How about "favorites" for Reminders grocery lists?

I currently use AnyList for my shopping lists. It lets you mark an item as a “favorite,” so when you’re planning a shopping trip you can go down this list of favorites and just tap the ones do you want to add to your shopping list. I stand in the kitchen and let the favorites list prompt me to check what I actually have on hand. If I’m getting low on one of my favorites, I can add it to the shopping list with one tap.

You can also set a category for each item, and that’s how I set the section of the store where that item is on the shelves. I ordered those sections according to the actual path I take in Costco from the entry door to the exit door. Very efficient!

I’d like to duplicate this functionality with Reminders.

But it looks like every time I plan a shopping trip I have to manually build a new list from scratch. Or, I could make a template that contains all of my “favorites,” create a shopping list from that template, and then manually delete the things I DON’T want to buy. Am I missing something?

I could select the items I want from a favorites list, and tag them #buy, and make a smart list that displays those items. However, they won’t be sorted by the Store departments.

I can select items in one shopping list, and copy those items to another shopping list, but they paste into the “Other” subheading, rather than the one they were under in the original list.

I found many articles that tell you how to set up the new grocery lists in Reminders, but nothing about how to actually use them efficiently.


That app looks nice. I was wondering why you wanted to switch and then noticed there’s a subscription… You have the option to create a grocery-specific list in Reminders, but its useless IMO.

I am disappointed by your post (and similar ones from others). You give us two paragraphs telling us why the AnyList app is great and how it works well for you. But then you want to stop using it and switch to an app that can’t do all of those things. Is it because you are unwilling to pay for the value that AnyList gives you?

I use Reminders for a grocery list. I use it when I go grocery shopping, 2-3x/mo.

When we run out of an item, or are running low, I make a note in Reminders to buy it next time I’m at the grocery store. I search for the name of the item in Reminders, find it checked as completed from the last time I went shopping, and then uncheck the item.

Then just before I go to the grocery store, I survey the refrigerator, freezer and pantry shelves to see what we’re low on our out of, and update the list.

I have some items flagged as favorites in Reminder but honestly I never use that. The preceding steps work for me. However, if you’re looking for favorites, that’s one way to go. Another way would be to simply tag a favorite item as “favorite,” and then set up a smart list to find those.

I see your point. I’m just trying to simplify. Why maintain two apps if you can do what you need with just one?

I thought recent improvements in Reminders (along with Shortcuts, etc.) might let me eliminate another app. (and I’m barely using its full capabilities) Reminders may not be there, yet.


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I was just feeling some sympathy for a developer whose app was apparently doing everything right and you still wanted to switch away. No matter what I think, it is still your choice, of course.

Thanks for describing your process. I could check items to see if they’re running low, but I think I would sometimes miss things that are no longer there at all. (looking at the shelves to imagine what’s not there). That’s where I find a favorites list helpful.

I wonder… when you “complete” an item by checking it, it disappears from the list. Is it still part of that list, or is it just hidden in a way that would let you “un-complete” it?

Maybe you could go through a favorites list, checking off the items you want to buy (which would make them disappear) and then somehow reverse the all the items’ completed/uncompleted status. However, it doesn’t appear there’s anything in Shortcuts that could do that.

I use the Grocery List feature in reminders. I have a built a list over time of all the items I buy either weekly or occasionally. It is nice that it categorizes the items as you enter them. One feature that works well for me is the option not to hide items once selected. So basically I select the items in the list of things I need to buy. They will appear on the list with the selection button in blue. Then as I purchase them at the store, I select the item and the blue dot clears and the item stays on the master list. This way I don’t have to type in the list each week, just select the items I want. Just an idea.

I use an app called Grocery. It syncs with Reminders. So I can use Siri to add things to my list easily, and then when I go shopping and use the Grocery app everything is in there and sorted.


The latter. When I check the item, it seems to disappear from the list, but it’s just hidden. A week or two later, when I run out of that item, I search for it by name and uncheck it and it reappears on the list.

I tried that feature when it first became available, and instantly switched it off. I have my own categories: Shelf-stable, from the center of the supermarket; produce and bread, from the right side as you face the rear of the supermarket; then frozen on the left side.

I execute the list in that order, and I have aisle numbers written near most of my recurring items. Often, I sort items on the list in the order that I will pass them when walking the aisles.

High-speed grocery-shopping is my superpower. I should put it on my LinkedIn profile.

I use Reminders in this way, and have my list sorted automatically using the recently added Grocery List functionality. My solution for favorites is to just “Show Completed” temporarily and uncheck anything I might need again to add it back to my list. I generally buy the same things, so in this way, “Show Completed” serves as sort of a template or trigger list for what I might want to buy again.

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You can change the auto-suggested categories and rearrange them as well. It’s not always perfect but for the most part it works. I have my list arranged by custom sections of my local store as well.

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That trick never crossed my mind. Thanks for sharing!

I’ve used AnyList for the last 6 or so years with detours into trying to use the Grocery app and Reminders as a grocery list app. Both alternatives felt like there were too many compromises. I love AnyList, it’s one of the few apps I have for which I don’t mind the subscription charge.


That sounds like an excellent trick and I’m going to start doing it next time I go grocery shopping.

I lost a lot of weight years ago, and one of my techniques for keeping it off is I eat the same things most days—a dozen or so foods, from which I choose daily. Cottage cheese, cut-up-fruit, apples, oranges, Healthy Choice or Stouffers frozen dinners, oatmeal, dried fruit, etc. Makes shopping straightforward.

I think the option to not hide items once selected is exactly what I needed. I also see that selected items go to the bottom of the list, making it even easier when you’re in the store.

Thanks for your help!

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You’re welcome. Glad it helped you.

To be fair to @rbanks88, I don’t feel any obligation to buy or subscribe to an app just because it works well and has useful features. Even if someone is happy with an app they’re currently using, there’s nothing wrong with looking around to see if there’s a better or cheaper alternative.

I don’t have an unlimited app budget. Sometimes an app is great but overpriced, and sometimes a good enough alternative is good enough for me.

You have described exactly why I continue to use AnyList for reoccurring reminders. Yes, it is another app, but I use it very differently than the Reminders app. It’s worth every penny I pay the developer for my annual subscription. Another great use for AnyList is for a packing lists for travel. I have different types of travel listed (air, auto, with kids, camping, hotel, business/vacation, etc) all with different and re-usable lists.

If you take the time to set AnyList up properly, it syncs with Siri, and I’ve matched the list order in AnyList with the isles in the grocery store. This makes shopping a breeze, checking things off on my watch as I move through the store.

I was having difficulty getting Reminders to show up on my Apple Watch, but I got it working this morning, and I’m now low-key excited for my next supermarket run.

Normally, I don’t mind taking my phone out of my pocket—it’s easier than fiddling with the eensy weensy Apple Watch screen—but checking the iPhone a gazillion times at the supermarket can be a bit much.

This will EVEN FURTHER ENHANCE my supermarket speedrunning superpowers!

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