Feeding yourself, not to mention a hungry household, is a lot of work. There’s the planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning, all of which has to be done over and over again. Given just how exhausting this can be, it’s no wonder we find ourselves frequently ordering takeout or popping a frozen pizza into the oven.
When it comes to the planning and shopping part, though, meal-planning apps are good a way to save some time and energy: They can suggest recipes based on your dietary preferences and put together a shopping list of everything you need. Here are four of the best meal-planning apps.
BigOven is a meal-planning app that contains over a million recipes. It’s a particularly good option if your priority is reducing food waste—it has a search tool that will allow you to input up to three ingredients to find the best recipe for using up whatever you have in your fridge. It also has a “Recipe Scan” function that allows you to upload handwritten recipes, which will be translated into the app’s format without having to type it in manually.
The free version offers a limited number of features, including the ability to put together a grocery list and one free Recipe Scan. In order to use it as a weekly meal planner, though, you’ll need to upgrade to its paid version for $1.99 per month or $19.99 for the year. With almost 8,000 users giving it a 4.7 star rating, it’s definitely one to consider.
When it comes to managing your family’s hectic life, Cozi goes one step further, by acting as a family organizer. In addition to providing recipes and compiling a grocery list, which any family member can add to in real-time, it also includes a daily calendar that keeps track of appointments and to-do lists.
The basic version is free, while the premium version ($29.99 per year) offers additional features, including no ads, a Birthday Tracker, the ability to search your calendar, additional reminders, and monthly mobile view. Cozi is a big hit with users, with more than a quarter-million reviews giving it a 4.8 star rating.
Eat This Much will put together a meal plan based on your budget, food preferences, and daily calorie needs. It can also double as a calorie tracker, which includes a database of nutritional information from restaurants and packaged foods. As of now, nearly 17,000 users have given Eat This Much a 4.7 star rating.
However, if you want to generate weekly meal plans, rather than daily, or if you want the app to compile a shopping list, you will have to upgrade to its paid version, which can be paid monthly or yearly.
Mealime caters to people who are short on time, which is basically all of us, by offering a wide selection of recipes that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. This includes curating recipes based dietary restrictions, whether it’s adhering to diets such as paleo, keto, vegetarian, or vegan, or factoring in food allergies and dislikes. Once you’ve assembled your meal plan for the week, the app will compile a grocery shopping list for you.
To date, over 46,000 users have given Mealime a 4.8 star rating. If you want some additional features, such as more recipes and the ability to add in notes, you will need to upgrade to the paid version, which costs $2.99 a month. Unfortunately, there is no Android version of the app.