I am compensated for my role as a #StraightTalkTesters ambassador. All opinions and geekiness are my own.
I love lazy weekends hanging out on our patio. The kids ride their scooters or play with other children in our neighborhood. I sit with a cold, frosty drink and my book while my husband mans the grill. Our neighbors stop and joke about coming over for dinner because the sizzling steaks smell so heavenly.
Summer is grilling season, and we take advantage of it. Steak and potatoes are our favorite stand by grilled dinners, but I try to change things up every now and again. My new favorite is this grilled corn salad recipe, but my husband loves bánh mì sliders with sriracha mayo.
Because summer is supposed to be lazy, I don’t want to spend all my time searching for recipes or wandering around the grocery store. I’d rather chill out on my patio. To stay organized, I rely on a few smartphone apps to manage my recipes, track my grocery lists, and save me money.
5 Free Apps For Meal Planning That Save You Time & Money
1. Evernote This is absolutely one of my favorite apps. I use it for everything from saving news articles to creating lists. I keep a running Grocery List in Evernote, complete with checkboxes. When the kids are with me, I put them in charge of checking off the items as we add them to our shopping cart. I can even share the list with my husband so he can pick up what I need on his way home from work.
Tip: Add your Evernote grocery list to your phone’s home screen for easy access
The less taps it takes me to access my grocery list, the more likely I will use it. This way I can just add items to the list whenever I remember. To add a shortcut to your home screen, pull up your grocery list, tap settings, and then “Add to home screen.”
2. Pinterest One of my go-to places when I need meal planning inspiration is Pinterest. I prefer using the app on my phone because it feels less overwhelming. I’ve created different themed boards for recipes that I want to try:
- Beef Makes My Tummy Happy: recipes that involve beef, obviously
- Lighter, Healthier, & Yummier: low calorie or low fat versions of my favorite foods
- Beverages & Cocktails: summer just cries for balsamic cherry shirley temple or sparkling grapefruit sangria
3. MSN Food & Drink If you’re totally overwhelmed by Pinterest, try MSN Food & Drink. They provide recipe lists based on themes such as 18 Variations of Potato Salad Recipes and 13 Manly Meals For the Best Dad Ever. The slideshow for their lists are mouthwatering, so grab a snack before you browse. The app also has a shopping list feature, but I haven’t tried it yet.
4. Grocery IQ A friend recently recommended this app and I can’t wait to try it. You can create grocery lists by scanning barcodes of the items already in your pantry (or at the store). Sometimes my husband isn’t sure what brand I prefer so this would help him out quite a bit. It will also cut on the phone calls he makes when I send him out for groceries. Grocery IQ allows you to sync your lists with others, orders your list by the aisles in your preferred grocery store and remembers your most frequently purchased items.
5. Walmart Savings Catcher No more running chasing sales. I don’t have time to shop at three different stores in order to find the lowest price on my groceries. With the Walmart Savings Catcher, I just shop like I normally do and scan my receipt into the app. The items I purchased are price-checked at nearby stores. If another store sells it for less, Walmart issues me a store credit for the difference. No more FOMO (fear of missing out) on low prices.
As you can tell, I love saving money, especially on things we consume and use everyday. I use these apps on my phone several times a week and don’t stress about the amount of data I use thanks to my Straight Talk plan. The unlimited plan is only $45 a month*. (*30 day Unlimited Plans include 3 GB of high speed data per 30 day cycle. After 3 GB, your data speed will be reduced to as low as 64 kbps for the remainder of the 30 day cycle. If your data speed is reduced, the reduced speed may impact the functionality of some data applications, such as streaming audio or video or web browsing. Straight Talk reserves the right to terminate your service for Unauthorized or abnormal usage. Please refer always to the latest Terms and Conditions of Service at StraightTalk.com.)
Visit the Straight Talk website for more details (written in easy to understand language–no surprises, remember?).
What are your favorite apps for meal planning?