The 5 Best Grocery List Apps Right Now

published Dec 30, 2023
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Cashier ringing up groceries
Credit: Getty Images / Noel Hendrickson

Some people are blessed with the skill of navigating the grocery store without any semblance of a list. I, however, am not of that kind. Sure, I attempt it on occasion, but then end up with the most nonsensical collection of odds and ends (Cereal, but no milk? Taco supplies, but no tortillas? Worst of all, no treats?). Luckily there are tons of clever apps out there that’ll help you wrangle your grocery list into something that’ll make your cart look more organized (and less like the result of a Supermarket Sweep-style frenzy).

Like anything, these grocery list apps have their own perks and are not entirely one-size-fits all, so I’ve included ones that are loose and more clear-cut (with plenty of room for notes), plus plenty of options that suit larger families, couples, and those rolling solo. Being a (pretty clearly) Type B person myself, I like a bit of fun and inspiration in my app — and, hey, I like it when they’re pretty and fun to use. 

I’ve also tested and included apps that go beyond just their list capabilities with recipe and shopping functions to take you from the aisle to the table. Because that’s where we’re all heading towards, right? 

Credit: AnyList

1. Best All-in-One App: AnyList 

Navigating the AnyList app made me audibly go “Wow, I love the future.” There are grocery list apps and then there is the AnyList app. AnyList is the definitive overachiever of this group, as it will not only allow you to browse recipes (and import them from your favorite websites), make a meal planning calendar, and share lists with family members, but it also allows you to order groceries directly from the app. Once you’re done shopping, AnyList’s list can be fulfilled by online retailers like Walmart, AmazonFresh, Kroger, Shipt, and Instacart for your delivery or pickup.

Plus, it will organize your list by section, so you can rest assured you’re moving through the store as efficiently as possible (and without forgetting something back in produce). Most of the features are free (like the in-app delivery/pickup orders); an upgraded premium membership is $9.99 per year for an individual or $14.99 per year for your household, which will allow you to scale recipe sizes up or down, import recipes from elsewhere, add prices and store notes for list items, and use on an Apple watch or computer. 

Download: AnyList

Credit: Target

2. Best Retailer App: Target Circle 

I use the Target Circle app every day (seriously), especially as a “I will not be making more than one stop” kind of shopper. It’s become my de facto list app, because I love the freedom of knowing I can get the widest selection of groceries, house supplies, and general miscellany (an instant camera! New leggings! That one random brand of canned wine I really like!) all through the app.

Plus, the Target Circle app will also let you know the aisle where items are located or if something on your list is out of stock at your selected store, so you know to maybe hit up another Target instead (or get it delivered/picked up later). On top of that, the Circle deals and coupons have saved me a bunch of clams all across the store (I got $20 in earnings just this week!), and are updated regularly enough that there’s always something to save on. Even if you don’t use its handy list function, it’s a free app that’ll serve up tailored-to-you coupons, and keep your receipts at the ready for any future returns or exchanges.

Download: Target Circle

Credit: Cozi

3. Best App for Families: Cozi Family Organizer

Want an app that’s built for the whole family to hang out on? That’s 100% the Cozi Family Organizer app, which syncs up your family’s schedule, emails reminders to you and your squad for upcoming events, and also lets you browse recipes. Through one account, a household can all join in (with their own log-ins) by adding to shared lists, meaning no one’s favorite chips (or that cake they need to bring to the office party) will be forgotten by accident.

Best of all, Cozi is a totally free app. Although the upgraded version (Cozi Gold, which is $29.99 a year) does have some perks (like zero ads and the ability to search for calendar events and add birthdays), the free app is pretty thorough as is and will let you import recipes from URLs (or add your own family recipe) if you want to try out something you saw on your favorite website or just your Uncle Bill’s crab dip.

Credit: Mealime

4. Best Meal Planning App: Mealime

As a decidedly more loosey-goosey shopper, meal planning is somewhat of an enigma for me. But Mealime’s app has me questioning if I should join Team Meal Plan at long last. Through the Mealime app, you can browse a curated list of scaleable recipes for the week that will then be imported into a handy grocery list (it will also alert you of any dietary preferences or allergens, if that’s of concern). Then, once you’re well-stocked, you can jump into cooking your meals, complete with instructions (and pretty appetizing photos, which I couldn’t say for some other apps I tested.)

And that’s all with a free app. Of course, there are more premium options you can add on later (for just $2.99 a month), that will allow you to import nutrition information to your Apple’s Health app, exclusive recipes, and the ability to add your own recipes and filters. 

Download: Mealime

Credit: New York Times

5. Best App for Recipes: New York Times Cooking

Much like the Target Circle App, I use this app every single week. It very personally helped me during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when I wanted to be more inspired in the kitchen and also indulge my wanderlust with recipes like Korean cheeseburgers with sesame cucumber pickles and sweet corn and ricotta sformato. While, yes, it is predominantly a recipe app, what makes the New York Times Cooking app ultimately super useful is the handy “Add to Your Grocery List” button (along with its easy-to-organize Recipe Box). That alone has changed my cooking game forever, knowing that I can take pieces of my aspirational recipe box and make it a reality with an editable grocery list, along with tips on how to substitute ingredients in the app.

Compared to the other apps that include recipes, the New York Times Cooking app has plentiful reviews (and a lively comment section), which is key for me — I love knowing that the groceries I do end up buying for my various cooking projects are going into a dish that is well-reviewed ahead of time. Plus, I’ve never seen a recipe earn any less than 4 stars, like ever? To me, that more than warrants the monthly subscription ($5 every 4 weeks for access to the Cooking section). 

Did your go-to grocery list app make the list? Tell us about it in the comments below.