tAPPing into Tech: Ziplist Meal Planner

 Tapping into Tech is where I review my favorite apps and tell you why they are super awesome for working moms.

ziplist-logo-rgbI’ve mentioned before how you can create super easy shopping lists using using Ziplist, but what I didn’t mention was that it had an really cool meal planner too.

How I Use It

I know that most people who menu plan use pen and paper, but now that there’s an app for everything, why not use it?  When I used to use pen and paper I didn’t have one central place to write/keep my plans so there would be scraps of papers floating all over my bag.

Then, once I got a smartphone I would type my plan into my phone.  This method worked ok, until I got lazy and didn’t want to deal with typing on my phone.  On top of that I’d always choose the same few dinners because I never bothered to look at my list of dinner ideas.  I also stopped updating my list.

So, how happy was I when I saw a meal planner feature on Ziplist?  I couldn’t believe that it was so easy to use and already integrated in an app I already use.

A while back I started saving recipes to Ziplist by using the web clipper.  If a recipe is dinner worthy, I add it to the menu planner.  Then I assign each dish to a specific day.  Super easy.

menu-planner1menu-planner2Once that’s done I create a shopping list for the week based on the dishes we’ll be having.  Right in the same app!

How I Customized It

To make sure I can see all my dinner options I’ve created “recipes” even for the easiest of meals.  This way, it shows up as a dinner option, includes all the ingredients I may need to buy and can be added to my dinner menu.


Favorite Feature

One of my favorite features with this meal planner is that you can sync your menu plan to your Google calendar!  Send the link to your entire family and they can see what’s for dinner!



Things that Take a Long Time

While I love this app, there are two things that stand out because of the amount of time they take.  To me the time is worth it for the ease of use of the app.

  1. Google calendar sync feature doesn’t sync up right away.  It could take a few hours.
  2. Initial set-up can take a while.  If you have your recipes stored online already, then it won’t take too long.  For some of my dinner ideas I only saved the ingredients, so that I can easily add them to the shopping list… I didn’t really have a need to re-type the entire thing.  I just added a note in the recipe of where it was (ex: Kosher By Design, page 45).

In Conclusion

I love this app.  It’s so easy to use and has all my meal planning essentials all in one.  Stores recipes, creates menu plan and then adds the ingredients you need straight to your shopping list.  No need to re-type a thing!  And did I mention that it’s free??

How do you menu plan?

Until next time,