Meal planning can be a chore. If you have to juggle full-time work with running a side business, getting online certifications, or simply taking care of other family needs, you can get overwhelmed with planning your family meals. Meal planners exist to ease stress and allow you to save extra brainstorming hours.
Aside from saving time and money, meal planners help you get creative with a variety of recipes and combos, adding spice to your family meals. When you work with a particular meal plan, you can plan your shopping, purchase only the groceries you need, and prepare healthy meals for your family.
Different meal planning apps offer different meal plans; though some of these planners offer a free version, many of them include an option to upgrade and access special features including a meal calendar, a weight loss regimen, or customized meals for fitness goals. Read on to decide on the best meal planning app for your family.
#1 Platejoy: Platejoy is a premium planning app with a variety of customizable meal plans for different families. The clean, easy-to-follow recipes ensure that you design only the best, healthiest meal for your family. Upon signing up, you input a list of information that includes your health preferences and goals, your allergies (if any), and the ingredients of your choice. The suggestions include low-carb, gluten-free, low-sugar, vegan, and more. The picture qualities alongside the specificness of the different recipes contribute to the awesomeness of this app.
Platejoy offers a ten-day free trial for new users, followed by a $10/month subscription fee, with which you unlock features like access to dietitians, syncing of your meal plan to your device’s calendars, and nutritional information of recipes, etc. Subscribing to the annual plan ($99 per year) saves you $20 and gives you the luxury to plan your meals as far out as you wish
#2 Mealime: Thinking of quick, easy meals? Mealime’s plans include a potpourri of meals curated by leading chefs. The options are basic and suitable for people with limited minutes allotted for cooking. Mealime integrates an online grocery shopping feature, with simple, straightforward items that can be delivered via Amazon Fresh, Walmart, or Instacart.
With its ‘hands-free’ setting, you can navigate the Mealime app while cooking, without getting oily fingers on your phone’s screen. You can also track the nutrient value of each meal prepared, and determine how many servings you need to reach preset diet goals. The app has a free, basic version; upgrading costs only $3 per month for added features including exclusive recipes and nutrition tracking. Find the Mealime app in your preferred phone store.
#3 Paprika: Paprika is your traditional family recipe book in a digital format. Though Paprika lacks an in-built recipe list, users can import links to their favorite recipe websites - Cook’s Illustrated, The New York Times, etc. You can then design your recipe library to accommodate your meal choices, available ingredients, and fitness goals.
To use Paprika, users pay a one-time download fee when signing up ($2.99 for Android; $4.99 for iOS). Subscription is free; however, downloading the app on multiple devices attracts multiple fees. With a rating of 4.9/5 stars in multiple stores, Paprika’s is a timely fit for many families.
#4 Meal Prep Pro: Meal Prep Pro is only available on iOS devices. Its recipes are health-conscious, family-friendly, and eclectic. You can design a range of meal plans - low-carb, high-protein, low-protein, vegan, or the even Mediterranean. This is particularly helpful for families with individuals having different nutrition requirements.
Users can decide the level of prep they want, from no prep to full prep. The app links directly to Instacart for easy shopping. You enjoy a seven-day free trial before signing up for $6.99 monthly (or $47.99 per year, saving $36).
Before deciding on a meal planning app, highlight your needs. Are you looking for an app that offers variety? An app with easy-to-fix meals that allows you to save time and get other work done? Whatever your decision, these meal apps are worth every dime of the subscription fee.
Bonus apps: Fork Over Knives (great for vegans); Cozi (includes a chore-tracking feature).
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