Grocery Shopping For Nerds

Posted on 12/02/2018 in misc

Photo of supermarket

Way back in the dot com boom of the early 2000s I wrote a business plan for a web app that would let you configure a shopping list to match your store layout. I was going to mine your list (data) to allow grocery companies to direct very personalized coupons to the user. Thinking about it now, I was about 12 years ahead of the market with that idea. Maybe that is why it didn't go anywhere.

The genesis of the idea was my personal shopping list, which back then, and still today, is a spreadsheet document organized to match the aisles in the store, so that everything we need is in the same order as our walk through the store, which reduces the time in the store quite a bit, and in theory makes it harder to miss things on the list. 80% of the stuff we buy in any given week is already on the list. In addition, I've got a menu list of the 45 odd meals we make regularly in the right column, which makes it super easy to get ideas about what to cook next week. And because we can't decide what grocery store we like best, I've got three documents, one each for Food Lion, Publix, and Kroger. Food Lion is the current store of choice, because it's less expensive, and because it doesn't have all the extra crap that the Kroger Superstore has, which makes it quicker to get through.

I've yet to use a grocery store shopping list app that is anywhere near as easy to use as my spreadsheet. And I've never seen anybody in a grocery store that appeared to have an organized list like that. This can't be that unique of an idea, can it? Somebody reading this please tell me you do the same thing, or something similar. I'm a nerd, but I'm not that much of a nerd. Organizing your shopping list to match the store aisle flow just seems like common sense to me.

This is entry #2 in my attempt at 31 days of blogging for December 2018. I've haven't posted here daily since about 2007, so this should be interesting.

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