Is it going to be crowded? Am I forgetting anything? Was there a coupon for this? If you are anything like me, the last thing you want to do on your way home from work is go grocery shopping. Luckily, the app store offers an abundance of mobile applications that can help make your weekly grocery shopping more efficient and convenient.

Next time you are in the grocery store look around and you will probably notice that almost no one carries around a paper-based grocery list anymore. Recently, Purple Cover, Inc. created a lot of buzz with their new ‘AnyList’ app. More than just the basic ‘to-do app’, AnyList allows you to create lists that are easily categorized, and also gives you the ability to instantly update and share multiple lists with your family, roommates, etc.. And to top it all, AnyList can also provide you with recipes and corresponding ingredients that can be easily added to your shopping list! So, if you’re still one of those using a paper list, it might just be time to switch 🙂

Grocery stores are also jumping on this bandwagon, and are using mobile to enable what is starting to be termed as ‘virtual grocery shopping’. In Chicago for instance, the online shopping and delivery service is giving commuters the opportunity to do their grocery shopping at the State and Lake Station Tunnel, while they wait for their trains! Peapod has lined the walls of the station with larger-than-life grocery store shelves stocked with popular products. As if they were in a real grocery store, commuters can use their Smartphones to scan items, pay for them, and arrange for delivery, all while waiting for a train. What an incredible use of otherwise wasted time!

In a recent survey by Omnicom, sixty-five percent of the 3,500 shoppers in five global markets want to use their cell phones to find in-store promotions. When doing your weekly food shopping, not only can mobile apps help you save time, they can also help you save money. Kroger developed an app that lets their shoppers search for coupons while they are in the store. When shoppers check-out, they can use their Kroger app to access their Kroger rewards account and have those digital coupons automatically deducted from their tab. So, you won’t lose them, you won’t forget them, and you save the environment.

We’re really excited here at Smart Online with all the possibilities of not just grocery but other retail apps as well. It certainly looks like a bright future for all parties involved.

If you use any of these grocery apps, do share your experiences in the comments. How useful do you find them, what would you change about them, and so on.