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Grocery Gadget - Shopping App - Usage

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It is finally time to use Grocery Gadget to go shopping. Part 3 of this blog entry will describe setting up the Grocery Gadget program for use. This is where all of your hard work doing set up pays off. I have found Shopping List apps to be widely different in their flexibility and ease of use. If the program is frustrating to set up, you may never get around to using it. Now that I have Grocery Gadget set up the way I like, preparing a shopping list usually takes under 5 minutes. In case you missed them: PART 1 described the features of Grocery Gadget and PART 2 describes Setting the app up for first use. You might want to read those entries first to help you understand this entry.

It may feel like you took forever to get to the point where it is time to actually use this app for shopping. Trust me your hard work will soon be paid off. There are two tabs at the top of the screen used to create a shopping list. The first is the "Prepare" tab and the second is the ”Shop" tab. Below are the typical steps for shopping:


SHOPPING - Prepare Tab - Start:

To create the shopping list, you will go to the “Prepare” tab. Be sure you are in the right shopping list and in the right store. You’ll see a list of items that you have added for that store and that shopping list.


SHOPPING - Prepare Tab - Sorting:

There is an “Arrange” tab at the top that allows you to sort the list three ways:

  • “Alphabetically”: Sorts the list alphabetically by item name
  • By “Category”: Sorts the list using the Categories that you created and assigned to each item. This can really speed up preparing the list.
  • “Manually”: Arranges the list using the order you added the items to the list. I don't use this very often. One time I do use it is when I have scanned some items barcodes at the store and wish to clean up the entry once I get back home. I sort the list manually and the new items are down at the bottom. I can then go in and edit them to use my naming convention and add any missing information.

SHOPPING - Prepare Tab - Finding Items:
There are three ways to find items on the list.
  • Scrolling: The most basic way to find an item, is to simply scroll list up or down until you find the item in question. For long lists this is not really practical for adding a lot of items fast.
  • Jump to: The next way is to jump to the part of the list you need using some navigation aids that appear on the right-hand side of the list. If you are sorting “Alphabetically” the letters of the alphabet will appear vertically running down the right side of the list. Tapping on one of these letters will jump you directly to that part of the list. The same is true when sorting by “Categories” except two letters appear representing the first two letters of some of the categories.
  • Search: Lastly, there is a search field just about the list where you can enter some of the letters for the term you are searching for and the results will appear below.


SHOPPING - Prepare Tab - Adding Items:

To the left of the name of items on list is a quantity toggle which has a green “+” to the right and a red “-“ to the left of a counter residing in between them. Tapping on the green “+” advances the counter by 1 digit per tap. Any item with a quantity greater than 0 will be added to the shopping list. You can also adjust the quantity once the item is on the shopping list, But you must at least set it to 1 to get an item to appear on the shopping list. Tapping on the red “-“ reduces the counter by a quantity of 1 for each tap. If you accidentally tapped the “+” for an item, or simply no longer wish to use this item on this list, tap the “-“ sign until the counter reads zero again. Any item set to zero will not be added to the shopping list.


If you press “-“ the sign when the counter is set to zero the red “-“ sign will rotate 90 degrees so that is in the vertical position “l” and a “Delete” button will appear on the right side of that line item. If you wish to delete the item, tap on the “Delete” button. If you did this by mistake, tap the green “+” sign and the counter will reset to zero and the “Delete” button will disappear.


SHOPPING - Prepare Tab - Adding Items - Find Results List: After performing a search, you will be presented with a list of one or more items meeting your search criteria. These items will have a round check box next to them. You can check one or more of these items to select them. Below the list of found items is the text: “Add Item >” which you can use to add the selected item(s) to the shopping list. You can also use the plus button to add a new item, should your search come up empty. The name you unsuccessfully search for will be entered into the “Name” field of the new item you just created.


SHOPPING - Prepare - Adding / Removing Items - Reset Menu:

At the top of the screen you'll find a tab call “Reset”. Tapping this button brings down a sheet with three choices:

  • “Set all items to 0”: You can use this if you started creating a shopping list and change your mind and wish to clear all of the items. It also works if you have several items brought up in the search field that had their quantities set to 1.
  • “Set all items to 1”: You can also use this to set the entire contents of the list to 1. This will add every item to the shopping list. Another use for this menu item is if you have several items in your search results field hey you want to add them all to the shopping list. Using this command will set all the search results to 1 and therefore they will appear on the shopping list.
  • "Empty the List”: The third and last choice on the "Reset Menu” is "Empty the List”. If this one sounds a bit scary, that's because it is. This command will remove every single item from this particular list. If you hit it by mistake, don't worry. A sheet comes down with an explanation and a warning. Simply tap anywhere on the screen outside of the sheet itself and the sheet will disappear.

SHOPPING - Shop Tab - Before Going to the Store:
Once you're done adding items to your shopping list, tap on the “Shop” tab at the top of your screen. Make sure the right shopping list for the right store is listed in the left sidebar. Be sure all of the items you want to buy are on the shopping list in and the quantities and amounts are set correctly.

SHOPPING - Shop Tab - At the Store:
Launch the app and at this point I usually put the rotation lock on so this screen stays in the horizontal orientation like I want. Sometimes a quick move with the shopping cart will cause the iPad’s interface to rotate into portrait mode. Make sure the "Shop" tab is selected at the top of the screen. Be sure you have the correct shopping list and store selected in the sidebar on the left-hand side. You should see your shopping list sorted one of three ways.

SHOPPING - Shop Tab - Notifications:
If you plan on relying on either notifications or tag team shopping where two devices need to be in synch with on another be sure you have a WiFi or cellular data connection at the market. I try to stay off of public WiFi networks, but my iPad has cellular data which is what I use out in public. Either way check your connectivity status so you know what you can and cannot do with the program.


SHOPPING - Shop Tab - Sorting the List:

There are several ways to sort the list. Tapping on the “Arrange” tab present you with a menu of four items and five choices.

  • “As Checked-off”: The items are presented in a list which seems to be alphabetical by aisle although no aisle headers are shown. When you buy an item and check it off, the checked item drops to the very bottom of the list and the rest of the list moves up on the screen.
  • “Alphabetically”: The entire list is presented alphabetically. Items that are checked off remain in the same spot on screen after being checked.
  • “By Aisle - ABC”: The items are arranged alphabetically within the Aisle they are found on. Items that are checked off remain in the same spot on screen after being checked.
  • “By Aisle - Check-off”: The items are arranged alphabetically within the Aisle they are found on. Items that are checked off move to the bottom of the list within that particular aisle.
  • “Like Manually Ordered” Use this sorting if you created a list where you manually ordered the items on the list in the order you wished to shop for them. Checked off items moved to the bottom of the list.

SHOPPING - Shop Tab - Checking Off Items:
To the right of all items on the shopping list is a circular checkbox. This checkbox has three states:
  • “To Buy”: This is the default state for all items added to a shopping list. You have yet to buy them.
  • “Bought”: Tapping the checkbox once will place a green checkmark in the box. Depending on your arrange options, bought items may move to the bottom of the list.
  • “Skip”: Tapping the checkbox twice, or tapping any item shown as “Bought” once will put a red “X” in the checkbox and the status means “Skip”. This item will remain on the list, But the red “X” tells you you were unable to buy it at the store at this time.


SHOPPING - Shop Tab - Checkout Tab:

The final tab at the top of the screen is the “Checkout” Tab which affects what happens to the items on the Shopping List. There are 3 choices:

  • “Shopping Done”: Removes any items checked off as “Bought” from the list. Items designated as “To Buy” or “Skip” remain on the list. The items designated as “Skip” have their red “X” removed and revert to the “To Buy” status. This is what you use for a shopping list that changes from week to week.
  • “Clear All Checkmarks”: Changes all items to the “To Buy” status by removing the checkmarks from “Bought” items. It also removes the red “X” from items designated as “Skip”. This is what you use for a shopping list that remains the same from week to week. There is no sense removing and re-populating the list with the same items every week.
  • “Delete Bought Items” Once again there is a scary choice in this menu. This menu item not only removes the items from the shopping list, it removes them from the program entirely. They will no longer appear on the Master list of favorites for that shopping list. You are given a warning of what this choice means. To cancel this choice, simply tap anywhere on the screen outside of the sheet itself and the sheet will disappear.

So there you have it. It took me a little while to adjust from Groceries, my former software, to Grocery Gadget. I almost had to force myself to use it, I knew it behaved differently than what I was used to. It was a bit of slow going at first, but I soon got the hang of it. After a year of using it I really have come to like and depend on it. As proof of that, Grocery Gadget will be the Number 1 Cooking related iPhone/iPad app in the yearly retrospective blog I will be posting soon. I know from my own experience that shopping list apps can be a very personal decision. If they don’t work the way you like to think, you will never be happy with the app. Also there is going to be sometime involved in getting the shopping list set up and populated with the items you regularly use. Be patient, it is worth the effort if this is an app you will be using going forward. If the app is too hard to work with after is set up, you are less likely to use it and will have wasted a lot of time for nothing. Fortunately you can download the Basic version which is missing a few of the more advanced features and has a limit of 20 items per list or the free version which is fully featured but has banner ads. You can try out the app and if you like it you can do in app purchase to upgrade it to the full version for $2.99. The link to the developers website is listed below.

Here are links to the other two blog entries in this series about Grocery Gadget. There are also links to the Developer’s website and the user guide for the iOS 7 version of Grocery Gadget.

   GROCERY GADGET - SHOPPING APP - SET UP 2014 Blog Entry about setting up tp create a Shopping Lists in the Grocery Gadgets app.
  GROCERY GADGET - SHOPPING APP - FEATURES 2014 Blog Entry about the Features of the Shopping List app I have been using for the last year or so: Grocery Gadgets.

  GROCERY GADGET QUICK GUIDE - iPHONE / iPOD TOUCH VERSION Although this is iOS 7 Version, it will give you an idea of the features of the program, how to set them up and how you use them.


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