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Module for parsing shopping lists and dinner menus and compiling shopping lists.

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groceries Tools for parsing human readable shopping lists and recipe ingredients.


pip install groceries-tobiasli


groceries contains a set of classes that solve a lot of shopping and food-related problems:

  • Ingredient is a container for a food item, and parses amount, unit and item name from an arbitrary string. The base structure for an Ingredient string is Optional[amount] Optional[unit] grocery_name, Optional[comment].
  • GroceryList is a container for Ingredients and handles summation of all ingredients, as well as algebra.
  • Cookbook is a container for Recipe, and make them searchable.
  • Menu is the class returned when you use a Cookbook to parse an actual, typed shopping list. It contains the recipes and ingredients that are parsed from the shopping list.


Ingredient is a class that takes any arbitrary string describing an amount of an grocery item. The amount and unit is generalized and with the formatting in groceries the unit can be represented in

from groceries import Ingredient

print(repr(Ingredient('10 2/3 tbs soy sauce')))
# <Ingredient object: 1.60 dl soy sauce: <Unit: volume: [liter, litre, liters, ...]>>

To simply get the most reasonable representation of the Ingredient, simply convert it to a string:

print(Ingredient('302.3949133 grams baked beans'))
# 1 lbs baked beans


GroceryList is the base component for most of the functionality in groceries. A GroceryList accepts groceries as strings on a human readable format. They are added to a GroceryList as Ingredient instances.

from groceries import GroceryList

gl = GroceryList()

    '2 pounds sugar',
    '2 kg sugar',
    '1/4 floz foo',
    '1 2/9 tbs foo'


# <GroceryList object: 3 ingredients
#                chocolate,
#        0.26 dl foo,
#      2907.18 g sugar
# >

GroceryList instances can be added, subtracted with other GroceryLists. They can also be multiplied with skalars.

gl = gl - GroceryList(ingredients=['953.5 g sugar', 'chocolate']) * 2

# <GroceryList object: 2 ingredients
#        0.26 dl foo,
#        1.00 kg sugar
# >

Recipe and Cookbooks

The GroceryList class is used to represent ingredients in recipes. Recipe is a class that contains information on how to cook a specific meal. You can have multiple Recipes and add them to a Cookbook.

The recipes are searchable both on name and tags.

# Demo scripts for grocery readme.
from groceries import Recipe, Cookbook

recipe1 = Recipe(
    tags=['pasta', 'fast', 'egg', 'bacon'],
    how_to='''Cook pasta. As pasta is preparing, fry bacon. 
    When bacon is done, add frozen pees and continue frying until pees are cooked.
    Mix finished pasta with bacon and pees. Add eggs and grated parmesan and stir.
    Season with salt and pepper.''',
        '150 g spaghetti',
        '100 g bacon',
        '100 g frozen green pees',
        '2 eggs',
        '50 g parmesan',

recipe2 = Recipe(name="Mac'n cheese", tags=['pasta', 'fast'], time=5, serves=2,
                 how_to='''Cook mac. Add cheese. serve.''', ingredients=['150 g maccaroni', '100 g cheese', ])

recipe3 = Recipe(name='Chocolate', tags=['sweet', 'dessert'], time=2, serves=2, how_to='''Eat chocolate.''',
                 ingredients=['200 g chocolate'])

cookbook = Cookbook(recipes=[recipe1, recipe2, recipe3])

# Accepts fuzzy string matching:

print(cookbook.find_recipe('mac cheese'))

# <Recipe object: Mac'n cheese>

# Mac'n cheese is the first match for pasta, but searches are cycling. 
# So when performing a category match again you won't be presented 
# with the same recipe again:


# <Recipe object: Carbonara>


Menu is a class for parsing an entire weeks worth of shopping, with syntax for meals on specific days as well as regular groceries.

# Continuation from previous code block.
menu = cookbook.parse_menu('''Monday: mac cheese
    Tuesday: sweet
    Wednesday: pasta
    2 tbs coffee
    1 floz baked beans
    1 banana
    2 banana
    4 liters coffee''')

# Monday: Mac'n cheese til 2
# Tuesday: Chocolate til 2
# Wednesday: Carbonara til 2
# 0.30 dl coffee
# 0.30 dl baked beans
# 1 banana
# 2 banana
# 4 l coffee

# <GroceryList object: 13 ingredients
#          100 g bacon,
#        0.30 dl baked beans,
#              3 banana,
#          100 g cheese,
#          200 g chocolate,
#         4.03 l coffee,
#              2 eggs,
#          100 g frozen green pees,
#          150 g maccaroni,
#           50 g parmesan,
#                pepper,
#                salt,
#          150 g spaghetti
# >

Changing configs

groceries has built in functionality to change whatever configuration defines the units, ingredient rules and formatting.

To change a particular config, either

  • modify an existing config at runtime,
  • use one of the other supplied configs, or
  • create your own from one of the groceries.configs.config_types.

To finally set a specific config, use configs.set_config().

from groceries import config, language

# 'English'

# 'Norwegian'

A special condition applies if you are changing unit configs.

Changing unit config

For Units, specifically, we need to reload the unit definition if the config relating to unit handling is changed. This is done via units.reload_units()

from groceries import config, configs, units, Ingredient

print(Ingredient('2 lbs butter'))
# 2 lb butter

But we want to force a different config for units. We want to use a purely metric unit definition that will always format Ingredients as metric.

To do that we have to find the unit definition that we want, and set that config. Since we are changing the units, we also have to reload the units.


The new formatting will yield metric, as inches is removed from the formatting definition.

print(Ingredient('2 lb butter'))
# 907.18 g butter

So, happy shopping!

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