Planning out a week’s worth of meals can be a struggle in the best times, but it’s even harder when you’re stressed out, busy with work or raising a family, and dealing with things like ingredient shortages or relying on your existing pantry goods as much as possible. In this day and age, at least, you’re not beholden to poring through cookbooks with a trusty notebook by your side — there are actually a ton of meal planning apps that make grocery shopping, recipe selection, and cooking easier than you’d believe. There are a lot of options out there, so we’ve narrowed the field down to a few of our favorites. Whether you’re looking for meals that are fast, help with budgeting your meals, or are focusing on nutrition, there’s a meal planning app here for you.
Paprika helps you plan your meals for the week or month by allowing you to select your favorite recipes from anywhere on the web then generates a grocery shopping list based on those choices, so you’ll never again run out of something you need for dinner midweek. The recipes are interactive, marking off ingredients and steps as you go, which makes cooking easier, too, and it also helps you scale recipes up or down depending on your family’s needs.
Mealime is a meal planning app that’s all about saving you time – maybe that’s why they left out the “t” in their name! With Mealime, all of the recipes take about 30 minutes to cook and prep. You can choose up to 200 personalization options for your meal plan, from foods you dislike to major requirements like meatless or gluten-free meals. Select your recipes, generate a shopping list, and get cooking. You can try the free version, then upgrade if you decide you like it.
If you’re all about nutrition and like cooking your meals ahead of time, MealPrepPro could be the app for you. They help you select recipe plans based on your nutritional needs (and the needs of a partner, if you’re cooking for two), and there are recipes for those following all sorts of diets (keto, vegan, vegetarian, etc) and for those with food allergies (gluten, soy, nut, etc). The app generates a weekly shopping list for you based on the recipes you’ve selected. You’ll be able to plan nutritious meals in advance, so when it’s time to eat you can just grab a container filled with a tasty bite and go.
MealBoard assists with all aspects of meal planning, from recipe selection to grocery shopping to even keeping track of the ingredients in your pantry so you never run out (and never buy more than you need). Add your favorite recipes or import ones you find from around the web. Your grocery list will be generated based on the recipes you choose, and can even help you see what the prices of the ingredients you need are, which helps you stay on budget.
With Yummly, you choose a week’s worth of recipes and get an automatically generated shopping list to help streamline your meal planning process. Fill in your taste preferences, and Yummly recommends recipes to you based on what you’re looking for. The more you rate and review recipes, the better and more personalized your recommendations will become. With Yummly Pro, you’ll also get access to step-by-step cooking videos, celebrity chef cooking instructions, and exclusive, professionally-created recipes.
Before you go, check out these other impressive Ina Garten recipes.
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