I am trying to find an app (or even a website I access via my PC) that allows me to: 1) easily schedule meals over the course of a week or month, 2) already has the recipes/ingredients/directions, and 3) allows me to create a shopping list based on ingredients. I swear, I really have looked all over the place and I think my problem is too many choices.
posted by tllaya to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I both grew up fairly poor with limited food options. We are no longer poor, and we want to prioritize a healthy (and tasty) diet. Neither of us has any food education. The dietary and cooking options available are overwhelming, and we both find ourselves paralyzed at how much we didn't know that we didn't know.
We have decided that we are going to take turns cooking meals each week and ideally, the meals will be large enough that we can have them for dinner the next day - so we'll each be cooking 2-3x per week. That seems doable. We are only feeding ourselves - no kids. We have no dietary restrictions (except bell peppers are yucky). We are open to new dietary experiences (we kind of have to be).
Complications: My partner and I both work a lot. We have very little time. We are also both always very tired. I'm hoping a better diet will help, but for now please assume that neither of us has the mental energy to make tons of micro-decisions. Neither of us knows how to use most kitchen gadgets (grew up poor, no context). In fact, in terms of kitchen gadgets, please assume that we are ignorant of their existence, and that as a result, a lot of recipes are probably made more complicated for us because we don't realize there's something out there designed to make it easy. Growing up, if you couldn't stir it with a spoon or cut it with the one good knife, it didn't get made.
Prep options are limited to: Stove, oven, slow-cooker, microwave. There will be no grilling out, and anything slightly smoky in the kitchen sets off the smoke detector immediately (a rant for a different day). We do have a fridge and a separate, very large freezer, so we can totally cook in bulk. We don't know what braising means. We don't know what parboiling means, etc. I need a cooking glossary. Maybe not in this app, but it would be handy.
Solutions: I am completely willing to throw (some) money at this problem. If there's some monthly service which has its own database of recipes, allows you to schedule meals, and coordinates with a shopping list, and doesn't cost more than $5/month, and And AND you have personal positive experience with it, please let me know. I'll give it a shot!
What we want:
1)Either a pre-existing database of recipes, or an easy way to create a database of personal recipes (Mmm Clipper does this).
2)Coordination with a shopping list
3)Allows you to schedule meals, or schedules meals for you
We both have ipod touches. We both do grocery shopping. It sure would be awesome if we could get the recipes and shopping lists to both ipods and have them sync, but our recent adventures in syncing budget software suggests this may still be a pretty advanced feature for most apps.
It would be great if the recipes indicate how long it will take to prepare.
I'm wondering if maybe part of my problem is that I'm trying to do all of this on my tiny ipod screen. Perhaps an app/software/website that does PC to iPod would be best, so that I can see the whole month in front of me, see the whole recipe, etc. I think I'm having a hard time conceptualizing stuff.
I mentioned Mmm Clipper above, and it seems to have a lot of the features we want, but there's still more self-assembly required than we are able to do right now. I really want something very, very simple and convenient to start. It doesn't need to have a great variety of food. It just needs to be easy to use.
Oh, I have such hope that you folks will be able to help us. I've been looking for something for a few years, and I keep getting overwhelmed by options, or getting partially into an app and realize it takes a lot more personal set-up than I'd envisioned, and then I get frustrated and walk off, and it's back to Subway for dinner.
Again, the things this app/website/whatever must have are:
1)ability to schedule meals
3)ability to create shopping list based on recipes
4)simple to use both technologically and for people who don't know much about the lingo and tools of cooking.