’t know about this app when I titled the article!  I’ll have to check it out!

  6. I DON’T recommend Cozi.  I find the entire program clunky and somewhat unintuitive (is that a word?) I do love the screen saver they have for photo slideshows, but other than that I’ll pass.  I’m currently working on a master list adaptation from The Stocked Pantry (removing some, adding others).

  7. Love the ideas for different apps I see below. I don’t use one now but I’ll look into these.  We do the written list on the fridge these days. 🙂

  8. Carol Gram says:

    I can’t find the Awesome Note app  🙁

    1. CharlotteSue says:

      I can still find it in the Apple app store by searching for Awesome Note.  I don’t know if it’s available for other phones besides an iPhone.

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