When I first got my iPhone, I was completely enamored with all the interesting apps I could download. It seemed like stepping into the world of smartphones opened up a floodgate of new possibilities. One of the more unique applications I stumbled upon was Grocery iQ, which is a free online grocery list you can sync from any device with an Internet connection. So why should you ditch the tried and trusted pen and paper grocery list (or use a simple note-taking app) for Grocery iQ? Read on to find out!

Platform Availability: Web App, iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, and Android

Cost: It’s free! Create an account here! Download the mobile apps here!

What it is: Grocery iQ is an online grocery list that syncs across popular mobile devices. Bring your grocery list into the 21st century!

What it Does: After creating a free Grocery iQ account, set up a list of all the grocery stores/markets you frequent, then set up a list of favorite items you typically buy. After adding items to your list, you check them off one by one on your mobile device while shopping. When done, hit the checkout button to clear all your checked-off items, and empty your list for your next shopping trip.

Features: Barcode Scanning – To make things even easier for you, the Grocery iQ mobile apps feature barcode scanning so you 1) don’t have to type out anything and 2) get the exact product (with brand, quantity, etc.) entered into your list.

Store and Aisle Filtering – To help make your shopping more efficient, Grocery iQ allows you to set up lists based on store and also based on sections/aisles within the store. When you’re actually doing your shopping, you can organize your list based on aisle so you can snake through markets as efficiently as possible.

Price Tracking – You can enter in price data for each item you buy to see if that can of beans on sale this week is actually a good deal. Save more money!

Integrated Coupons – A while back, Grocery iQ teamed up with Coupons.com to offer many, many coupons accessible right from the app. While the coupons usually aren’t relevant to what you’re buying, I’ve usually found one or two coupons I can use per trip. Unfortunately, you still have to print them out ahead of time before you go shopping.

The Competition: Many other grocery list apps I found were mobile-specific and didn’t feature online syncing or editing via your computer’s browser. However, there was one app that stood out to me.

Grocery Gadget – Price varies depending on platform ($0.99-$3.99) – iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, and Windows Phone

Why the Featured App is Best: Beyond the fact that Grocery iQ is absolutely free on all fronts (browser and mobile), both these apps/services are very, very similar. I prefer Grocery iQ to Grocery Gadget because iQ has a much better looking interface that’s also easier to use, both on the web and mobile devices.

Summary: Grocery iQ is a great app/service that brings 21st century technology to the age-old necessity of buying groceries. Randomly remember you need tortillas for quesadillas while you’re in lecture? Log on to Grocery iQ from your laptop and put it on your list! Step out of the Stone Age, and start saving more time and money with your digital shopping list!

What do you think of Grocery iQ? Is this shopping list app overkill? Let us know in the comments!