Between deadlines, meetings, work, and sanity ... who has time to meal prep? You may not feel like you have enough time, but your body is begging you to find it. The thought of planning meals for the entire week can be overwhelming, but we are here to make the process as simple as possible. Why? Because we spend way too much time stressing over food, way too much money on food runs, and way too many days skipping meals when we don't plan ahead. Save your money and your health by carving out a few minutes to put delicious/nutritious meals on your calendar.
Here's a REVIEW of 3 FREE apps to make planning a bit easier.
This app works hand in hand with the Pepperplate website. Once you create your username, you are free to start adding recipes from across the web. They even have a Pepperplate Bookmarklet that allows you to add a recipe (including description, ingredients, and instructions) straight from your phone with one-click. Not all sites and food blogs are supported by the program, but you can easily add any recipe using the manual entry form. When it is time to plan your week, you simply select the recipe you're craving and add it directly to your weekly planner and shopping list. Oh yea.. did I mention the app creates a complete grocery list based on your meals?
Do you have food allergies or diet restrictions? Are you just a picky eater? Well, Mealime takes all those things into consideration when you are creating your account. Features like "favoriting" are only available when you upgrade, but the free version has so much to offer. The app will automatically generate meal ideas based on preferences, which means less time searching for the perfect dish to make. Not only will Mealime build a itemized grocery list with quantities for each item, but it will help you cook! It has a hands-free "cooking mode" that keeps your phone unlocked and allows you to go through the steps of your recipe just by waving your hand - no more sticky phone!
3. Copy Me That
Copy Me That is an intuitive app with a simple layout. This app has a Copy Me That Button so you can quickly grab recipes from your mobile browser. Not in the mood for browsing the internet for new ideas? Copy Me That also has a community full of users posting their favorite finds directly to the app. When playing around with this app, make sure you click settings. You can shift your calendar view based on when you want your week to begin and the number of days you need to plan. Heads up ... you will not be able to print or email your weekly plan without going "premium," but who needs the extra paper trail? Its time for your recipes, shopping lists, and calendar to be accessible in one place.
PRO TIP: Google Calendar
If you already have too many apps on your phone, use your calendar! Google Calendar makes it effortless to set up a new calendar. Pick a color specific for meals, and make it a part of your schedule. Whether you decide to link to a recipe or write down a dish and improvise, it is always better to have a plan.
Share your trials (or triumphs) with meal planning in the comments below!