The Grocery List

#vanlife .

For years we had a system for noting and buying groceries – a magnet held a grocery list on the refrigerator. Write whatever was wanted or needed on the grocery list and Mr Ram would buy it on Saturday morning. The system worked so well that even our kids’ friends figured out how to use it. Our son’s friend, Steve, would put grape jelly on the list and a week later it was in the cupboard.

When we moved into the van we discovered that our new fridge did not have a metal door – the list could not live on the fridge anymore. We could not find a spot that the list could just rest until it was needed.

Mrs Ram solved this by adding a note on her iPhone with the grocery items. Mr Ram was skeptical at first since he had usually shopped alone. However living in the van led to shopping nearly always being a team effort. Mrs Ram was there with the list.

However there were times that we went separate ways in the store or maybe even different stores in a shopping plaza. Those times Mr Ram would take a picture of the list with his Android phone. Later when he discovered the pictures were blurry, he would buy random food items like pork rinds, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Mrs Ram then had to figure out where to put these things while also figuring out what was missing.

We found another glitch when we landed in a condo or AirBnB for an extended stay. Suddenly that paper list was back out and Mr Ram was off to the store in the early hours of the morning without Mrs Ram iPhone notes.

Our recent solution is an app called Out of Milk. Available on iPhone and Android, either one of us can add to one, shared list or check things off. No paper list, no blurry pictures. We can shop both sides of Walmart and actually leave with everything we need and no duplicates or random items.

Of course with our organized, private list we are unlikely to have any surprises in our cupboard such as pork rinds or grape jelly.

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