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The benefits of meal planning have been shouted from every mountain and every Pinterest board, and rightly so. Meal planning can help with everything from slashing expenses to boosting nutrition.
It can also be tricky.
Thankfully, there’s an app for that.
These are 18 of the best meal planning apps to keep you on track with your weekly meal planning.
These meal plan apps will help you save time, eat healthier, be more organized, and stick to your diet if needed. I’ve split my list into free and paid options to help you meal prep.
Make sure to check out my guide on How to Meal Prep for Beginners!
- The Best Meal Plan Apps to Save Time & Money (Paid / Free Trials)
- The Best Meal Plan Apps to Save Time & Money (Free)
The Best Meal Plan Apps to Save Time & Money (Paid / Free Trials)
If you’re ready to invest in a meal plan app, check out my favorite picks on this list. The small one-time fees or modest yearly subscriptions are well worth the price in terms of time and money saved.
Plus, the meal plan apps on this list are often focused on specific needs–like budget-friendly foods or special diets.
Ultimate Meal Plans
My buddy Joel started an awesome meal planning service called Ultimate Meal Plans (free trial!). Every week they give you recipes to cook, a mapped out meal schedule for the week, and a grocery list of everything you need to buy.
And here’s where it really gets crazy… these guys somehow figured out a way to integrate their meal plan service with all the major grocery stores. I honestly don’t know what tech wizardry they worked up to make this happen, but who cares–it’s awesome.
Features of the Ultimate Meal Plans:
- Less than 15 minutes of prep time
- 5 ingredients or less for every recipe
- 9 different diet options: keto, paleo, low carb, weight loss, etc.
- Weekly grocery shopping list
- Private FB group
- Access to a diet coach to ask questions
- Exclude ingredients you don’t like, can’t find, or are allergic to
I can’t recommend UMP enough! Joel is as legit as they come and this service is incredible.
You can sign up for a 2 week free trial and then it’s only $8 a month to keep getting meal plans delivered to your inbox each week.
5 Meal Plan
I know quality time with your family is important. Busy moms and dads lose some of that time brainstorming meal ideas and creating lists for stores. Never mind actually shopping and then prepping your food.
The $5 Meal Plan app promises to help you reclaim some of that time. For $5 a month, you can join tens of thousands of people who use the app for simple and tasty meal plans.
Each meal clocks in at $2 a person or less, so this app is perfect for families who want something quick and convenient without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
The best part about this app is that it’s completely customizable. You can choose between vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diets and adjust serving sizes based on how much food each person eats in one sitting.
You can also set up multiple accounts for different households. You can then share your own recipes with other people in your household, so everyone knows what’s on the menu for dinner that night!
Paprika is a recipe manager with downloads available for Mac, PC, Android, and iOS. Priced between $4.99 and $29.99 depending on the version you download, the cost can seem a bit steep. But it’s a worthwhile investment, especially if you are looking for a recipe manager that syncs across multiple devices.
No more finding a recipe on your tablet and then having to remember to email yourself the link to find it again at the grocery store. Paprika allows you to access your recipes, grocery lists, and meal plans all in one place.
You can also import recipes from anywhere on the Internet. Features like smart grocery lists organized by grocery store aisle and interactive recipes that allow you to mark your progress as you cook help this app stand out from other meal plan apps.
Paprika also has an interactive cooking encyclopedia that lets you search for recipes based on your ingredients or keyword. This is helpful if you’re too lazy to prep a meal or don’t know what to make for dinner.
One of the reasons why people turn to fast food and takeout is because, well, it’s fast. If you’re committed to eating healthier and still want to save time, Platejoy can help.
Platejoy stands out as one of the best meal plan apps for people following special diets. From Paleo and dairy free to keto and vegan (plus so many others!), this meal plan app can help you stay on track.
In addition to custom meal plans and smart grocery lists, it also includes optional grocery delivery thanks to a smart integration with Instacart.
Platejoy can even customize its offerings based on what’s in season at the local grocery store near you. Professional chefs design the meals, so they’re guaranteed to be delicious and healthy, no matter how picky you are about food!
Plans start at just $8 a month, and you can sign up for a free trial to test out Platejoy today. If you want more info, check out my friend’s thorough platejoy review.
Plan to Eat
Plan to Eat is another meal plan app that you might want to explore. Nearly 50% of users say this app slashed their time in the grocery store and almost 80% of people said they see less food waste.
Long-time users (the app’s been around for 10 years!) are loyal to this app and their subscriptions and for good reason.
With testimonials that an entire week of family meal planning takes less than 15 minutes and the app allows them to store, organize, and tag nearly 5,000 recipes that they’ve tried, it’s no wonder people are renewing their plans each year.
After selecting the date range of the recipes you’d like to shop for, the app will automatically create your shopping list. You can then either cross items off the list or print it out.
Monthly plans cost $5 or a yearly subscription clocks in at $39.
This app is similar to other meal prep apps in some of its basic features. MealBoard helps with everything from planning meals and shopping to tracking inventory and organizing recipes.
What sets it apart is its sleek design and uncluttered look. Because the app is fully customizable, it comes with just a few recipes on it. Then, you start importing and inputting your favorites.
The app also allows you to organize food by type (vegetables, meats, and cheeses), which makes it easier to find all the items needed for cooking.
MealBoard lets you share recipes with friends and family members through its private recipe-sharing feature. You can also post photos of your food on Facebook or Twitter from within the app itself!
It’s available in the App Store for $3.99, and you can access your account for free from your computer.
If the question, “What’s for dinner?” stops you in your tracks, you might need MealPlan+.
This app is simple, and that’s why I love it. It features a drag-and-drop interface that makes it perfect for phones and tablets. You can reschedule recent meals or type in new ones when inspiration strikes.
There are no limits or constraints on what you can do. For example, if you don’t like eggs for breakfast, just drag them into another meal later in the day! MealPlan+ supports multiple users, so the whole family can use it without each person needing to set up their own account.
Available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad, MealPlan+ costs $3.99. MealPlan+ also wins points for extra portability since it’s compatible with Apple Watch.
Keeping your grocery list at hand while you shop has never been easier.
The Best Meal Plan Apps to Save Time & Money (Free)
Meal planning is a process designed to help you save time and money. One of the most effective ways to explore the world of meal planning is to use an app for help.
If you’re not totally certain meal prep is for you (it is!) or you want to take several options for a test drive, these free meal planning apps are some of the very best. If you need more help, here are some more apps for saving money on groceries!
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to meal prepping. Mealime aims to streamline the entire process from planning and shopping to prepping and eating.
In fact, they say their goal is to make meal planning as simple as ordering takeout. What could be better? How about learning that a meal prep app that does all that is actually free?
Busy moms and dads, rejoice. No more hunting down complicated ingredients at the grocery store. No more wondering if the recipe steps will ever end. These are simple, delicious, and healthy meals everyone will enjoy.
The app also provides nutritional information for each recipe, so you can make informed decisions about what you eat. Mealime is free; however, in-app purchases are available for premium features such as unlimited recipe uploads and unlimited categories on your grocery list.
Mealime is about to revolutionize the way your family eats.
Everyone has that one friend they can count on to make the perfect menu suggestions when you’re eating out. Yummly is a lot like that friend–if they lived in your pocket and were determined to make meal prep anything but boring.
Using this app, you can meal plan based on specific diets and meal preferences. Plus, you can curate a list of recipes you love and organize your shopping list. Yummly even offers personalized recipe recommendations.
You can browse by category or search by keyword or ingredient (like “chicken”), which makes it easy to get feedback.
A free meal prep app that understands the way you like to eat. That’s a meal plan app worth knowing.
This meal prep app is designed for real people and to manage real problems. No more digging through recipe book after book or rummaging through piles of papers to find your favorite meal.
The entire meal planning process is simplified with Pepperplate.
Manage recipes, create menus, plan your week, and share your favorites easily with family and friends. There’s even a Cook Mode that stops your screen from dimming. Because I know how annoying it is to battle the lock screen with dirty hands.
Manage favorite recipes, create menus, plan your week, and share your favorites easily with family and friends. Pepperplate also includes tools such as timers and kitchen scales to help make meal prep easier. There’s even a Cook Mode that stops your screen from dimming. Because I know how annoying it is to battle the lock screen with dirty hands.
As an added bonus, it’s free and available for all devices, even Nooks!
Their recipe database has over 100,000 entries. Additionally, you can add your own favorite recipes and save ideas from the Internet as well. If you find yourself doing a little tweaking, you can also edit and customize your recipes right from the app.
There are smart design features, too, like the ability to split screen while you cook, so you can see the recipe up to three ingredients and steps side by side. The app has an uncluttered cooking experience that lets you focus on the recipe at hand. Additionally, it includes a user interface that lets you check off items while you cook, eliminating the need to constantly check whether you’ve added salt.
This simple app organizes recipes, helps you plan your meals, and streamlines grocery shopping with a few easy clicks.
Eat This Much
One of the hardest parts of following any diet is keeping your meals varied and interesting. Eat This Much has your back.
Whether you have specific calorie goals, have been a long-time vegetarian or vegan, or are looking to try out a Paleo, keto, or Mediterrean diet, Eat This Much has a plan for you.
You simply input the diet you’d like to try and the app becomes your personal diet assistant. You just tell the app how much weight you want to lose or gain, then put in how many grams of each nutrient you want per meal on a scale from one to five.
Eat This Much then generates a weekly meal schedule for you based on those numbers. So if you’re trying to lose weight, it will suggest lower-calorie dishes than if you’re trying to gain weight. There are also options for vegetarians and vegans. Simply choose them from the dropdown menu at the top of the screen when creating a new meal plan.
This app isn’t just for people who are watching calories or following a specific diet. You can actually follow any eating style or create your own.
Create an account online or download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Perhaps you’ve followed a vegan diet for years or are just getting started. Maybe you’re somewhere in between. No matter where you are on your plant-based eating journey, you will want to check out Veganized.
This is a good meal planning app for vegans for several reasons: You can use the app to find and share delicious vegan meal prep recipes, which makes meal planning a breeze. Plus, you can also use the app to follow your nutrient intake.
You can also filter by ingredients or allergies so you only see recipes based on your needs. The app also includes a library of free eBooks that will teach you how to cook vegan food like a pro!
Grab Veganized for free from the Google Play Store.
BigOven Recipes and Meal Planner
I had to feature BigOven as one of my favorite meal prep apps. Why? Not only does BigOven offer half a million recipes for users to search through, it spotlights recipes in unique and helpful ways.
Recipe Ideas are seasonal picks, which are extremely helpful if you’re hosting a dinner or bringing a dish to an event. Recent Raves help you see which recipes are most popular with other users.
Finally, there are Recipe Picks that editors feature. This caught my eye because it was the first meal prep app I saw to feature recipes for Low FODMAP diets.
With this app, you can easily create meal recipes that use up leftovers from previous dinners. The app lets you search through its database of recipes by ingredient. So if you have leftover chicken or vegetables, search for those ingredients, and it will suggest some favorite recipes based on what you have in your fridge. This helps you to reduce food waste, which is a huge win, in my opinion!
You can also add notes to each recipe so you don’t forget what ingredients are needed or how much time a recipe takes to prepare.
Finally, with this app, you can save time by watching video tutorials on how to prepare certain dishes or even see how-to videos by professional chefs.
Cozi Family Organizer
The Cozi Family Organizer is designed for families with busy schedules who still want to carve out time to sit down and enjoy meals together. So this is the perfect app for all families!
If you have kids in school, this organizer is great, because it syncs with the school calendar to show you where everyone is supposed to be at any given time.
Helpful features include the ability to share calendars and set reminders. That’s part of why it’s been named as The TODAY Show’s best app for a better life.
You can add your grocery list right into the app and sync it with your Google Calendar so that your schedule is always up-to-date with your grocery shopping lists.
The Cozi Family Organizer is free and available from any mobile device or computer.
Meal Planner Pro
In a round up of top meal prep apps, I had to feature Meal Planner Pro for all of the busy moms and dads out there. This planner stands out by offering users the ability to create profiles for every family member.
That’s right! You can plan meals around individuals–whether it’s special diets or nutritional goals–and the whole family.
If someone in your family has allergy restrictions, this is the best of all the meal prep apps to try. You can sort by everything from sulfite-free and dairy-free to peanut-free and gluten-free meal prep recipes.
Registered dieticians actually helped develop the planner. This is good news for families who want to focus on tasty food and health. Their ProScore system highlights the nutritional content in each meal and offers scores to help you hit your nutritional goals, while saving time and money.
Averaging 4.9 stars out of 5, AnyList is one of the highest rated meal prep apps in the App Store. Whether you have a roommate or a spouse, you can share grocery lists and meal plans instantly and for free.
When someone modifies, changes appear on all devices. Once you’ve made your grocery list, AnyList will even remind you when it’s time to buy items expiring soon.
You can even add photos of items so that there’s no confusion at the grocery store. Keep everyone on the same page with a few easy clicks!
You can also search for favorite recipes by ingredient or dish type or create your own customized recipe box by adding the ingredients you want to use. The app has an extensive database of recipes from popular food blogs and websites, including Food Network, Epicurious, Good Housekeeping, Taste of Home, and more.
In addition to creating organized lists and sharing them with ease, AnyList also lets you add items with Siri. It works on Mac and PC, and you can snag it on the App Store or Google Play.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner
Rounding out my round-up of best free meal plan apps is the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner. Allrecipes is ubiquitous in the online recipe sphere. While you’ve likely searched their site for meal ideas before, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve checked out the Dinner Spinner.
This app is more like a community for foodies of all kinds. In addition to sharing favorite recipes with friends and family members, you can connect with cooks who share similar interests.
You can also sync up with other grocery stores outside your local market to see what they have in stock when you need something specific for a recipe. The app also alerts you about new recipes on Allrecipes that match your food preferences. This is great if you’re looking for something new to try!
With the Dinner Spinner, you can shop and plan meals with 50,000 recipes–that feature photos and videos!–endorsed by over 50 million home cooks.
Meal planning apps save time and money while providing healthy, well-balanced meals. These 18 best meal planning apps help you find recipes, create meal plans, and order groceries from home. With so many options available, there’s sure to be an app for everyone.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.