Continuing from last week’s blog with its focus on how to save time around food procurement and preparation, this week I want to share with you an app that I recently discovered.
Menu Planner by InnovaDev, LLC is fabulous for streamlining everything around the process of cooking. There are five main functions available: Meals, Recipes, Import Recipes, Shopping List, and Community. So far, I’ve used Meals, Recipes and Shopping List, and I’ve been very pleased with the app’s performance.
It takes a little time to input recipes, but I didn’t find that bothersome. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m one of those strange people who enjoy looking at cookbooks and planning meals, so finding favorites and collecting them in the app was fun for me.
Once you input a few recipes, the next step is to plan your grocery list. Easy! Go to your recipe, click the shopping cart icon in the upper right corner and check off the ingredients you need to buy. If you need other items, they’re easy to add, too. Just click the plus (+) symbol and enter the information on the popup form. Be sure to set a category for each item because that will help you later.
Now it’s off to the grocery. Click the Shopping List icon on the bottom of the app and your shopping list pops up organized and ready to go. If you’ve categorized your items, they’ll appear in groups, which was very convenient as my youngest daughter and I traveled around the grocery store. Once an item is checked off, it goes into the “In Cart” category making it easy to see what you’ve picked up already, and what you haven’t. You can even put in price and get a total spent, if you want.
To make this chore even easier, I decided to prepare a few meals for the slow cooker ahead of time. After we put the groceries away, I organized my ingredients, propped my iPad up on the counter and clicked Recipes on the app.
Going down the list, I put together several of the recipes, and then bagged them for the freezer. After cleaning up, I took a well-deserved nap, happy in the knowledge that I had delicious meals waiting to go into the slow cooker at the drop of a hat.
Five hours of work for weeks of fabulous eating! What a deal!