Sunday, November 16, 2008

Geeky Grocery Shopping, Round 2

Get fed! Feedburner's up and running for Long Live Geeks. Not that you couldn't get fed before, but now it's cooler :)

I just looked at the feed version of this post, and the example spreadsheets did not come through. They look great on the original version though.

Now for a different kind of feeding, we're revisiting the geeky grocery shopping method I discussed in an earlier post. This time with pictures!

As I mentioned before, Cyril (my husband) works in Pittsburgh, and we live about an hour a way. That makes stores that I'd like to shop at, such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods, much more convenient to him than to me on a regular basis. So we worked out a way for me to write effective (re: detailed) grocery lists, without a huge hassle. The result is a Google Docs spreadsheet which stores the master list and can easily be used to generate a current list.

Here's what the master list looks like:

We set up columns for each useful category. The critical column for creating current lists is the Quantity column. A formula in the second page uses that column to generate the current list. Any item with a quantity of 1 or greater automatically appears in the list. The current list also sorts by store1, so the items to purchase are in a big block for each store. I doubt everything would make it home if they were all mixed up :) Here's an example current list, with a list of stuff for Whole Foods:

If you would like to make your own geeky grocery list, you are welcome to start with mine as a template. A viewable copy may be found here. You do not need a Google account to view or export the spreadsheet. Unfortunately Google docs does not have a feature to let people copy a publically viewable spreadsheet to another Google doc, so you'd have to export it, then use the export to make your own Google spreadsheet. Just in case anything goes wrong, the only tricky part is the cell A2 on the current list. That's the one which has the function in it which pulls the items in from the master list. It looks like this:
=sort(filter('Master List'.A2:H100;'Master List'.G2:G100>0);5;TRUE)

If you want to make any changes, keep in mind that A2:H100 is the range in the master list which it will copy to the current list, but only when the cells in column G (of the master list) have a value greater than 0. If you need more than 100 items in your master list, change every "100" in that formula to 200, or something greater.

It is ingenious solutions such as this to common household problems which make me believe that one day geeks will rule the world! :)