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Meal Planning Software

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Anyone have one they like? For Mac, specifically? Does anyone have one that was free that they like? Mac makes one that looks pretty good, but it's pricey.

I want one that I can create my own categories, that will spit out shopping lists based on what I selected, that can import recipes from online sources, and that can pull up recipes based on ingredients in a search.

I'm trying to streamilne my meal planning. Right now all my recipes are in magazines, recipe books, on recipe cards, and in my head. It's way too much to look through when I'm planning the menu.
post #2 of 8
This would be dream come true!
Let us know if you find...

I am in need for the same. I am horrible at food shopping, don't know how to cook, little money, and have had my first child. it is a challenge....

Over the last year i have saved grocery receipts, finally I made an Excel sheet listing all the items. I gave them categories, cost, which store, which recipe.
I can sort the list depending on the category I choose.

Sounds crazy, but i feel better having made it. A little less crazy for me.
post #3 of 8
What's the program for the Mac??
post #4 of 8
I used to use a program called Omni Outliner for Mac - it's not specifically for meal planning, it's for list-making and keeping categories of stuff organized. But I used it for meal planning, keeping a master list of all my favorite recipes, then dragging and dropping them into a new plan each week. My husband wrote me a little script for it to generate a shopping list to print.

I'm not on a Mac anymore though, and haven't found a similar program for Windows.

However, now I mainly use the recipe database at EatRealGood (the CSA meal planner I made), even in the off season. I think this coming fall/winter, I'm going to make weekly meal plans that are comprehensive but easy and have those on the website, for when the farms are wintering over. It's one of those things I need to do for myself, so I may as well have it help others at the same time, know what I mean? Plus keep myself in line.
post #5 of 8
I found this: www.shopncook.com It looks awesome. You can import recipes, make your menus and then it'll make your grocery list! 45 day free trial
post #6 of 8
Try Ziplist.com. You can save your recipes, then select from them each week and get the ingredients added to your shopping list with the click of a button. Also, if you browse recipes on marthastewart.com, you can add them to your recipe box or shopping list with one click. Then there's the free iphone app you use at the store (which will reorder the categories of your list according the layout of the actual store you're shopping atl....how crazy is this?!) and tick things off as you go. I've been searching for meal planning software/apps forever, and this is the best system I've found. Only downside is that you can't designate which meals are for this week after you've added them to your shopping list. So I just jot them down on a postit note and stick that inside a cupboard each week.
post #7 of 8
Mac Gourmet can do most if not all of that. I don't know how cleanly it imports recipes though.
post #8 of 8
BigOven is a recipe software, I believe it has both a free version and an expanded full version (I bought the full for I think $20). It has a calendar feature that you can drop recipes into and will compile a shopping list based on all the recipes you have selected. You can search by ingredient, by recipe title, or "tag". And you can make custom "tags" to label recipes (so-and-so's favorite, summer meal, cookie, whatever you can think of) or you can sort them by putting different recipes into different recipe boxes. I LOVE this program especially since you can import a photo for each recipe and when I'm browsing for ideas, photos are the way to go for me. (OOH, you can also rate recipes you've made on a five star scale for in case you, like me, have a ton of ones you have yet to try and want to keep which ones you've tried straight from the ones you haven't.) It can also import recipes with one click from various sources (from other sources you will have to copy and paste and then select which sections are the title, ingredients, and instructions, not too difficult but more than just one click of a button).

I actually use it less for the menu/calendar feature and more for the searchability it offers. But that is mostly because when I'm planning my meals I use a google docs spreadsheet and have a tab for each month of the year. This way I can check the plan from wherever I am if I have internet access.
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