The Best Meal Planning Apps to Download Right Now
Finding the right meal planning app can help you pick your weekly recipes, plan a grocery list and even make sure you're eating healthy. Here are the apps worthy of a download.
If you’re looking for the best meal planning app of 2019, Mealime is a great place to start. This app is made for on-the-go eaters who want quick and healthy meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. It builds grocery lists from your recipe selections, allowing you to keep track of your shopping list and ensuring nothing gets left behind.
Mealime Meal Planner Pro
If you completely fall in love with the Mealime app, consider upgrading to Mealime Meal Planner Pro for a monthly or yearly subscription. The downside is—obviously—you have to start paying for new features. But if you’re using the Mealime app every week, it may be worth it.
The upgrade gains you access to new recipes every month, allows you to import your favorite recipes, lets you repeat previous weeks’ meal plans and allows you to add recipe notes after each meal.
LaLa Lunchbox is among the best meal planning apps for families. It’s tailor-made for children, attracting them with fun cartoons and bright colors, while allowing them to pick their own recipes. Well, within reason—they’re allowed to select a fruit, two vegetables, a protein and a snack for each meal. It’s a great way to allow kids to customize their own meals, but adults should definitely review to provide the final sign-off.
Download LaLa Lunchbox on the App Store. (Free)
Plan to Eat
Plan to Eat is a great meal planner for cook who love pulling recipes from their favorite sites or personal collection. It allows you to import recipes from anywhere, whether you’re adding your favorite Taste of Home recipe or typing in the recipe for mom’s legendary cheesecake. This is a great app if you already have a robust collection of recipes you love, but it’s on you to find healthy and properly portioned recipes to upload.
MealPrepPro is like having a virtual kitchen assistant to remind you about details you tend to forget, like how much time you’ll be spending meal prepping. It’s built with fitness in mind, helping you reach your health goals (ideal if you’re starting a wellness journey, like our 14-day clean eating meal plan). Now for the downside—how much is the MealPrepPro app? You start with a free 7-day subscription, then bump up to $5.99/month.
Download MealPrepPro on the App Store. ($5.99 per month)
Like other meal planning apps, eMeals allows you to pick recipes, create a shopping list and walk through recipes step-by-step. It stands out by integrating with grocery delivery services like Instacart, Kroger’s ClickList and even AmazonFresh. That means you can create your grocery list and have ingredients delivered from one app. You start with a free 14-day trial, then must select a subscription that runs from $29.99 to $99.99.
SideChef also allows you to send grocery lists to AmazonFresh, but it won’t speak to other apps like eMeals. It will, however, offer you similar meal planning and recipe cultivation without the monthly subscription. Start by filling out your taste profile to let the app know what you like, then pick meals from the app or upload your own. Don’t miss our beginner’s guide to meal planning!
If you enjoy taking a well-organized list to your grocery store each week, MealBoard may be the best choice for you. It expects you to upload your recipes, but really shines when it comes to ingredient aggregation. It connects to your local store—do you know which grocery store is cleanest?—and displays prices for each ingredient on your list. You can also store digital items in your “pantry,” ensuring you never make it to the grocery store only to find yourself thinking, Did I check to see if we have soy sauce?
Download MealBoard on the App Store. ($3.99)
This app allows you to comb its selection of healthy, vegan and paleo recipes to create a meal plan suited to your family’s needs. It speaks to Instacart, allowing you to note and order groceries in one app. It lets you “heart” recipes so you can easily find them later, but you can’t upload your favorite recipes to this one.
BigOven offers a few features that other meal planning apps don’t. There’s a social element, so you can interact with friends and food bloggers to see what dishes they’re loving, and even ask questions and post comments.
The app also comes with a feature that allows you to reduce food waste—type in the ingredients you already have and it will find recipes that use as many of them as possible. You’ll need to upgrade to a Pro membership for $1.99 a month to remove ads, though.