The 5 Best Meal Planning apps for in 2024
REVIEWED ON JAN 11, 2024
Welcome, fellow food enthusiasts and organization fans! It’s 2024, and let’s face it, our lives are as active as ever. But here's the good news: meal planning isn't the incredibly tedious chore it used to be, thanks to some incredibly innovative apps. In this article, we're diving into the digital world of meal planning – a realm where convenience meets culinary adventure. Think of these apps as your personal sous-chefs, minus the kitchen clutter!
We are saying goodbye to the days of last-minute grocery runs and "what's for dinner?" dilemmas. This year's top meal planning apps are all about turning your everyday meals into a seamless, enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a kitchen newbie, a busy parent or just someone trying to spice up their meal game, there’s something here for everyone. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the crème de la crème of meal planning apps that are set to revolutionize your dining table in 2024!
Food and drink delivery subscription services
Kicking off our list at number five is HelloFresh, but with a twist! It's not your traditional meal planning app; think of it as meal prep with training wheels. For those who find the nitty-gritty of meal prep overwhelming, HelloFresh is a lifesaver. It delivers pre-portioned ingredients right to your doorstep, complete with easy-to-follow recipes. This means you can say goodbye to measuring out spices or worrying about leftover ingredients. It's perfect for those who want the joy of cooking without the hassle of planning.
Paprika Recipe Manager
Paprika Recipe Manager
At number four, we have Paprika Recipe Manager, the app that turns your device into a culinary command center. Unlike HelloFresh, Paprika is for those who love the planning part as much as the cooking. It helps you organize recipes, make meal plans and even create grocery lists based on your menu. It's a fantastic tool for those who enjoy browsing recipes and crafting their own unique weekly meal plans. Think of it as your digital recipe binder, always ready to inspire your next kitchen adventure.
Stepping up to the podium at number three is Mealime. This app is an amazing tool for meal preppers. In its first impressive feature, Mealime offers personalized meal plans tailored to your dietary preferences and time constraints. But here's the kicker: you can order the ingredients for your planned meals directly through the app. That's right, no more scribbled grocery lists or forgetting that one crucial ingredient.
In its second standout feature, Mealime doesn't just stop at meal planning; it's also a hub for discovering new recipes. Whether you're craving something exotic or looking for a quick weeknight dinner, Mealime has you covered. This blend of convenience and variety makes it a top contender in the meal planning arena.
Narrowly missing the top spot and coming in at number two is BigOven. This app shares many similarities with Mealime, such as recipe discovery and grocery list generation. However, what sets BigOven apart is its vast library of over 500,000 recipes and its emphasis on using leftovers. Got some random ingredients in your fridge? BigOven can suggest recipes to use them, reducing food waste and sparking creativity.
Another cool feature of BigOven is its social aspect. You can see what your friends are cooking, share recipes and even post your culinary successes. It's like a social media platform for food lovers, keeping you both inspired and accountable in your meal planning journey.
Meal planning apps
And now, drumroll, please... Claiming the crown at number one is Prepear! This app is the complete package, combining all the best features of meal planning with a social twist. Prepear stands out for its community aspect, where you can follow friends, family and food bloggers for meal inspiration. This social element adds a motivational boost, encouraging you to stick with your meal prep goals.
Besides its social features, Prepear excels in recipe management and grocery ordering. You can save your favorite recipes, plan your meals for the week and order ingredients all in one place. It's the ultimate tool for streamlining your meal planning process, making it as enjoyable as it is efficient. With Prepear, meal planning isn't just a chore; it's a lifestyle and a fun one at that!
Apps for those Cheeky Cheat Meal Days
Even the most disciplined meal preppers deserve a break now and then. Enter the world of food delivery apps, where your cheat meal is just a few taps away. Imagine this: you’ve been sticking to your meal plan all week, and now it's time to reward yourself. You pull out your phone and open an app like Grubhub, Postmates or Uber Eats. Suddenly, a world of indulgence is at your fingertips.
For instance, imagine ordering a black bean quesarito from Taco Bell through Grubhub. It’s a simple, satisfying option that's just indulgent enough to feel like a treat. Or, if you're craving something sweet, how about a cinnamon roll from Great Harvest Bread Company via Postmates? These apps offer a variety of choices, from the savory to the sweet, ensuring your cheat meal is exactly what you've been dreaming of. And let's not forget the convenience of Uber Eats, which might offer the quickest and most cost-effective way to satisfy those cravings, even for something as simple as an iced latte from a local cafe.
Remember, it’s all about balance. Using these apps for your occasional cheat meal doesn't mean you're abandoning your meal prep goals. It's a way to enjoy a guilt-free reward, keeping you motivated and on track with your overall plan. So go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy that well-deserved cheat meal!
As we wrap up our culinary trip through the best meal planning apps of this year, it's clear that the future of food is both exciting and accessible. Each app we've explored offers a unique approach to simplifying the meal planning process, empowering you to take control of your diet and time. Whether it’s the ingredient delivery convenience of HelloFresh, the organizational wizardry of Paprika, the personalization and grocery ordering of Mealime, the vast recipe library and social community of BigOven or the all-encompassing, community-driven experience of Prepear, there’s a solution for every type of food enthusiast.
But it's not just about the apps – it’s about the lifestyle they enable. These digital tools are more than just a means to an end; they are gateways to culinary creativity, time-saving solutions and healthier eating habits. They remind us that technology can be a powerful ally in our daily lives, transforming what was once a chore into an enjoyable experience. And for those moments when you crave a break, cheat meal apps like Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats are there to offer a delightful reprieve. This article wasn't just a list of apps; it was a glimpse into a world where technology meets taste, efficiency and fun.
My Personal Recommendation
“On a personal note, I’ve found myself particularly enamored with Prepear. As someone who thrives on community and social interaction, the app’s unique social aspect has been a game-changer for me. Following my friends, family and inspiring food bloggers has not only enriched my meal planning experience but has also kept me engaged and motivated. It’s one thing to plan and prepare meals; it’s another to share that journey with a community. Prepear strikes that perfect balance between functionality and fun, making it my go-to app in the world of meal planning. It's not just about cooking; it's about connecting, and that's something truly special.”
Zoe Williams writes with a big curiosity in music and the entertainment industry. She loves games and social media and has always dreamed about becoming her own Lara Croft. Her favorite apps? Last Day on Earth (game) and Disney+.
Writer for best of apps since October 2023