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Meal planning apps can help people better manage their time and food choices. They may also have other beneficial features that aim to help individuals organize their day.

An overview of the best meal planning apps of 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say planning meals in advance helps people make better food choices.

This article takes a look at some of the best meal planning apps for 2022. We also dive into meal planning in more detail and answer some frequently asked questions.

A doctor may suggest a person follow a meal plan if they have or are at risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes. They can also recommend it to people who want to manage their weight. Individuals can keep a handwritten meal plan, but they may find meal planning apps more convenient.

Meal planning apps can help a person organize their time better and make healthier food choices. This, in turn, can reduce their risk of disease and help with weight management. A 2021 study looked at meal-planning apps among a group of working parents and concluded that apps can save time and promote healthy eating.

Health benefits associated with meal planning to understand better overall health, reduced risk of illness and disease, and the ability to track progress.

Other benefits may also to understand greater variety of foods, better adherence to nutritional guidelines, and successful weight management.

Moreover, a person can also save money and reduce food waste.

A 2019 study found that meal planning was associated with higher fruit and vegetable intake and lower body mass index (BMI) in college freshmen.

Meal planning apps are easy to download for Apple or Android devices from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Each app works differently. However, a person can usually customize them by selecting:

  • food preferences
  • diet
  • ballast
  • the size
  • Specific objectives

Below, we take a look at some of the best meal planning apps a person can consider.

Best for Couples: MealPrepPro

MealPrepPro allows a person to enter their goals and ideal calorie intake and provides recipes based on those preferences.

It offers more than 15 plans to choose from, and a person can add their partner to their account. Additionally, individuals can create shopping lists with the app.

There are some pros and cons to consider, such as:

Advantages:

  • new recipes added weekly
  • the company states that it works with dietitians
  • can filter out allergies and disliked foods
  • 1 week free trial

The inconvenients:

  • limited customer reviews
  • currently not available on Android devices

Best Interactive: Paprika

This app is highly interactive and allows a user to import recipes they find online, cross out ingredients as they add them to a recipe, add images, and highlight , bold, or italicized instructions.

The app also has a “tap to start” timer and is also able to automatically scale ingredients to the appropriate portion size.

Paprika has a smart grocery list feature, allowing for more than one list at a time that people can customize to their liking.

Some considerations include:

Advantages:

  • the screen doesn’t go into “sleep” mode while cooking, so a person doesn’t have to keep unlocking their device
  • the application can convert measurements from the metric system to the imperial system

The inconvenients:

  • the app has no Trustpilot page, which means limited independent reviews
  • it does not offer a free trial
  • it does not have its own recipe database

Best Herbal: Forks Over Knives

This website offers a database entirely of vegetable recipes designed by chefs. It offers recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A person can also customize their plan and add their own recipes.

Forks Over Knives also offers a smart grocery list.

Although there is no specific app that a person can download, the company claims that the site is mobile-friendly and its design allows individuals to save it to the home screen of a mobile device.

A person may consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • the company offers a 14-day free trial
  • people can access the site from any compatible device

The inconvenients:

  • the app has no reviews on its Trustpilot page
  • it is more expensive than some competitors

Ideal for weight management: DietWiz

This app helps individuals plan their meals to manage their weight. It can meet a variety of dietary needs, including vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, sugar-free, dairy-free, keto, and low cholesterol.

It also includes a macro calculator, calorie and BMI counter, and a community forum to share recipes. The app has preloaded recipes and can generate grocery lists.

Below we look at some pros and cons for a person to consider.

Advantages:

  • the app tracks progress
  • individuals can add their own recipes

The inconvenients:

  • there are no Trustpilot reviews
  • it may be more expensive compared to competitors
  • it’s unclear how often the company adds new recipes

Ideal for families: Cozi

Cozi is a family organization app that also offers meal planning. It has a database of recipes that a person can browse, or they can import their own as needed. The app allows family members to add meals to the family calendar that everyone in the family profile can see.

The app also offers a grocery list and a person can save their favorite recipes.

Some considerations include:

Advantages:

  • the application offers a family calendar that everyone under this profile can access
  • a free version is available

The inconvenients:

  • the app has no reviews on Trustpilot
  • individuals must pay for an ad-free experience

Ideal for all budgets: MealsAdvice

This app has a useful budgeting feature that shows the price of ingredients when someone adds them to their grocery list. It also allows users to add inventory of ingredients to their cabinets to avoid buying unnecessary products.

A person can add recipes or import their favorites online, but the app does not provide their own recipes. It features a calendar view for people to add or change meals for easy planning.

There are certain pros and cons that a person may consider:

Advantages:

  • the app helps prevent food waste
  • it helps a person stick to their budget
  • it can sync with all devices

The inconvenients:

  • the app does not have a recipe database
  • it’s relatively basic compared to other apps
  • it is currently only available for iOS devices

Ideal for short preparation times: Meal

Mealime states that a person can prepare and cook their recipes in 30 minutes or less. It has a large database of recipes and allows users to filter based on dietary requirements.

A person can also generate shopping lists using the Mealime app.

Some considerations include:

Advantages:

  • access to the basic features of the application is free
  • it provides access to various online grocery stores

The inconvenients:

  • individuals must pay additional fees to access all features
  • it is not possible to add personal recipes
The table below compares the apps in this article.

All apps have a grocery list feature.

Below, we look at some common questions about meal prep apps.

What is a Meal Planning App?

Meal planning apps allow a person to organize and plan their meals for the week or longer. Many apps include a recipe database and smart grocery list, helping people save time and money.

How much does a meal planner app cost?

Meal planning apps vary in cost. Some offer free versions with basic functionality. In this article, apps that require a one-time fee cost between $4 and $5, and those that have a subscription cost between $2 and $45 per month.

Can using a meal planning app help cut costs?

Meal planning apps can help cut costs because they help a person buy only the ingredients they need. This also helps to limit food waste.

Additionally, a 2017 transverse A study notes that meal-planning apps promote cooking at home, which may mean people consider eating out less.

Meal planning apps help a person save time and money while ensuring that they follow a healthy diet. This can be particularly suitable for those with busy schedules.

Many apps are available to help you plan your meals. Some have free basic versions, while others require a subscription or one-time fee. A person should consider additional features of the app as well as dietary requirements.

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