Here’s an idea I’ve had for an AJAX web application for a while, but have never actually got around to implementing yet. It’s pretty simple. My hope is that someone makes something like this so I don’t have to. There’s a lot of other stuff I’m working on, and this seems so simple, yet so hard to get perfect because this is competing with pen and paper, and pen and paper isn’t THAT bad for making grocery lists.
What I’m looking for is an application which manages my grocery list. The main point of it, is to remember what I usually buy, and have that be the default list for the next time I go shopping. From there, I should be able to add/edit/delete items. I should be able to print the list and/or send it to my cell phone or PDA somehow. There… that’s the basics.
A few other non-essential features come to mind with this grocery list manager. When giving my grocery list to someone else so that they can shop for me, they will need to know specifically which items I prefer. For example, below is a mapping from what I should be able to type and what should show up on the other person’s list based on what I usually buy. If I have to type this in the first time, no big deal, its a one time thing unless you want to change something.
milk => 1 Gallon Skim Milk
deli meat => Plumrose brand sliced turkey and ham
salad => 2 bags of Dole Greener Selection salad
carrots => large bag of Bolthouse Farms Baby-Cut Carrots
cereal => Granola with rasins, Basic 4
pasta sauce => Ragu Super Chunky Mushroom
So, if an entire house (ours being an example with 7 guys) wants to put their lists up on the site, people won’t have to go shopping as much because when someone goes, they can just pull up everyone’s individual lists and buy everything. When it aggregates these lists it should be able to indicate who wants what in order to keep track of money if its not all coming from the pot.
I’m thinking that the grocery list should have categories organized similarly to how a real grocery store is organized so that when you go to the store, items near each other in the store are near each other on your list. It should be able to tell you which isles you need to go down and which you can skip, but this may require some information on the layout of the specific store. A map of the store itself and where you can find everything is another feature which may be useful.
Also, it would be nice if the list knew how often you needed things, and could suggest things based on when you actually need them. I suppose it could make intelligent guesses based on how often you put things on your list.