Countdown's free app allows you to plan your supermarket visit aisle-by-aisle before you leave home.

Or if you prefer, send your list to Countdown and have your groceries delivered. Shopping lists can also be emailed or shared with others who have the app on their phone.

We found the app's best feature was its ability to recognise barcodes. We scanned a range of pantry items and found it was a fast, convenient way to put together a shopping list ... as long as everything comes in a packet. It took longer to search for fresh produce to add to the list. Once you have a "master list" sorted, it speeds up the process – you just add and remove items depending on what you need each week.

If you scan an item that isn't usually stocked at your local Countdown, the app will tell you – a good time-saver. But it's not live information so you won't know if an item that's usually stocked has run out – it's something Countdown is looking into.

It's also a useful price comparison tool: if you're at New World and want to know if an item is cheaper at Countdown, scan the barcode and there's your answer.

While we don't see this app replacing the paper shopping list just yet, it has handy features. It’s available for the Apple iPhone (OS4.2 and above) and Android. At this stage there are no plans for Blackberry and Windows Phone versions.

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