Bread and Milk 2.6

© 2014 Jim Holloway

NOTE: If you're having trouble synchronizing data between devices, please be aware that I'm looking into the problem. I believe my server is experiencing some difficulties due to heavy traffic. Please try again a little later. Thanks for your patience!

PLEASE NOTE: Apple's iOS 8.x update has caused some problems with the Classic version (v1.10). I'm tracking them down and will put out an update ASAP!

Syncing Guide (Please read before emailing me about sync problems!)

TIP: To add a new item: go to Make List, All Items. At the top of this list is the Search/Create field. Type the name of the new item, then tap Create.

Click here for Bread and Milk Classic (v1.10) support.

Table of Contents


Bread and Milk is an elegant yet versatile shopping list manager for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Although it was originally designed for a single grocery store, this new version (2.x) can handle any number of stores, of any type.

Bread and Milk comes with plenty of built-in items and aisles (formerly called "groups") to get you started, as well as some sample stores and categories.

There are two basic modes of operation: Make List, which you use at home, and Go Shopping, which you use while you are at the store. In the iPad version, the shopping list is always displayed, so you won't see a tab bar icon for it.

Tap an item to put it on your shopping list (in Make List mode while you are at home), or into your shopping cart (in Go Shopping mode as you are shopping). A second tap will mark it to be sent to someone else's shopping list (via email using the Share feature). A third tap will put it back in its original state (in case you tapped an item accidentally).

New in Version 2.x

  • Support for multiple stores: required adding one more "layer" of navigation in some places; moved "Checkout/Clear List" button to bottom of shopping list
  • Groups are now called "Aisles"
  • Added a "Category" group type to augment hidden groups; hidden groups (aisles that don't exist in a given store) are still supported; Categories can have subcategories and default quantity values for each included item
  • Consolidated the Edit and [+] buttons: creating new Stores, Aisles, and Categories is now done in Edit mode; added a "Help" button; removed an unneeded tab
  • Import items directly from generated email: use the "Share" tab (Action icon on the iPad) to send an email of your shopping list containing a link that will automatically import the items into another user's Bread and Milk database
  • Category groupings for recipes, locations around the house, etc.: subcategories can be nested to an arbitrary depth
  • Better cost estimates for both list and cart items (see how these totals are calculated below)
  • More precise quantities; can select units (pounds, gallons, etc.): allows entering fractional amounts, setting price per unit type, and setting a default quantity needed in Category groups
  • Now uses system-wide currency settings: both simpler and more flexible; removed another unneeded tab
  • Coupon indicator with discount amount (per store)
  • Can put multiple items onto list with one tap: available in Aisle, Store, Category, and Smart Group lists
  • Enhanced item searching and creation: in All Items list, both "edit" and "index" modes are now active at the same time; search for an item by typing its name; if it does not exist, tap "Create"
  • Improved the item list display format: now shows quantity and units, price, coupon indicator (scissors) and description along with the item name; also shows "red light" in upper right corner to flag items that were imported from an email
  • Improved animation of hiding and showing cart items
  • Supports iOS 4 multitasking and iPhone 4 Retina display


Bread and Milk has two basic modes of operation: Make List and Go Shopping. You can switch between these modes using the tab bar at the bottom of the screen. In the iPad version, the shopping list is always displayed, so you won't see a tab bar icon for it.

Make List mode is used to select items for your shopping list. It is also where you can edit and create new items, stores, aisles, and categories, and order the aisles in each store to appear on your shopping list the way you like. The icon for this tab on the tab bar shows a red "badge" indicating the number of items on your shopping list you have left to obtain, or an estimated price total for the remaining items, if you have entered prices for items on your list.

  • Create your own items, stores, aisles, and categories using the Edit button at the top of those lists.
  • Assign an item to any number of aisles, stores, and categories, making the item easier to find.
  • Rename, recategorize, set pricing, coupon and other information, or delete an item using that item's (>) icon.
  • Arrange the aisles for each store in the desired order using the store's Edit mode (drag the three-horizontal-lines icons).
  • Include or exclude aisles for each store as appropriate. (E.g. a hardware store probably won't have a Dairy aisle.)
  • Select the items for your shopping list by tapping each item once.
  • Create new items, and find specific items more quickly using the All Items search feature.
  • Set the quantity needed for each item using the (>) icon, if you need more than one.
  • See how many items are on your shopping list from the home screen of your iPhone.

Go Shopping mode is used to check those items off the list as you shop. It also shows a price estimate for all the items you have put into your cart as you shop, if you have entered prices for items on your list. There is a Hide/Show button that hides and shows all the items you have put into your cart to help keep your list uncluttered. At the bottom of the list, you will see a "Checkout" or "Clear List" button (depending on whether there are any items yet in your cart).

  • Check off items as you put them in your cart.
  • Hide all the items you have already put in your cart to keep your list clean.
  • Show all shopping list items so you can verify they are in your cart.
  • Clear out all the items in your cart (or the entire shopping list) at once.


  • While making a list, tap an item twice to mark it to be sent to another person.
  • Use the Share feature to send and email containing these items (or all the items on your list, if you want).
  • Upon receiving this email, if the recipient can tap a link to import the items directly into Bread and Milk.

On iPhone/iPod touch

If you ever get lost navigating through the "Make List" tab (or just want to return to "home base" quickly), you can shake your device to quickly return to the top-level (Groups) list.

On iPad

When you use Bread and Milk on the iPad, you will immediately notice that your shopping list (the "Go Shopping" list on the iPhone) is always visible, in both portrait and landscape orientations. So, on the iPad, the items you need to get are never out of sight (or mind).

With your iPad in landscape orientation, you can simultaneously view and modify your shopping list. In portrait orientation, use the "Make List" button in the lower left to modify your list.

Use the action button in the lower right to show more options (this corresponds to the "Share" tab on the iPhone).

On any iOS device

The icon for Bread and Milk on the home screen shows a count (in a red circular "badge") of the number of items on your shopping list left to get.

A grocery list item can be in one of four states: default ("Tap to Add"), "On List", "In Cart", and "To Send". If you accidentally tap the wrong item, just tap it a few more times to "cycle" it back to the correct state.

Badge Price Totals

How the badge totals are calculated: If there are no items on your list that have price information, the Make List badge ("On List" value on the iPad) will simply show a count of the number items on your list. If all the items on your list have prices, the quantity needed for each item is multiplied by the price per unit, any coupon discount is subtracted, then tax is applied. If some but not all items on your list have prices, then a question mark (?) will follow the price total to indicate that this is only an estimated price.

The same method used to calculate the Go Shopping badge ("In Cart" value on the iPad), except that if no items have prices, no badge is shown.

As there can be different prices for the same item in different stores, the list price total displays the worst possible case (highest price) after considering each store separately. In contrast, the cart total always shows the price total for the store currently selected.


How do I sync my data between different devices?

Please read the Syncing Guide.

Why did you change it so much? I liked the original better.

See next question.

Why didn't you change it more? It's still missing x, y, and z.

See previous question.

(But seriously folks, the answer to both questions is that I have lots of people asking for new, sometimes mutually exclusive, features, and I have to make compromises and tradeoffs, especially since I am trying to keep the app as simple as possible. I know I can't please everybody, but I try really hard to find some "middle ground" that I feel is most appropriate for my particular app.)

Why do all my items always show up on the shopping list (under "Items Not in This Store"), even if I've selected a store that doesn't have those items?

Selecting a store in "Go Shopping" mode just changes the ORGANIZATION of your list. It allows you to select the specific aisle ordering you need for the store where you are currently shopping. Selecting a store was never intended to HIDE any of the items you need to get. The original app NEVER HID needed items, so the new one won't either. ALL the items you need to get are ALWAYS visible, so there's much less chance you'll forget something. It's not a bug - it's like that on purpose.

Why can't I remove an item from a Store (the store is grayed out)?

This happens when you "drill into" an item from a particular store's list (in the Make List tab, under a specific store's aisle list, for example). I didn't want that item to mysteriously disappear as you navigate back up the chain. You can always go into the "All Items" list, find that item, and you will have full edit control from there.

What's this "To Send" stuff?

You will notice that in version 2.x, tapping an item twice now marks it to be sent to another user. Go to the Share tab to send just these marked items to another user via email. A third tap will put the item back into its original state.

Can I have different sets of aisles or different aisles orders for different grocery stores?

Yes. Each store can have its own set of aisles and aisle ordering.

Can I nest aisles inside other aisles?

Good heavens, no. Think how that would appear in the Go Shopping mode. Ugly, ugly, ugly. However, you CAN nest CATEGORIES to any depth.

Why do some items show up twice (or more) in different places on my shopping list?

Because those items are in multiple INCLUDED (formerly "visible") aisles for the selected store, which is an entirely valid thing to do. If you don't like seeing an item in multiple aisles in the shopping list, edit the item info so it is only in one included aisle.

Can I send items to my spouse's/housemate's iPhone?

Yes. Use the Share tab (Action icon on the iPad) to send items on your list to another user via email. The email includes a link to tap that will import the items into the recipient's Bread and Milk database.

Can I download/upload my items and groups to/from my computer?

Sorry, not yet.

Is there a way to quickly select a list of items for the shopping list (e.g. all the items needed for a particular dish or recipe) at once?

Yes. At the bottom of most item lists (aisles, categories, etc.) there is an "Put Items on Shopping List" button that will add all the items in that list.

I accidentally deleted a bunch of the built-in items and/or aisles, categories, etc. Is there a way to get them back?

Yes. On the Share tab (Action icon on the iPad), there are options to reset your database to "factory" settings, or to empty it completely. WARNING: You will lose any other data you have entered. Use with care.

How do I sync my data between different devices?

Please read the Syncing Guide.

Known Bugs

  • Fixed in version 1.9: Shopping Cart list did not get updated when Groups are edited, deleted, etc.
  • Fixed in version 1.9: Email function put "null" in body of email instead of shopping list


If you have a problem, question or comment, you can contact me at I do my best to reply to all emails as quickly as I can, but it might take a day or two. Ideas for improvements are welcome!

Other Apps: Check out my other iPhone and iPad apps:

© 2014 Jim Holloway