The Tricycle Household tries really hard to eat healthy, home cooked meals most days of the week. In order to make this happen, it requires advance planning and preparation – even more so now that we’ve got Little Man around. I usually meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays so I’m ready for the rest of the week.
In the past I made my grocery list and meal plan on the back of an envelope (classy, right?), but I’ve started using a new app that I’m really digging called Food on the Table. It’s a free app available for both iOS and Android platforms, and you can also use it online. The app allows you to plan three meals a week for free, but if you want all features of the service, you’ll need to subscribe. It’s not cheap — but I did spring for a one year subscription because I liked the app so much. Subscriptions are as follows:
- Monthly – $9.95
- Quarterly – $26.95
- Semiyearly – $47.95
- Yearly – $69.95
You begin using the app by adding recipes to your cookbook. There’s a number of different ways to add recipes. You can import them from popular sites like AllRecipes.com and blogs like The Pioneer Woman, or you can add a personal recipe. When you enter a recipe by hand, you start with the title and then the app brings up suggested ingredients. For example, when I enter the title “Chocolate Cake,” the app brings up these suggested ingredients: chocolate chips, water, egg, milk, butter, sour cream, almond, and instant chocolate pudding mix. I just x-out the ingredients I don’t want and add any additional things the recipe calls for.
Once I’ve added it to my cookbook, the app asks me if I’d like to also add it to my meal plan. If I say yes, it adds it to my meal plan and allows me to select a date.
When I add a recipe from my cookbook to my meal plan, it also automatically adds all the ingredients to my grocery list and categorizes them based on the section of the grocery store I’ll find the item. If I already have some of the ingredients on hand, I just delete them from the list.
Another cool feature of the app compares your grocery list to sales at local stores. If one of the items in my list is on sale, a note shows up on the shopping list telling you who has a sale and how much the item costs. I’d love to use this feature more, but in my area the only stores synced with the app are Aldi’s and Walmart, two places I don’t frequently shop.
Overall, the app has seriously improved my old envelope routine. Do you use technology to make your meal planning easier?