Update How You Use Shopping Lists

Update How You Use Shopping Lists - USAA Member Community


Remember, the shopping list? That small piece of paper with 2-3 different authors, scribbles, cross outs and last minute additions that some person in your family was supposed to miraculously keep track of and, more importantly, know where to go to buy all of these items? It’s time to move over and let technology save you time and money.


  1. There’s An App for That. Installing an application (app) on your phone is the best place to start. There are numerous free list applications for both the Android and iOS phone operating systems that allow you to keep lists. When using a shopping list app, there are a number of best practices. First, set up a list for each of the stores that you go to on a regular basis. This way, your list gets categorized and sorted to the grocery store, department store, etc. Second, make sure that you use the store section part of the application for produce, dairy, meat, etc. This will ensure you don’t have to track back through the store.

  2. Share the List. Share access to the shopping list with your significant other and responsible older children. Sharing the list makes others besides you responsible for writing down items they need and updating the list. Also, in case another family member has to go to the store, everyone in the family that can shop has the most updated list with them on their mobile device.

  3. Use Your List to Find the Best Discounts. You can use coupons and store discounts to their maximum advantage by aligning your shopping needs with the available coupons and discounts. Looking at your list first and then coupons ensures you don’t take advantage of those “too-good-to-be-true” discounts.

  4. Stick to Your Budget. When you use a list, you ensure that you do not over or under buy to keep with your personal budget. An electronic list on your mobile device is a great way to maintain discipline to your personal budget because it is far too easy in a large store to purchase an unnecessary item. Purchasing only what is on your list is a great way to reinforce your budget.

  5. Remember that Last Minute Item. Last Thanksgiving, my wife was headed to the store and I was preparing the kitchen and checking ingredients for the next day. At the last minute, I noticed we were out of the Turkey roasting bags – a critical necessity to a great Turkey. I added it to the list before my wife was even at the store and another trip was avoided.

Keeping a family supplied with all of their various needs is time consuming, potentially frustrating, and can be costly. The use of an electronic list application for your mobile device allows you to share the list, ensure you take advantage of discounts, keep to your budget, and help manage the hectic last minute items. Have a . . . relaxed next trip to the store and leave the pen & paper at home!


Have some advice to add to this article? Share your thoughts below!


Chad Storlie is the author of two books: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. An adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.



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Angela Caban USAA
Blog Author
Blog Author

Hi AieJake,


Thank you for reaching out to us in Community. I have passed along your comment and will have a representative reach out shortly. Thank you.

Briana Hartzell USAA

Dear AieJake,

A representative attempted to contact you today and is awaiting a call back in hopes of providing a resolution. Thank you!

Occasional Visitor

 Is there a list of suggested apps for downloading on Grocery Shopping?  How do I find them?

Redeye tanker
I use Evernote, and Giant's store app. I prefer Evernote, but Giant interfaces with the weekly ad.
This is great information. How can I share this with others? I would like to send a link thru email &/ or post online.
Briana Hartzell USAA

Hi Blinstrot!

We are so glad you enjoyed chad's post! You can share by using the "share" button at the bottom of the post, which will will bring you to a page with options of what platform you would like to share on:


Or you can copy the URL and paste it into an email or whatever method you choose for sharing.


Thanks again for reading and for your feedback!

Great article! Thank you!
Excellent advice now that we have this technology. I remember the handwritten list with the price of each item as I was on very strict budget and all we had to communicate with was the pay telephone.
New Member
I hear you sonnona!