Best Meal-Planning Apps and Sites

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Best Meal-Planning Apps and Sites
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Between work and socializing, hobbies and family, most of us don't have the time to spend hours planning our meals. Make your menu-planning nearly effortless with these apps and websites that do most of the work for you.

MealBoard
Mealboard; screenshot

MealBoard

Save your favorite recipes, track the contents of your pantry and simplify your grocery list with MealBoard. The app is compatible with more than a dozen popular recipe sites, including AllRecipes and Food & Wine, making it easy to search for and add recipes to your in-app cookbook with a single tap. Recipes from your own kitchen or favorite food blogs can be added through the app’s Web interface. Once you’ve added recipes to your weekly menu, a grocery list is automatically generated based on the ingredients of each meal, with ingredients you already have in stock noted.

MealBoard (iOS, Web; $2.99)

Supercook
Supercook; screenshot

Supercook

When your pantry is a puzzle that you just can’t fit together, Supercook comes to your rescue. Enter the ingredients you already have on hand, and Supercook returns a list of recipes you can make using those ingredients, handily organized by how many of your listed ingredients each recipe requires. The site is free, and if you choose to register (which isn't a requirement), you can save your favorite recipes and create shopping lists.

Supercook (Web; free)

Food on the Table
Food on the Table; screenshot

Food on the Table

Save money and simplify your meal planning with Food on the Table, a free service available both on the Web and as a mobile app. After answering a few questions about the type of food you like to eat and the grocery stores you usually shop at, Food on the Table generates a weekly menu based around your taste preferences and what’s on sale at your local grocery stores, saving you both time and money.

Food on the Table (Android, iOS, Web; free)

Once a Month Mom
Once a Month Mom; screenshot

Once a Month Mom

You may not have time to cook every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of a hot, homemade dinner every night. Once a Month Mom is built around the concept of “freezer cooking,” which involves setting aside one or two days a month to do all of your grocery shopping and meal prep at once. A subscription gives you access to a variety of new menus each month, complete with step-by-step instructions for preparing, cooking and freezing each meal, and a shopping list covering all the ingredients you need.

Once a Month Mom (Web; starting at $8/month)

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner
AllRecipes Dinner Spinner; screenshot

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner

When you find yourself making the same dishes so often that you can cook them with your eyes closed, let the AllRecipes Dinner Spinner app provide inspiration. Give the app a shake to see randomly selected recipes, or lock in specific choices — for example, lamb as a main ingredient — to find recipes tailored to your specific needs. Once you’ve found a recipe you like, you can read reviews, generate a shopping list, and add it to your favorites for easy retrieval later.

Dinner Spinner (Android, iOS, Windows Phone; free, $2.99 pro)

Pepperplate
Pepperplate; screenshot

Pepperplate

Pepperplate is a multiplatform kitchen app that does just about everything except the actual cooking. Use it to gather all your favorite recipes in one place, create menus for regular and special-event meals, and build a customized grocery list, laid out according to the way you shop. When you’re ready to cook, the Cooking mode prevents the screen from going dim (so you can always keep an eye on the recipe), while multiple timers keep all aspects of the meal in sync.

Pepperplate (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Web; free)

HelloFresh
HelloFresh; screenshot

HelloFresh

When shopping and planning get overwhelming, let HelloFresh do the heavy lifting. This meal delivery service isn’t cheap, but if your alternative is eating out, you may find that the cost evens out. Choose your menu for the week, and you’ll receive a cooler packed with everything you need (including meat, pre-portioned spices and vegetables) to make three dinners for two, along with detailed step-by-step preparation instructions that help you put a fresh, healthy meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

HelloFresh (Web; starting at $69.95 per week)

Foodgawker
Foodgawker; screenshot

Foodgawker

Foodgawker isn’t technically for menu-planning, but the site — available as an app and on the Web — is a visual feast, filled with stunning food photography sure to delight and inspire you. Most images link back to the recipes, so you can try your hand at whatever catches your eye, and dishes can be broken down into a wide variety of categories, including vegan and gluten-free.

Foodgawker (Web, iOS; free)

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