Google kung fu

So we are talking about the smart grocery list app, remember? Yeah … Let’s get on with it!

There’s an app for that

With hundreds of thousands of apps already in store for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, sure our app is already there , right? I’m not the only ‘genius’ that is thinking about sort of a clever grocery list app, right?  Probably it’s only a matter of proper searching, right? Enter the Google dojo. I’m not a brilliant developer, but my Google skills are largely covering up the gap Glimlach. Let’s find our app, because it is out there!

I will start with the following search string: Grocery List App Location Cheapest. I typically only look at what is presented in the first screen (without scrolling down) to assess if my search criteria are OK, or I need to change them. That gives me the following links to look at:

  1. 14 Apps for Grocery Store Savings – MainStreet
  2. The 5 Best Free Grocery List Apps for iPhone | Art of the iPhone
  3. 5 Grocery Shopping Apps That Can Save You Time and Money
  4. Save Money & Time with Grocery Apps for your Phone – Techlicious
  5. 4 Grocery List Apps That Make Shopping, Syncing Lists Simple

Hey, funny to see the top ranked results are sites that compare these kinds of apps. That might imply I don’t need to tryout all apps myself, but just read the reviews. Great points to start is my guess.

Results 3 and 4 are specifically mentioning saving time and money doing groceries, which triggers my attention. That apps aligned with our goals, more than the other results. We might want to improve our search with terms ‘save’ and ‘money’ which typically seem to be words that are embedded in such relevant results, and there might be more of that. The term ‘Location’ is not returned in any result, which might point at the fact that the location of grocery shops is not important enough to have mentioned in the results, let’s skip that one for the next attempt. Repeating the search with grocery list app save money gives:

  1. How to Save Money on Groceries and Keep Making Awesome Food
  2. 10 Ways to Save Money on Food Shopping – WebMD
  3. Grocery List Free (Shopping List) on the App Store on iTunes
  4. 5 Grocery Shopping Apps That Can Save You Time and Money
  5. New grocery shopping app promises to help you save money

Hmmm, not sure if it is going in the right direction. Less review sites means more work to do. At least start with link number 4, and see how well those apps fulfill my needs.


The site seems to review 5 apps that indeed allow to maintain a grocery list (duh!), but the focus for saving is mostly around coupons. Ah, forgot that one … I have watched several episodes of Extreme Couponing, and while it seems an interesting habit to get used to, we don’t have the same restrictionless coupons available in the Netherlands. Here, shops would probably go bankrupt quickly, because Dutch have the reputation of being ‘on the money’ so to say. True, true, true! I  would probably be couponing away heavily, and my app demands would indeed be met by the apps in the review list.

We need to localize our search, and what better way to do that than to start searching in the local language being Dutch. Now, it becomes a bit awkward to start blogging in Dutch beyond this point, but I want to keep it real, so will do the search in Dutch, and repeat the steps above. Let’s see what happens. Searching for boodschappenlijst app bespaar geld gives a number of results comparable with the English ones; some advise sites and some comparison sites.

The advise given on the advise sites are mostly repeating the same: “If you make a list upfront of doing groceries, you will make less impulsive buys and save money that way”. That is in line with our own experience, and one I didn’t know as a fact. Is that scientifically proven behavior … wow! Added it to the list of potential reasons why we see that in our own cost measurements as well.

Looking at some of the review sites, we get a shortlist of Dutch apps that are potentially interesting for us. They are:

  1. Appie – Great app, but specifically for Albert Heijn, a big brand in the Netherlands. That will not help for comparing with other brands.
  2. Aanbieding – That’s more like it! Comparing brands, comparing products. We’ll take a closer look at this one.
  3. Supermarkt+ – According to a Dutch blog post, the above Aanbieding app seems to use the data from Supermarkt Aanbiedingen, which also has it’s own app, this one. The website seems to list a lot of product info, from a lot of shopping brands. Would be a great source of information, how do they get that info themselves? For later …
  4. Boodschapp – Mentioned to be a real price comparison site with an own app. To take into account!
  5. Liscount – Follow-up for the Aanbieding app, but still Work-In-Progress.

Realistically, we only have time to compare results 2, 3 and 4 on our shortlist. Which we will do … in the next post! Stay tuned if you’re still interested Glimlach

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  1. Loving the posts! I was hoping that you end up having to write your app – but that would be a lot of time over Xmas with NSMutableArray and none of us have the time for that!

    In the UK the major supermarkets price match – that’s kind of normal – but what they do is work out if you could have got your groceries cheaper at their competitors and then refund the difference. We’ve had several occasions where they have identified products cheaper elsewhere and refunded the difference immediately.

    • Hi JJ,

      Thanks for making me understand the UK situation. That sounds very compelling from an ‘end consumer’ perspective! We have one or two electronics shopping brands that follow the same principle of guaranteeing the lowest price, but that is not offered by any string of supermarket. And even for the Dutch shops doing that, the number of rules you need to follow to be in scope for the guarantee are plentlyful and often in the small printed sections.

      Maybe we will have to write our own app after all. Please check out the post on ‘Ranking the Stars’ to find out how well the short listed apps are complying to our needs.

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