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10 apps that will make you hate meal planning a lot less

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Meal planning? There's an app for that, and it'll make the dreaded chore so much easier

There's an app for everything these days, and working in the kitchen can absolutely be made easier with a swipe or two on your phone or iPad. These apps are tailored for use in the kitchen, preparing a week's worth of meals or shopping for ingredients — in general, taking the pain out of the dreaded meal planning task.

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Paprika Recipe Manager ($5): Available for Apple, Android and a few other platforms, Paprika basically does it all — organizes your recipes, makes meal plans and creates grocery lists.

Grocery Zen ($2): iPod and iPhone users can use Grocery Zen to create grocery, shopping and ingredient lists, allowing for easy customization, sharing and organization. Need to send a shopping list to your significant other? Easy.

BigOven (free): BigOven provides over 350,000 recipes with this free app for Apple, Android and Windows phone. You'll also get a handy meal planner and shopping list.

Perfect Produce (free): Available for both Apple and Android devices, Perfect Produce is like having a produce expert in your pocket. Buying tips, how to store and nutritional information for every type of produce included in the app are all at your fingertips — plus around 450,000 recipes, searchable by produce of your choice.

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Pepperplate (free): Create menus, manage recipes, make shopping lists, organize your week and share your favorite recipes with Pepperplate, available for Apple, Android, Windows and more.

Kitchen Calculator ($3): For those with Apple devices, Kitchen Calculator makes "kitchen math" a thing anyone can do, because the app does all the hard work for you. Convert from cups to grams, change a recipe to fit the number of servings you need, and adapt your recipe according to your specifications.

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (free): You have probably already used Allrecipes' website to find a new recipe, so it's no surprise that it has an awesome app too. You can find 50,000 recipes, read reviews and even search by ingredients you have on hand.

CookBrite (free): Android users can choose what type of food they're in the mood for (comfort, healthy, spicy and so on) as well as select what ingredients they already have in their homes, and CookBrite will show what can be made using those requirements.

More: How to make the tastiest, cheesiest, easiest pasta of your life

Food Network in the Kitchen (free): Available for Android and Apple platforms, this app will get you cooking with your favorite Food Network chefs. You can also browse recipe collections by type and season, and save your favorites easily. Better yet, you can add your own notes, tips and substitutions to your faves so you'll remember how you tweaked a recipe next time you want to use it.

Green Kitchen ($5): Apple users can hook up with the Green Kitchen app for a dizzying array of vegetarian recipes coupled with detailed and easy-to-follow instructions.

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