WychList: a New Shopping List iPhone App

Last Week's Blog > "Comer Children's Hospital at The University of Chicago"

This week I've decided to deviate from Atia's leukemia story because something quite exciting has happened and I HAVE to share it...

My husband has just launched a brand new shopping list iPhone application (app) called, WychList.


Get it? It's a play on our last name - like, which shopping list should I reference: Target, Jewel, Dominick's? Clever, huh? Or, as my girlfriend said today, kinda like "wish list."

It doesn't matter how you imagine it. WychList is awesome!

WychList is a shopping list app designed to create and manage lists using new bar code scanning technology. Not only does it simplify how you build your shopping list, but it tracks the price of the items you buy.

Steve developed WychList because we were always struggling to remember what price, on which item, at what store was the lowest. Our frustration escalated when we had kids. Baby supplies are SO EXPENSIVE, like diapers, formula and wipes. We were always trying to be conscious about how much we spent, but no matter what we did, we always ended up over budget.

Baby diapers got us every time! The packaging is so deceiving. You find that the same exact brand, same exact size, same exact look comes in so many DIFFERENT quantities (100 diapers in a pack, 140 diapers in a pack - who can keep it straight?). I always thought I was being so savvy, only to find upon returning home, that I'd just spent more on a smaller pack than I had on a larger pack the week or month before.


During one extremely aggravating shopping trip Steve said, "Jeez, I wish there was a way that we could just keep track of the EXACT products we purchase and the EXACT price we pay at the EXACT store we buy it.

And thus, the idea for WychList was conceived...

Unfortunately, creating WychList took much longer than anticipated. When Atia got sick, all development ceased (for quite some time). That's why this release is especially significant to our family. It represents the fact that Atia's well enough for us to begin "living and focusing" on activities outside of her medical needs.

So, how does WychList work?

Well, you simply scan the bar code from a product you wish to purchase. Once scanned, information about that product is downloaded (if available) and saved to your personal inventory, which you can then edit and categorize. As you shop and check products off your list, you can enter the price for future reference. The lowest price captured is then compared to today's price entered - the difference is calculated - showing you a savings or overage amount. Over time, you will build a personal inventory of products and prices from which you can quickly create new lists and make informed buying decisions.

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WychList has already saved our family money by preventing us from unnecessarily overpaying for products. On the flip-side, it's also verified when sales are truly sales, and as a result, I've stocked up on products because they were such a great price!

For example, during the development phase, I was tasked with testing the app. One day, I was at a local organic grocery store and frozen shrimp were on sale. Intending to buy a bag, I scanned it and then noticed that it already existed in my product inventory (which meant that I'd scanned and probably purchased that exact same item before).

The interesting part was that the "regular price" at Dominick's was $5 less than the "sales price" at the organic store - for the EXACT same shrimp.

With a smirk on my face and victory in my heart, I quickly placed the bag back in the freezer and continued on my merry way. I'd just saved myself from overpaying for something I could get at Dominick's next time I was there. Since WychList is only $1.99, the experience paid for the app two times over.

That was my "ah ha!" moment. Steve had done it. He'd accomplished what he'd set out to do.

Another feature that's pretty cool is that you can share your shopping list with another WychList user. So the next time you need someone to pick something up on the way home, you can simply add it to your list and then send it to them via WychList. All the product information, including its image and price history will be shared. Can't get much better than that!

For further information and a link to WychList on the App Store go to the WychList iPhone Application website.

WychList was also featured on Chicago's Very Own WGN-TV Morning News.


Next Week's Blog > "The Phases of Chemo"





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  • Now I just need an iphone. Someday! Congrats to you both on this launch!

  • In reply to kmccarron:

    Kelley - Thanks! We are super excited about the launch. Yes, you have to get an iPhone... I saw your friends telling you the same. Once you have one, you'll love it!

  • I can not begin to tell you how many grocery apps I have gone through wanting something that would remember prices at different locations. And the ability to scan, oh my god! If you are looking for some other attributes that would prove beneficial there could be a 'sale' price catagory and then keep certain things with the cards. I have an app that does that, but it does not have American Stores (Jewel).

    But no matter, I have already bought the app and I look forward to using it.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Hi Brian - I'm so thrilled that WychList seems to fit your needs. We are always looking for ways to improve the app, so comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'd love to hear more about the "sale price" category and the "keep certain things with the cards" ideas. Could you send an email to info@wychlist.com and explain just a bit further. Who knows... maybe we can include it in our next release, which we hope to have out there soon.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Congrats Laura and Steve! A very, very big accomplishment! I wish I had an iPhone, but I don't! Neither does Tony. But, when we get one, we're getting this application! Good Luck!

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Well I will be putting it through its paces this weekend. A lot of the store branded items are often missed in databases or will have names that are not familiar. If you were going to go all out, it would be nice to somehow incorporate sales paper info in the list making process, though I doubt you could get all the stors to agree on that.

    I don't know if your app has a comparison feature, but it would be nice if it did. One of the things that stores do is give you price per unit costs that are not easily comparable, like .06 an Ounce vs $1.27 per pound cost (figures snatched out of thin air, so don't do the math).

    How do store brands work? Let me explain. In Target, there's Archer Farms, Kroger brands in Food 4 less, Safeway at Dominics and culinary Circle (I think thats it) at Jewel. Each will have their own chocolate chip cookies, not to mention brands like Nestles, Keebler, Archway and so on.

    Is there someway to readily compare prices so that you would be getting expected quality at a price you feel comfortable with? Or does it track Keebler Chocolate chip cookies at different stores as well?

    Is the data shared data? Does it do a 'Red Laser' which shows different prices for the same object, but doesn't work for groceries. Another possible revenue stream would be able to subscribe to a local server to get the lowest price data for stores in your area, even if you have never shopped there. A type of crowd sourcing if you will.

    One grocery app I've bought (and there have been quite a few) has a location aspect so it will know which store you are in (darned neat trick) so you do not have to manually choose the store when you open the app.

    Another one allows you to build your list online and sync it to the phone. It also allows for other people to add or remove from the list, but the interface is clunky and you are never sure if it is by store or by item.

    My desire for a grocery list app predates the iPhone. I had one phone that made it easy to blue tooth a list to the phone. It would suffice as much as any paper list would (blue tooth data transfer from an application to the phone also from the phone to the application so you would track your shopping and keep a local price list). The thing is, as phones have become the iPhone, it seems reasonable to be able to accomplish more and keep better track of what you spend where.

    Oh yeah one app allows you to add two taxes (not as useful as it sounds).

    I will let you know how it goes when I take it out for a spin this weekend.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Okay, I did try it this past weekend and it is still the better of the list apps available. It would be nice if there were a different way to add the stores. It is not bad the way are, but if there were only one way to add the stores, it seems that they should be just a list, like the products list.

    One thing I would really love is a sale/card price field that has an attached 'til date' field (of course added to the store field). the reason is (and I know you already know why, but just to be clear) sometimes items are on sale for 3 days and sometimes 3 weeks. So sometimes it is neccesary for budgetary purposes to delay and it would be nice to be able to keep track of those different dates.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Hi Brian -

    I am thrilled to hear that you put WychList throught the wringer this weekend and gave it a "better of the list apps available" rating. You certainly sound like a resident expert on shopping list apps and I'm glad you like WychList. I too think it's the best shopping list app available.

    Thank you for all of your suggestions. Your expertise really shines through and I appreciate your feedback. A new release is schedule for April and it will include several improvements - one of which will allow you to compare prices at other stores (as long as the price is available online). This feature will provide a price point reference while shopping. We tested the functionality this weekend and it was super cool (and very helpful during our shopping trip).

    I know that the upcoming release won't include everything you've identified, but please know that we're compiling all your suggestions and will be researching the possibilities. Please continue to send us suggestions and improvement ideas as they come up. And, thanks again for the open dialogue.

    Feel free to send your future emails to: info@wychlist.com

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Laura, is a droid version in the works? I'm currently testing shopping apps for a tribune column but don't have an iphone.

  • In reply to CarrieKirby:

    Hi Carrie, No, unfortunately, Steve has only created it for the iPhone. The droid is an entirely different development platform and he has no plans to develop on it at this time. Thanks for reaching out. I look forward to reading your article.

  • In reply to WisdomSeed:

    Hi Carrie, No, unfortunately, Steve has only created it for the iPhone. The droid is an entirely different development platform and he has no plans to develop on it at this time. Thanks for reaching out. I look forward to reading your article.

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