Meal Planning Apps Compared – EP 234

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Meal planning is a fantastic head start in improving our food choices but how do we do it? What kind of resources do we use? If you’re always in a dilemma from not knowing what meal to prepare, don’t worry, we feel you. In this episode, we will talk you through the benefits of a meal planning app and help you pick the best ones just for you.

Sometimes, it really does take a community. You’re not alone and you don’t have to do this alone.


  • Crying for help. We didn’t realize there was a marketing team behind ‘cries for help’ until they reached out to sponsor us. Turns out – there’s a lot of partnership opportunities and congruence between the frugal friends podcast and crying for help. This time around the messaging is mostly centered on those who take on the primary cooking responsibilities in the home who are currently questioning “WHY DO WE NEED TO EAT SO OFTEN IN THE DAY!?” and making statements like “I DON’T KNOW HOW I’M GOING TO COOK FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS!” If this is you, we’re glad you’re here, this episode is for you and what’s also for you in our free ebook! Check it out at to get your free copy rich with over 200 money-saving tips. If you’re crying for help, we hear you and help IS on the way.

Best Meal-Planning Apps of 2022 - The Spruce Eats

Meal Planning Apps are the best go-to resource for meal planning right now and there’s almost one for anyone. In this article by The Spruce Eats, they made a list of apps under specific categories to help you easily navigate and choose the best for your needs. It also has a spreadsheet on the bottom for you to compare the apps mentioned.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jill believes meal planning apps will keep you organized as it provides curated shopping lists and recipes, hence, making meal planning easier, help avoid last minute purchases and lessen food waste. Jen shares before how meal planning has helped pay off her debt as they were able to spend less on food. 

The article picks Paprika as the overall best meal planning app for 2022. It mentions other apps under specific categories which were Jen & Jill approved such as the Best for Using Up Leftovers (BigOven), the Runner-Up Best for Weight Loss (Eat This Much), Best for Time-Crunched Cooks (Mealime), Best for Social Media Fans/Connecting with others (Prepear), Best for Shopping on a Budget (MealBoard). 

3 Meal Planning Apps with Free Trials: Try a Meal Planning App Today!

If you’re someone who doesn’t fancy compiling recipes, meal planning services can save you money and food waste, just like our very own Jen who wrote in this article a list of meal planning apps she highly recommends for you to try out.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jen recommends Cook Smarts as not only are they the best meal planning app out there, they have been Frugal Friends’ personal favorite and a long-time supporter of the show. It will give you 4 meals per week and a shopping list. It currently has 14 days of free trial. Cook Smarts also teaches you to cook, save time, raise healthy kids, and spend less. Jen also mentions the app, Eat At Home which focuses on family-friendly recipes. 

Jill adds eMeals, a streamlined app that has different options for those who are health conscious. Once you begin going down this rabbit hole, you will find more and more tricks to save even more money.

How we come up with new meal ideas and not get stuck in a rut

Jen visits her tried and true favorite food blogs (check out ep 79) while Jill occasionally changes up her shopping routine; i.e. every few months go to trader joes or does a meal delivery kit. Once a week she also challenges herself to find a new recipe based around the meat she plans to cook (recently found an amazing chicken feta recipe)

Bill of The Week

Thank you Emily from PA for sharing your private student loan bill decreasing by $60/month because you have been paying extra and will have it paid off by the end of the year

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening! Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win:

We just got a notice from our water utility company that we cannot water our lawns until further notice and that we must make every effort to conserve water.

Since the shortages have started almost two years ago, I’ve been learning ways to conserve, substitute and do without. Today I saved the washing machine water and used that to water my front lawn. It is not nearly enough, but better than nothing.

The mindset I used is always learning. You have to be flexible enough to change when circumstances change.

Congrats! Thanks for listening and if you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

Keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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