aNewDomain.net — We live in an on-demand world, but if you plan on eating — without dropping some serious cash or gaining serious pounds — you need to plan.
From recipe selection to shopping to meal prep, the basic steps for cooking at home remain much as they did before smartphones and Google. I found an app, it’s called Ziplist, that’s worth a look.
Among all the shopping list apps out there, Ziplist stands out. It is a complete meal planning system, helping you find and save recipes, plan out a week’s worth of meals, and then get your shopping done.
A Recipe for Success
To get you started, Ziplist’s web app has tons of recipes to choose from. There is a robust Ziplist community of recipe sharers. But where Ziplist really shines is its capability for pulling recipes off the best of the Web. Not only does the site aggregate recipes from popular sites (such as epicurious.com), but it offers a nifty bookmarklet that will import recipes you find on any site.
Of course you can enter your own recipes, and you can tag all the meals you store in your Recipe Box. Best of all, you can add your own tags to them. This is immensely helpful when planning your busy day, and you want to choose from all the “crockpot” meals.
Once you’ve selected your meals from the list, your next step is to assign them easily to each day, creating a meal plan. If you are the OCD type, Ziplist offers the ability to import that meal plan as a feed into your calendar app.
Mise en place
With your meal plan in place, it’s time to migrate your ingredients list to your shopping list. Ziplist makes this easy: with a click of the Add to list button, Ziplist will make suggestions for your grocery run. Remove the items you already have, and you’re ready to go.
That shopping list is synced with your iPhone or Android app, which means you can jump right in the car and head to the store. Or better yet, since Ziplist has robust list sharing, call up your significant other and have him or her do the shopping on the way home (you just did all the hard work of meal planning, after all).
Too much salt
After trying and discarding nearly a dozen shopping apps, Ziplist is the one we use and love at my house. That’s not to say it can’t use some additional seasoning, however. Here are my complaints:
- Adding items via the phone app takes far too many steps, especially if you change the quantity.
- Adjusting the quantity via the phone app (by editing a quantity field) and the web app (by prefixing a number to the item name) is inconsistent and confusing.
- Marking items in the shopping list is dreadfully sensitive, and I often “check” items I haven’t actually picked up. A swipe gesture would be helpful.
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Carey Head is a senior contributor at aNewDomain.net covering the biztech beat. Email him at Carey@aNewDomain.net.