How Are You Using To Do for Shopping Lists?

Copper Contributor



I am using To Do a whole lot in the last month as a family shopping list. We used to use different tools - Wunderlist, Trello and Google Keep, but with the beginning of the Corona crisis, the four of us (two adults, two teenagers) needed something that we could use in sync, to minimize shopping trips and limit the potential Covid-19 exposure. And since the looming shutdown of Wunderlist, we settled on Microsoft To Do. 


The main need - to synchronize across all our devices is met with Microsoft To Do, but some shortcomings are there as well: 

  • there are no "categories" for todo list items - no apparent way to group (or sort) the items in a way that they are found in the physical world (e.g. vegetables, canned stuff, frozen, etc.)
  • we use a "check before" list, before leaving the house to check on the fill stand of the items that should always be there (salt, oil, soap, etc) and add items to the "main" shopping list as necessary
  • there is a possibility to add "sub-tasks" (like for specific shops), but there is no way to drag out sub-tasks in and out of those lists, and if you complete those sub-tasks they are not sorted down like in the main list, and it can become quite crowded in there fast. 

So we are using mainly one shared list and add items to it according to our meal plan (that we keep in Trello). 

I would be interested to know, how others are tracking their shopping lists, there are sure more ways to do it - I already saw someone who would preface every item on the list with a code (F for Frozen for Example), so that the list could be sorted alphabetically, but turned out to be categorized. 


6 Replies
exact same question. I use MSFT todo, planner, outlook, etc and you would think there would be a post or tool for managing a shopping list, something everyone has to do!


Hi, I actually use google for my shopping list (Liste de courses Google).

Advantage, it can be shared with my family and on mobile it also shows an image for the most of the articles to buy.

I was wondering if MS has such a solution. 

If you found something, don't hesitate to share :)




We too had to say good bye to wunderlist and move to ToDo. I realise this groceries isn’t everyone’s requirement but the features needed for groceries would really add value to the rest of ToDo.

I’d love to see an auto-complete filtering option where as you type a new task the app (I’m using iOS) shows a small list of any matching completed tasks that you could simply uncheck rather that adding a new task. This would avoid duplicates in the completed list and having to scroll through a huge list of completed grocery items. Basically I’m after the ability to quickly search a large completed tasks list.
Has anyone found this functionality?
I’m not fussed about images, but I’m sure this could be linked to a grocery icon library. Colour coding by a category (e.g. diary, fruit/veg would be useful)


I tried using ToDo a while back but it was too generic to be useful.  Sorry can't assist with ToDo kung fu!

I did, however end up with an amazing app called OurGroceries that just works perfectly.  It has a free version and does real, bullet-time sync so if wife's in the store and I add something to the list (or vice versa) it shows up.  Multiple lists for different stores, list sharing (of course), robust options for sorting and how to "cross-off" items, notes and "star" feature for each item and you can even take a picture of your item and a little thumbnail will show that you can click on and get the big pic.  Really well designed shopping app I gotta say.  I'm not affiliated with them in any way, just a big fan of stuff that just works well (as a computer geek).  Sorry MS ToDo, maybe someone will document how to configure you to do this as well?  Would love to have one less app.



What we have done that addresses some of your concerns is that I use a single To Do for a recipe and then use Steps to ID the things that we need to get to make that recipe.  I then use the Favorite flag to move things to the top of the list when needed.



I don't mark the task as complete until everything is completed.


I don't do meal planning, but if I were to do so, then I could use a Planner Board and have those appear in the To Do App when they are assigned to someone.  Alternately I could see a process where you create your meals in Planner and then use a Flow to read the meals from Planner and then aggregate the items that you need to purchase from those tasks and create a purchase list in To Do which you can then use at the store with each item you need to buy listed once.  The interesting approach there would be that if you wanted to make say French Bread Pizza, and also say Pepperoni rolls each Planner card would have Pepperoni and thus it would add it twice to your To Do list.  You could use a lookup list in SPO to organize it with departments at the store so you can organize your list in the sequence you work through the store.  that is a lot of work, but it would be cool.  I could even see using a lookup table to add the aisle for each item once you know it.