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13 Best Meal Planning Services & Apps

The 13 Best Meal Planning Services and Apps

Many of us are finding ourselves cooking a lot more meals at home these days, and while for some it comes naturally, others of us may need some inspiration. A meal planning service is a great tool for organizing your week, offering everything from recipes and grocery shopping lists to nutritional tracking and, in some cases, even the option for grocery delivery. So, what’s the best meal planning service out there? Well, that depends on your needs—are you doing meal prep for yourself or your whole family? Do you have dietary restrictions? Do you wish to set nutritional goals? This list outlines all sorts of options, so we encourage you to read through and find the meal planning app or website that suits your personal needs!

Most Popular Meal Planning Services for Desktop & Download

1. Platejoy

Pumpkin black bean tacos, a meal idea from the Platejoy blog.

Image via Platejoy Blog.

The Cost: 10-day free trial. After free trial ends, digital membership costs $8 per month. Sign up here!

Features offered: Custom meal plans, grocery lists, recipe ideas & organization, menu calendars, nutritional tracking, automated grocery shopping lists, and optional grocery delivery via Instacart

About the service: Platejoy is meal planning service that’s all about personalization. When you sign up, you’ll fill out a detailed survey outlining the demographics of who you’ll be cooking for, information on food preferences and restrictions, appliances you use, how much time you have for each meal of the day, and beyond. Using this information, the unlimited recipes, nutritionist-designed menus, grocery lists, and more that come with your membership will be totally tailored to your needs—and, if anything changes, you can update your answers at any time.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

2. Raddish Kids

12-year-old girl with a white aprong and pigtails opening the Raddish Kids box at the counter in a kitchen.

Image via Raddish Kids.

The Cost: $24 per month for a kit that is mailed to you. Save with longer commitments. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe guides, culinary skill learning cards, a creative kitchen project, kid-friendly kitchen tools, and automated grocery shopping lists

About the service: Raddish Kids is a monthly subscription encouraging kids ages 4 to 14+ to get cooking, baking, and creating in the kitchen! With this subscription comes a physical box in the mail, and inside you’ll find 3 illustrated recipes, 3 cute cards that teach new culinary skills, one set of instructions for a creative kitchen project, and a new kid-safe tool to use in the kitchen. The box also comes with a grocery shopping list and digital materials such as dietary substitutions and lesson plans for parents of homeschooled students. 6- and 12-month subscriptions come with an apron; you can purchase a sibling apron for $15, and a monthly sibling bundle (extra kitchen tool and apron patch) for $5 per month. Recipe modifications for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free diets are available on their site.

Extra COVID-19 Resources: Raddish Kids acknowledges that many parents are suddenly homeschooling, and is offering additional kitchen-centered activities to try. See them here!

Available on: This is a physical subscription, but digital materials are available to subscribers on desktop.

Check out our Raddish Kids reviews for more info. Ships to the US for free. International shipping available to some countries for $7.

 

3. eMeals

Tomato avocado chicken and rice meal idea from eMeals.com.

Image via eMeals.

The Cost: 14-day free trial. After free trial ends, digital membership costs $9.99/per month for a minimum of 3 months. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas & organization, grocery lists, and the option for grocery delivery via Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart, or Shipt.

About the service: Signing up for eMeals is simple and quick—just indicate your household size and the style of diet you’d like to get started with from many options including vegetarian, vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, 30-minute meals, slow cooker meals, and more. With your membership comes access to a wide range of recipes, which you can select to plan your meals for the week. From the recipes you choose you’ll be provided a grocery list that you can use to shop yourself, or arrange for grocery pickup or delivery!

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

4. The Fresh 20

Three meal ideas from The Fresh 20 meal planning service.

Image via The Fresh 20.

The Cost: Free trial. After free trial ends, membership costs $14 per month. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipes using fresh ingredients, meal prep guidance for make-ahead meals, and automated grocery shopping lists

About the service: The Fresh 20 is a family-friendly, healthy meal planning service that focuses on using 20 fresh ingredients in all its recipes. The recipes are designed to feed families of four, and depending on the ages of the family members, there may at times be leftovers to eat for lunch the next day. Since there will only be 20 ingredients on your grocery list, many subscribers say grocery shopping only takes 20 minutes! This subscription includes step-by-step guides for meal prepping for the week ahead within a 1-hour time slot, as well as tips for meal prepping ingredients to freeze for the month ahead. Choose from classic, gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher, dairy-free, and paleo plans, as well as plans for one person.

Available on: Desktop and mobile.

 

5. Prep Dish

Prep Dish recipe for stuffed bell peppers.

Image from the Prep Dish Facebook page.

The Cost: 2-week free trial. After free trial ends, membership starts at $14 per month. Sign up here!

Features offered: Weekly menus, automated grocery shopping lists, and make-ahead meal prep guidelines

About the service: Your Prep Dish membership will provide you with a weekly meal plan catered to your dietary preferences. Each week’s plan will include 4 meals + 1 breakfast, 1 snack, and 1 dessert, with portions to feed a family of 4. Prep Dish encourages you to double or triple each recipe if you have a larger family or hungrier kids! It’s up to the subscriber to upload the provided shopping list to their favorite grocery list app for ease of organization, and while Prep Dish doesn’t currently offer an integrated shopping experience, they do share a list of recommended food delivery subscriptions in their FAQ (or you can see MSA’s favorites here!). With your plan will come a weekly newsletter that includes links to gluten-free and paleo meals, and there is always the option to cook dairy-free. They also offer specialty meal plans including AIP-compliant and Alkaline Diet here. Vegetarian meals are not offered at this time.

Available on: Desktop and mobile.

 

6. Plan to Eat

Recipe calendar available through Plan to Eat meal planning service.

Image via Plan to Eat.

The Cost: 30-day free trial. After free trial ends, membership costs $4.95 per month. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe organization, a meal planning calendar, and a shopping list

About the service: Plan to Eat promotes meal planning as a way of reducing grocery costs, increasing time efficiency, minimizing food waste, and promoting healthier eating habits. This service provides subscribers with tools to set you up for success, offering a place to gather, filter, and share recipes, an easy-to-use calendar so you can create and visualize your meal plan for the week, and an automatically generated grocery list that’s able to be edited as needed.

Available on: Desktop and mobile.

 

7. Eat This Much

Meal planner from Eat This Much.

Image via Eat This Much.

The Cost: Free basic membership. 14-day free trial of Premium membership. After your free trial ends, Premium membership costs $8.99 per month. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Personalized meal plans, calorie calculator, and with Premium, you can also access a weekly menu planner and automated grocery shopping lists

About the service: Eat This Much helps you determine how much and what, exactly, to eat to achieve your health goals. You’ll start by selecting your preferred diet between anything, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, keto, and Mediterranean offerings. You’ll then indicate how many calories you’d like to consume per meal—if you’re unsure, you can indicate a few personal details and have their calculator generate a goal for you. Finally, you’ll indicate how many meals you’d like to cook per recipe, from one to nine, a feature that’s great for make-ahead planning as well as feeding families. With the free membership you can do day-to-day planning, while Premium allows you to plan further ahead, access automatically generated grocery lists, print and email your plans, and coordinate grocery delivery.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

8. Prepear

Features of the meal planning app Prepear.

Image via Prepear.

The Cost: Free basic membership. 30-day trial of Gold membership costs $1. After $1 trial ends, Gold membership costs $9.99 per month. Save with longer commitments. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas & organization, meal plans (make your own or follow someone else’s), automated grocery shopping lists, reminders (such as when to start cooking), measurement adjustments, and recipe sharing

About the service: Prepear is a digital meal planning app and cooking-centric social media platform in one! You can use this app to build your own cookbook by saving recipes you find or adding your own, and you can connect with friends to share recipes or ask your network questions about a specific instruction. You can also create your own meal plan, or with a Gold membership you can download someone else’s to follow. When you select the recipes you’d like to cook, an integrated shopping list will be generated, and if you need to cook for more or less hungry mouths than a recipe was written for, you can update the serving number so that your measurements will adjust for you!

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

9. Healthy Meal Plans

The Cost: Access recipes for free. Plans start at $9.99 for 4 weeks. Save with longer subscriptions. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas & organization, meal plans, grocery lists, and nutrition information generator, measurement adjustments

About the service: Healthy Meal Plans is a free resource for finding healthy recipes to cook in your own kitchen—filter by meal, dietary restrictions, calorie count, and recipes that include or exclude specific ingredients to zero in on the meal that best suits your pantry at any given moment. Calorie info, prep time, and cook time is available for every recipe on their site, and if you need to adjust the servings any given recipe makes, the ingredient measurements instantly update. With a subscription you can access additional tools such as a meal planner, automatically generated grocery lists, and dietician-designed plans ranging from 4 weeks to 12 weeks, based on a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, low-carb diet, or general healthy diet.

Available on: Desktop and mobile.

 

10. Yummly

Plan meals using your phone with Yummly.

Image via Yummly.

The Cost: Free basic membership. 90-day free trial for Premium membership. After your free trial ends, membership costs $4.99 per month. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas & organization, food-related articles and videos, meal planner, automated grocery shopping lists

About the service: With Yummly, the possibilities of what might come out of your kitchen are endless—this meal planning resource has over 2 million recipes to choose from! Even still, if there’s a recipe from another site that you find and want to add, Yummly makes that easy. Search using their extensive filters, save what you find to your recipe box, and select which recipes you’d like to cook that week to have their ingredients automatically upload to your digital grocery list. Each recipe page shows you the number of ingredients used, cook time, calories & other nutrition facts, and approximate cost to purchase those ingredients at the grocery store. With a Pro membership, you can access step-by-step video cooking lessons, celebrity chef instructions, exclusive recipes, and more.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

11. Paprika

Recipe management via the Paprika App.

Image via Paprika.

The Cost: $4.99 one-time purchase from the App Store or Google Play. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe organization, automated grocery shopping lists, meal planning, menus, and timers—all with Cloud syncing

About the service: Paprika is a meal planning app that uses the Cloud to sync your saved recipes, menus, and more with all your devices (note that each version is sold separately, but there are no in-app purchases or subscription fees once the app is downloaded). Paprika is designed with a built-in browser so you can search recipes from anywhere on the internet and save them to your recipe box, then use the app to plan your meals and menus for the week or month. This app also generates grocery lists that are sorted by aisle, and is equipped with smart recipes and built-in timers to help make following along from your device simple!

Available on: iOs, Android, Mac, and Windows.

 

12. Mealime

Roasted Cauliflower & Black Bean Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice from meal planning app Mealime.

Image via Mealime.

The Cost: Free basic membership. A Pro subscription costs $5.99 per month. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas & organization, personalized meal plans, automated grocery shopping lists. Pro subscription includes nutritional information, a calorie counter, the ability to add notes to recipes, and more.

About the service: Mealime makes planning 30-minute meals simple with their library of recipes that can be sorted and saved, and organized into meal plans. Mealime supports classic, flexitarian, low carb, pescatarian, vegetarian, paleo, keto, and vegan diets, and your diet type—as well as allergies, dietary restrictions, and dislikes—can be changed at any time. Choose whether to view ingredients in metric or US units, as well as scaling meals to your preferred number of servings (up to 6). You can also share recipes and grocery lists so that members of the same household can work as a team to get dinner on the table!

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

13. Once a Month Meals

The Cost: 1 free meal plan (includes 3 recipes doubled to make 6 meals for the freezer). After your free meal plan ends, membership costs $24.99 per quarter (paid monthly). Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

Features offered: Recipe ideas, meal planning centered on make-ahead and freezer-friendly meals, community support, and video guides

About the service: Once a Month Meals is a little different from other meal planning services in that it focuses on planning meals that can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the freezer. You can explore their recipes one at a time for free to get an idea of what it’s like to make frozen meals ahead of time, then thaw and cook to eat. With membership comes access to their meal plans—which include options for traditional meals, Instant Pot, slow cooker, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free, paleo, keto, vegetarian, and more—grocery lists, prep and cooking instructions, printable labels, a thaw guide, and more.

Available on: iOS, Android, and desktop.

 

 


Looking for more food subscriptions?

Here are some helpful articles and lists featuring grocery delivery, meal kits, and prepared meal services:


Which of these meal planning services do you think you’ll try? Let us know in the comments!


The Best Meal Planning Apps and Services

Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Comments (3)

  1. Cooksmarts is also great, love it!

  2. I’m still happy with home chef. I signed up right before the stay at home situation. It’s so helpful. I also send one to my mom and she loves it!

    • Awesome, Enid, we love Home Chef! So happy it’s working out well for you & yours during this time.

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