As much as I'd like to believe otherwise, I'm practically glued to my iPhone. I use it to schedule workouts, book restaurant reservations, and to check into my flights, so why not utilize it for meal planning as well? I don't use a central method for organizing my recipes, so I had been skeptical of meal planning apps and thought I would need an organizational overhaul before signing up.
However, I took the plunge on three apps I found to be easy to jump right into. Here are the three I liked the most.
1. Paprika ($4.99)
As we've mentioned before, Paprika is the gold standard in iPhone meal planning apps. The simple interface allows easy recipe browsing (including recipes on The Kitchn, which I was happy to find out!) as well as recipe creation. Each recipe allows a scaling feature so you can double or divide a recipe in half in one step. Once recipes are saved to your profile, it's simple to add them to the calendar and shopping lists. More than anything, it's not an app that I felt like I needed to study to learn. It's intuitive and fun to use. If you're in the market for a $4.99 app, this one is worth the money.
Best for: Anyone looking to use an app for meal planning independent of a website (although using their website as well adds additional features).
2. Pepperplate (free)
Maybe I'm cheap, but I'm usually of the opinion that there must be a solid free app available on just about any subject. Pepperplate accomplishes many of the features that Paprika nails so well, but with a little more work. For example, while the app interface is nice, Pepperplate requires you to access the website in order to add recipes other than your own. This extra step somewhat defeats the purpose of using the app; however, once recipes are loaded to your Pepperplate profile, they sync to the app and you can proceed with creating shopping lists and a meal calendar.
Best for: Cooks looking for a free app with planning and recipe import features in conjunction with the Pepperplate website.
3. MealBoard ($2.99)
MealBoard comes loaded with popular recipes, which is kind of nice when starting from scratch. It's designed to add recipes from their 22 supported sites — the app allows browsing other sites but only allows recipe import from non-supported sites via their website. MealBoard focuses on meal categories and sorts recipes as such. It works best when scheduling meals on the calendar, and the drag and drop function makes it easy to move dishes between days.
Best for: Cooks who like to easily be able to move dishes between days and add recipes from the MealBoard supported sites.
Did I cover your favorite as well, or do you have another app to suggest? We'd love to hear about any cooking apps you like!
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf.
(Image credits: Kesu/Shutterstock; iTunes)