4 great meal planning apps

Does cooking dinner totally stress you out? These 4 meal planning apps have helped me save time cooking health, kid-friendly meals.

We’ve just begun our meal planning challenge and my hubby & I have been creating a core list of recipes we know ( and enjoy) cooking & eating.

What I’ve found to be the keys to meal planning are:

+ finding easy to cook recipes your family loves ( and that are healthy)

+ planning on making those meals during the week

+ preparing to make the meals ahead of time

Meal prep is something that we home cooks tend to not know much about. Or at least, I was never taught how to meal prep. Nor to cook! When my amazing home-cook-mama got in cooking mode, the whole family knew not to bother her. She would cook elaborate meals that were incredible ( she’s a fellow Brit so we had lots of roasts) but they were very time consuming for her and stressful.

While I wish that I too could whip up elaborate English meals like she did, I’m happier with finding easy to make recipes that are my allergy-prone family can eat and enjoy.

Thankfully, there are lots of great ( free and affordable) meal planning apps that have helped us plan better, and learn how to do meal prep.

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you a few of my fav and hope that in the comments you’ll let me know what your favorite meal planning apps are!

My Favorite Meal Planning Apps 

Plate Joy is perhaps my favorite of all the apps I’ve tried. While it’s not a free service, you do get a free trial and it’s really worth doing. I actually got an extended trial so I could thoroughly review it before I wrote this post, and I plan on signing up for the paid version too. ( site note: I’m not an affiliate at the time of this writing but may sign up at some point).

When you sign up for Plate Joy, you let the service/app know what types of dietary requirements you have, plus how many members are in your family. It then curates easy to make and healthy meals for you based on your desires. For us, we are pescatarians ( we eat seafood but no other form of meat) so we got a mix between vegetarian and fish recipes. I really loved the array of breakfast options, as well as savory and sweet snacks. 

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As part of your membership, the service also generates shopping lists and adds recipes to pdf format, which is a fantastic feature; you can simply download the pdf of your week’s meals to your phone or iBook app ( or Dropbox) or print it off.

Plate Joy costs around 12 dollars a month and it has a free trial period.

Another app I enjoy is Meal Plan by Filibaba. If you and your family are vegetarian ( or flexitarian and looking for more veggie recipes), you will like this app! Meal Plan essentially curates vegetarian recipes from its other apps ( Filibaba is a Swedish company that creates recipe apps) based on which meal plan you choose. I really like the New Basics and Budget Meals plans. From vegan palak paneer to mac and cheese, this meal planning app has a good selection of kid-friendly vegan meals.

This app has both a free and paid version, and I use the free one.

Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Recipes app is another family favorite. We invested in the paid one, and it’s well worth the 7 or so dollars we paid to get access to hundreds of his recipes, with visual step by step guides to cooking each meal. From ‘retro chocolate bananas’ to shrimp kebabs, this app has something for everyone, especially kids!

If you don’t want to buy the paid app, you can get the free version, which has a selection of recipes available once a week for you to choose from.

The last meal planning app I enjoy using is Yummly. This free app curates recipes based on what types of cuisine you enjoy. I found a really good avocado, spinach, and carmalized onion quesadilla recipe I made the other day, which sold me on using Yummly more often. The down side is the app sends you to other places to get the recipes-ie blogs- and it took me a while to find the blogger’s actual recipe. Maybe it was just that particular blogger that had a somewhat disorganized blog post but it was slightly frustrating. There are also ads in the app.

What meal planning apps and resources do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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