Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meal Planning With Pepperplate

I have found the most fabulous app when it comes to meal planning. It's called Pepperplate and it has completely changed the way that I plan what we eat.

I'm kind of particular in the way that I meal plan. I prefer to make a full calendar of dinner meal for the month and do a big shopping run. Now, this doesn't mean that I only go to the grocery store once a month, but I probably only go around 3 times total. Going to the store with three little boys in tow isn't exactly painless, so I try to do it as least amount as possible. 

Pepperplate is a great app for keeping everything in one place and allows you to make your shopping list as you go too! The first thing you do is import a bunch of recipes from a whole list of supported sites (Martha and Pioneer Woman are two of my favorite). As an alternative, you can hand enter any family favorites that aren't from those websites. While this is a bit time intensive at first, it saves loads of time down the road. You can even sort all of your recipes by categories. 

When you're finished getting the app set up, the easy part is next. I sit down with our family calendar for the month and plug in all of the meals we already know are taken care of. For instance, we might be meeting friends for dinner one night, so I manually input that in the calendar. Once all of those are are the Pepperplate calendar, I start looking at how the rest of our month looks. If I know we have any other special diet needs (ie: meat-free meals on Fridays during Lent) I plan those meals first. 

As I fill up the calendar with meals, I fill up the shopping list right on the app. I use the drop down Add To feature, put the meal in on a date and then get the ingredients onto my list. Once I have a full calendar for the month, I "shop my pantry" for the items on my Pepperplate shopping list. 

The next step isn't necessary, but is like to do it because a lot of times I have a couple of small boys "helping" me hold my list and I don't like to give them my iPhone or iPad. I write all of the items left on my list out onto paper and add any odds and ends that aren't included in these recipes, such as yogurts for lunch or gesso for breakfast. One of the wonderful things about Pepperplate is that you don't have to do that at all. You can even meal plan on an iPad at home and hubby can open the Pepperplate account on his iPhone and boom! - The list is right there for him to shop from after work. 

When it's time to make the meals, this app makes it a snap. Simply open the calendar to the day and press Cook Now. 

There's even a timer available to set. As a bonus, if you're in Cook Now mode the iPad won't go dark on you while you're cooking. 

There's a bit more to how I meal plan, but this is the way that I've implemented Pepperplate into our meal routine. Bon apetite! 

Mmmmmmm, frittata.

** I am in no way affiliated with Pepperplate, I just enjoy their App. **


  1. I've never heard of this app before! I need to check it out ASAP!