AnyList: the perfect grocery and recipe app

After years of searching, we’ve finally found a grocery and recipe app that actually makes our lives easier.

Note: This is not a paid endorsement, I have absolutely nothing to gain by promoting this app. In fact, I pay them…I subscribe to AnyList Complete Family for $12/year.

We’ve bounced around between different grocery list and recipe-saving solutions for years, and none have been quite right. For the lists, we’ve tried innumerable “to do” style apps as well as our usual grocery store’s official app (Meijer). We’ve scattered recipes over Pinterest, Evernote, Google Drive, and probably some places I’ve forgotten about. I even bought a dedicated meal planning app one time that was supposed to merge all this together, but it tried to enforce a planning structure on us that just didn’t work, and it was buggy.

After all that, I somehow stumbled across AnyList, and it has completely solved all our problems. Here are just some of the things I like about it:

  1. Alexa integration. We have an Echo Show in our kitchen, and we use this feature constantly. Hands full of raw chicken but you just realized you’re out of butter? “Alexa, add butter to the grocery list.” So. Easy. Of course you can use Siri too. And you can setup/sync to Alexa as many lists as you like; we keep a packing list on here too for when we are getting ready for a trip.
  2. Sharing. My wife and I both setup our own accounts with AnyList, and then we just enter the other person’s email to share a list or recipe collection with them. It just works; it has never lagged, failed to sync, or created conflicts.
  3. Smart grouping. It tries to group grocery items together so when you’re in one part of the store, the stuff in that area is all on the same part of the list. It’s not perfect, but you can override what it guesses and tell it where to group things so it makes sense for your store.
  4. Recipe import. This is a biggie, for several reasons. This is an AnyList Complete feature, and this alone makes the Complete subscription worth it. We find recipes all over…,,, etc. When in your phone’s web browser and you’re on a recipe you like, you just “share” it to the AnyList app and it scrapes the recipe off the website and imports it into a nice, organized structure (with a picture too). This allows you to build up a collection of your favorite recipes (synced with your significant other) that is searchable, sortable, and is easy to read (so you don’t have to scroll past the life story on mommy’s food blog just to get to the recipe). And, right from each recipe, you can tap each ingredient to add it to your grocery list! It’s so easy and seamless.

Much of the basic features are usable for free (that’s how we started), but the really slick stuff — most notably the recipe import — is available with the Complete subscription for $7/year (individual) or $12/year (family). It is well worth it. In addition to the recipe import, you get things like the Apple Watch app, geofence alerts, store filtering, list item photos, budgets, and Meal Planning (none of which I’ve used yet, actually, but I’m going to try them out).

AnyList has definitely made our lives easier. If you need a grocery list or recipe storage app, check it out!

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