Have you tried any good meal planning apps?
Let’s be real: Being a mom means we have less time and patience for meal preparation. Our minds are mostly on things we need to get done and keeping our tiny humans alive, which includes feeding them.
Like most moms, I find myself frequently wondering what to cook for my kids’ dinner. Before I started looking into meal planning apps, I was kind of at a loss and didn’t want to make mac and cheese again. Thankfully, I’ve discovered a few handy apps that can make meal planning and food shopping a lot easier and far less stressful.
If you have a selection of favorite food blogs and websites, then you’ll love this app. Paprika lets you source recipes and meal plans directly from those sites, so you can find out precisely what ingredients you’ll need to make the dish. It’ll organize everything into food groups and sections to make your grocery shopping as seamless and speedy as it can be—something every mom needs!
This meal planning app has helped me be a better cook while also taking the stress and time out of wondering what I should make for dinner. What’s funny is I used to struggle to think of what to make, but now not only can I find meal ideas quickly, the results are amazing and improve my cooking abilities.
Paprika is available for $4.99 on Kindle, Windows, Nook, iOS and Android devices.
AnyList is a great app for busy families. If you find yourself forgetting to pick up items your kids or partner wants, this app will solve that issue. It’s basically like having a virtual shopping list that others can contribute to remotely. If your kids are old enough to own an iOS device, they can add items to the list, and when you’re shopping, you can pick those things up.
The app also includes location-based prompts so when you’re near certain stores, you’ll get alerts telling you to pick up specific items you may not have been able to get elsewhere. This app is only compatible with iOS devices and is either free or $8 for the premium version. It’s worth mentioning that if you’re using WiFi at the grocery store while accessing this app to help with shopping, use a Virtual Private Network since you’ll be on a public connection and will want to protect any other information on your phone.
BigOven is a little different from other meal planning apps. Instead of inputting your own recipes and shopping lists, it has a list of over 350,000 recipes for you to choose from. My favorite is their collection of 20-minute meals so I can get dinner on the table quickly. I also love using this app around holidays; it finds the most relevant dishes for specific activities faster than any Google search.
What’s more, BigOven is free on all iOS, Android and Windows devices. This app helps me decide what to make when I’m at a loss for ideas. It sparks creativity, and we know the little ones get bored with the same foods.
This app is similar to Paprika in that you can source ingredients, recipes, and ideas from your favorite food blogs and sites. However, you do have to use a browser to find that information first. For some this is a con, but I actually prefer using a browser to find recipes and meal ideas. You get a better look at pictures and don’t skim on the details. I’ll use this app over Paprika if I have time to spare. Pepperplate is free on iOS, Android, Windows, and the Nook device.
Possibly the most powerful meal planning app available, MealBoard has a lot to offer. However, I will warn you that it does take some time setting up due to its many functions and features. MealBoard can be used for importing grocery lists and recipe ideas, but it can also keep tabs on what food you have left at home. For example, if you enter in how many eggs you go through per week, you can keep track of what you’re using and if you need to buy eggs while out to restock.
MealBoard goes even further and can track the cost of your meals and individual ingredients. However, you will have to manually enter in the cost of an ingredient to begin with. If you take the time to set this app up properly (which is only once with new additions being made as and when needed), then it can solve all your meal planning and food preparation issues. This app is only available on iOS devices.
There are a ton of meal planning apps out there, and this list is by no means exhaustive. I found the apps that worked best for me through trial and error. I found features I liked and didn’t like and settled on apps that fit my family. It may be different for you, so I highly recommend you try a few.
Do you have any meal planning tips or favorite apps to share? Leave us a comment in the section below.