Frequently Asked Questions
- General questions
- What problem does OurGroceries solve?
- How much does OurGroceries cost?
- Can I pay to get rid of the ads?
- Must I purchase an upgrade for each device I own?
- What devices is OurGroceries available for?
- Will you make a version for Microsoft Windows Phone?
- How do I get OurGroceries?
- How do I change my master email address?
- Do I have to type in the full grocery item name each time?
- How do I delete an item from the master list?
- Can OurGroceries keep track of multiple shopping lists?
- Can OurGroceries keep track of recipes?
- How do I rename or delete a shopping list or recipe?
- Does OurGroceries allow you to change the order of items in the list or categorize them?
- Can OurGroceries keep a backup of my grocery list in case my phone crashes?
- I accidentally crossed an item off the list. Can I undo that to bring the item back?
- How can I move an item to a different list?
- What are stars for?
- How do I get rid of the number on the corner of the app icon on my home screen?
- Can I add items to OurGroceries using my Amazon Echo (Alexa)?
- Can I create home screen shortcuts and widgets on Android?
- I’m having problems running OurGroceries on my BlackBerry.
- My partner and I installed OurGroceries. Why are we seeing different lists?
- Where is the menu button on Android?
- Why are the website’s shopping lists different from those on my mobile phone?
- I followed the instructions. Why didn’t I receive a confirmation email?
- How do I stop sharing the list with my partner?
- How do I transfer my lists to my new phone?
- I cross off items by accident at the store.
What problem does OurGroceries solve?
OurGroceries lets you keep a single set of grocery lists for your family or household. Everyone can edit these lists on their mobile phone or web browser. Whenever anyone modifies a list, everyone else sees the changes right away.
For example, you might be at work and remember that you’re out of coffee. You use the OurGroceries application on your mobile phone to add it to the list. If your partner happens to go to the store later that day, they’ll see the new item on their mobile phone and pick up some coffee. Once they do so, they can cross it off the list and it will be crossed off on your list too—automatically.
How much does OurGroceries cost?
OurGroceries is free! We show unobtrusive ads at the top of the screen to help pay for development costs.
Can I pay to get rid of the ads?
You can get rid of the ads and support development of OurGroceries by upgrading to OurGroceries+:
- On iPhone this is an in-app purchase. Run OurGroceries, go to “Settings”, and select “Turn Off Ads”.
- On Android this is a separate app, called “OurGroceries Key”, that you install. The Key has no interface. Its existence on your phone causes OurGroceries to stop showing ads. To install the Key, run OurGroceries, pop up the menu, select “Settings”, and select “Turn Off Ads”.
Upgrading also unlocks premium features:
- You can add photos to items to make sure that your partner gets exactly the item you have in mind.
- On the Android app you add items by scanning their barcodes (UPC). Learn more about barcode scanning.
Must I purchase an upgrade for each device I own?
The upgrade (see previous question) is associated with the iTunes or Google account you use to buy it. If two devices uses the same iTunes account or the same Google account, the second purchase will be free. If the second purchase is on a phone with a different account, then it must be paid for again. This is the way all apps work in mobile app stores. Unfortunately Apple and Google force us to work this way; they don't permit us to share the upgrade across devices or accounts.
Note that Apple Family Sharing does not apply to in-app purchases, so it cannot be used to share an OurGroceries upgrade.
What devices is OurGroceries available for?
OurGroceries is available for the following devices:
- iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod touch® running iOS 6.0 or newer.
- Any Android™-powered device running Android version 2.3 or newer.
- Most PC web browsers (try it now!).
Visit our download page to download OurGroceries.
Will you make a version for Microsoft Windows Phone?
While we do not currently support Windows Phone devices, we are watching the market share numbers. When the mobile platform becomes popular enough, we will likely create an OurGroceries app for it.
How do I get OurGroceries?
How do I change my master email address?
If your personal email address has changed and you want to use your new email address in OurGroceries, go to the Settings screen on the OurGroceries mobile application, pick List Sharing, and enter your new email address. You’ll receive a confirmation email from us with a link, and you should click on that link.
A new account will be created and it will include all of your existing lists. If you’re using OurGroceries to share lists between several mobile devices, do the above on all devices. After having done that, use your new email address when signing in to the website. You’ll have to set your password again there, because that’s not copied from your old account. Your old account won’t be deleted, but will be dormant.
If you no longer have access to your old email address, and none of your existing devices have the OurGroceries app with your lists on them, then contact us and we will perform the process for you.
Do I have to type in the full grocery item name each time?
No, OurGroceries keeps track of the items you’ve entered before and lets you search through them when adding an item. If there’s an item you want to remove from this list, tap the gray “×” to the right of the item name to delete it. OurGroceries automatically shows you the best matches as you type an item’s name, so you’ll rarely have to type more than the first letter or two.
How do I delete an item from the master list?
The master list (the list of all the items you’ve ever entered; see previous question) is displayed when you add an item to a grocery list. If there’s an item that you want removed from the master list, tap the “×” icon at the right of the row.
Can OurGroceries keep track of multiple shopping lists?
Yes! You can have one list for each store (Safeway, Costco, Home Depot), one list for each type of store (hardware store, drugstore, butcher), and even lists for things not related to shopping (to do, questions for the pediatrician). All lists are shared amongst household members and are updated automatically within seconds.
Can OurGroceries keep track of recipes?
Yes! You can keep track of recipes that you prepare often, along with their main ingredients. You can use this list to inspire you next time you have to make a dinner decision and can’t remember which dishes you haven’t made in a while. The recipes don’t include minor ingredients (such as water or salt)—just the key ingredients, so that you can quickly check which ones you already have and easily add the rest to your grocery list.
You can also keep track of the recipe instructions in the recipe notes field. That’s also a good place to put a link back to a recipe web page, if you found the recipe online.
How do I rename or delete a shopping list or recipe?
On iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch: While on the top-level list of lists, tap the information icon at the right of the list you want to rename or delete.
On Android: While in the shopping list or recipe itself, tap the menu button. The menu contains options to rename or delete the list.
Does OurGroceries allow you to change the order of items in the list or categorize them?
Yes! You can drag items around your shopping lists to change their order. You can also create categories or aisles and drag items into them to make shopping faster and easier. OurGroceries will remember the order and categories of items so that next time you create a shopping list the items will already be in the order you like to walk through the store.
Can OurGroceries keep a backup of my grocery list in case my phone crashes?
Yes! OurGroceries keeps your lists backed up on our servers as part of its ability to share lists between the members of your household. In order to make use of this feature, you’ll need to enter your email address in the List Sharing section of the Settings screen, and then click through on the confirmation email that you’ll receive. As long as your phone can get an Internet connection (occasionally) when you’re using OurGroceries, it will keep the lists backed up.
Later, if your phone crashes, or you buy a new one, or upgrade to another phone, you can just install OurGroceries, enter the same email address in the List Sharing section of the Settings screen, click through on the confirmation email you’ll receive, and your lists and items will be automatically restored from our servers.
I accidentally crossed an item off the list. Can I undo that to bring the item back?
There’s no undo mechanism, but the crossed-off items are ordered so that the most recently crossed-off items are at the bottom. You can scroll to the bottom of the list and tap the item to bring it back to the list.
If this is a frequent problem, you can make it harder to cross items off.
How can I move an item to a different list?
Tap the information icon at the right of the item you want to move. This will show the item details screen, where you can rename the item, change its quantities, delete it, change its category, add a photo, and move it to a different list.
What are stars for?
You can “star” individual items in your shopping list or recipe. To star an item, visit its detail page by tapping the “i” in the circle at the right of the item label, then tap the star button. To unstar an item, tap its star button again.
A starred item will show a yellow star in the list. These stars have no other effect—they’re purely visual. You can use them for whatever you want. For example, a star might indicate that you have a coupon for this item, or that this item is urgently needed, or that a particular person is responsible for buying this item.
How do I get rid of the number on the corner of the app icon on my home screen?
This number is called a “badge”:
To hide it, launch the iOS Settings app. Its icon looks like this:
Scroll down and tap on “OurGroceries”, then tap “Notifications”, then turn off “Badge App Icon”.
Can I add items to OurGroceries using my Amazon Echo (Alexa)?
If you own an Amazon Echo, or any Alexa-enabled device, you can ask it to add items to your OurGroceries shopping lists using your voice. To make this possible, follow these steps:
- You’ll need your OurGroceries master email address and password. If you don’t have a password, create one first.
- Launch the Alexa app on your mobile phone, open the menu on the left, tap “Skills”, then search for “OurGroceries”. Tap the “Enable” button to enable the skill.
- The Alexa app will ask for your OurGroceries master email address and password. This information will go straight to OurGroceries. Alexa will not know your password, and your information will be transmitted securely to us. Enter the information from step 1 and tap “Sign In”.
You can then speak phrases like:
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries to add milk to shopping list.”
- “Alexa, tell OurGroceries to add olive oil to Walmart.”
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries what are my lists.”
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries what is on the groceries list.”
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries if milk is on Safeway list.”
- “Alexa, tell OurGroceries to remove milk from groceries.”
If there’s a shopping list you use the most, you can make it your default list:
- “Alexa, tell OurGroceries to set my default list to Safeway.”
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries what is my default list.”
You can then omit the list name if you’re changing that list:
- “Alexa, ask OurGroceries to add milk.”
- “Alexa, tell OurGroceries to remove milk.”
If you’re having trouble adding items to OurGroceries using Alexa, check a few things:
- Be sure that the OurGroceries skill is properly installed in your Alexa account. Use the Alexa app on your phone to check your list of installed skills. (Tap “Skills” in the menu on the left, then select “Your Skills” in the “Refine” menu.)
- If you have multiple profiles on your Alexa device, be sure that the active profile is the one you installed the skill on. It’s easiest to install the OurGroceries skill on all your profiles.
- Be sure to include the “ask OurGroceries” phrase when speaking, or Alexa will think that you’re adding an item to its built-in shopping list.
If there’s a request that the skill didn’t understand, please contact us and let us know what it was. We’d love to hear how our voice interface can be more useful to you.
To remove your Alexa device from your OurGroceries account, visit your Settings page, scroll down to find the list of devices on your account, find the one called “Amazon Alexa”, and click the gray X to the right of it.
Can I create home screen shortcuts and widgets on Android?
To create a home screen shortcut, go to a shopping list or recipe, open the menu, and tap “Create shortcut”. You’ll be given the option of creating a shortcut that goes straight to your shopping list or recipe, or creating one that goes to the “Add an item” screen for that shopping list or recipe. To delete a shortcut, long-tap it and drag it to the “Remove” label at the top of the home screen.
To create a widget, long-tap your home screen, choose “Widgets”, and scroll down to find “OurGroceries” (or “Shopping List” on some devices). Long-tap the widget and drag it wherever you’d like on your home screen. If you have multiple shopping lists, you’ll be asked which one you want to show. You can long-tap the widget to change its size. Tap items to cross them off, tap the name of the list in the header to jump straight to the list, and tap the plus (+) sign in the header to add an item. To delete a widget, long-tap it and drag it to the “Remove” label at the top of the home screen.
Can I import or export my lists and items?
You can import lists on our website by using the “Import Items” button at the top of a shopping list or recipe. The file should be a plain text file with one item per line:
milk eggs bread
OurGroceries will also automatically detect if the file is a CSV file that was exported from Out of Milk, and properly import the quantities, units, barcodes, and categories. (You cannot import an arbitrary CSV file—only one exported by Out of Milk.)
There’s currently no way to export lists, but as a work-around you can email yourself a shopping list or recipe.
Can OurGroceries add items by scanning barcodes?
We currently support barcode scanning on the Android app as a premium feature. Learn more about upgrading. Note that our product database is rather U.S.-centric. Before upgrading, test this feature to make sure that we have the products you regularly use. Tap the barcode (UPC) icon in the upper-right of the shopping list and scan a barcode. OurGroceries will tell you what it thinks the item is.
Can OurGroceries keep track of prices?
We’ve had several requests for price tracking, and it’s on our list of features to add in a future update.
Can I keep some lists private?
We’ve had several requests for keeping some lists private, and it’s on our list of features to add in a future update.
I’m having problems running OurGroceries on my BlackBerry.
Sorry, we no longer support the BlackBerry platform or make OurGroceries available on the BlackBerry World app store. You can install OurGroceries on BlackBerry 10 by first installing the Amazon Appstore app, and from there installing OurGroceries, but we do not provide support for OurGroceries when installed this way. Note that if you purchase the OurGroceries Key through the Snap app, it may not work once installed and it may not remove the ads in the OurGroceries app. We are not responsible for any purchase made on the BlackBerry platform.
My partner and I installed OurGroceries. Why are we seeing different lists?
You must associate the two phones together. To do this, go to the List Sharing section of the Settings screen:
- On iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, return to the main lists screen (tap the Lists button in the upper-left corner), and then press the gears button. Then choose “List sharing”.
- On Android, press the menu button, and select Settings. Then choose “List sharing”.
Once you’re at the List Sharing screen, enter your email address, and press Send. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a link. (Check your spam or bulk email folder for the confirmation email, as these types of automated emails are often mis-classified as spam.) Click on the link in the confirmation email to associate your mobile device with that email address.
Then, on your partner’s device, do the same thing, still using your own email address. You must use the same email address for both phones. By associating both phones with the same email address you link them up, causing the lists to become synchronized. If you both already had items on your lists, they will be merged to create new shared lists.
Why are the website’s shopping lists different from those on my mobile phone?
You must associate OurGroceries on your mobile phone with your web account:
- If you’ve already entered an email address into OurGroceries on your mobile phone (e.g., to share with your partner’s phone), then you must enter that same email address when signing in to “Your Lists” on the web site.
- If you’ve never entered an email address into OurGroceries on your phone, then set up List Sharing now using the same email address that you used on the web. See above for instructions.
Remember to use the same email address for all your mobile devices and for the web interface. It’s what ties them all together and lets them synchronize with one another.
I followed the instructions. Why didn’t I receive a confirmation email?
These types of automated emails often get mis-classified as spam. We’ve seen problems with both Yahoo and Hotmail. Check your spam folder for the confirmation email.
Also, double-check the spelling of the email address you entered in OurGroceries. It’s easy to get one letter wrong, such as “gmail.con” instead of “gmail.com”.
Sometimes the Yahoo bulk-email folder is configured to delete spam immediately. If your spam folder is empty, do the following: Click “Options” in the upper-right, then “Mail Options” in the drop-down menu, then “Spam” in the left-hand pane. Look at the “Empty Spam folder” option. Make sure it’s set to anything other than “immediately”, then click “Save Changes” at the top. You’ll need to ask OurGroceries to send you the confirmation email again (see next paragraph).
To send the confirmation email again, launch OurGroceries, go to the Settings screen, and press the Send button.
How do I stop sharing the list with my partner?
Either of you can go to the List Sharing section of the Settings screen (see above answer) and blank out the email address, then press the Send button. You will both keep any existing items and shopping lists, as well as recipes you may have created, but the lists will no longer be synchronized.
If you’re not in a position to ask your former partner to change their OurGroceries settings, then visit the settings page on our website. From there you can see the list of devices in your account and remove the ones you no longer want to synchronize with.
How do I transfer my lists to my new phone?
First, be sure that your old phone (the one with OurGroceries installed and your lists on it) is signed in to your OurGroceries account. Do this by launching OurGroceries, going to Settings, then List sharing. If you see “You are not currently sharing grocery lists,” then enter your email address. You’ll get an email at that address, and you must click the link in the email to confirm that you want this email address associated with your lists. Verify on the app’s List sharing screen that your email has been accepted.
Then, on your new phone, repeat the above procedure with the same email address.
As a bonus, now that your email address is associated with your lists, you can use our website’s Your Lists section to view and modify your lists!
I cross off items by accident at the store.
On Android, bring up the menu (the button with three vertical dots), tap Settings, then find Cross-off action. You can choose Long press to make it harder to cross items off.
On iPhone, bring up the settings page (the button with gears), then find Cross-off Action. You can choose Swipe to make it harder to cross items off.
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