11 Apps & Services to Save time on Grocery Shopping & Meal Prep
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.” – John C. Maxwell
If you’re trying to simplify your routine, save time, and find more clarity, begin by focusing on the activities that take up the most time. Finding clever ways to make daily activities simpler, easier, or quicker, can transform your time over time.
If grocery shopping, cooking, and meal planning is a cherished activity that is relaxing or joy-inducing, don’t change a thing.
However, if you feel like meal prep is complete mayhem or takes up too much time, this is for you. We encourage you to try at least one of the following apps/services for the next week and report back on the results.
Here are 6 Apps & Services for organizing, streamlining, and simplifying your meal prep — from grocery shopping to cooking. Which of the following will you try?:
GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICES
If going to the grocery store is uncomfortably time intensive, have your groceries delivered! This service costs more money, but consider the gas, time, and energy savings as a valuable gain. Also, a simple cost/benefit analysis will help you determine how much money you’re willing to spend on eliminating the weekly task altogether.
- Instacart: This Grocery delivery service allows you to choose from multiple grocery stores in your area, including Whole Foods, Costco, and others. You select your groceries online, and they send a personal shopper to pick up and deliver your order. Some food is priced higher than in-store, so make sure to keep this in mind if you’re on a budget. Check out this review for more information on the nitty gritty.
- Amazon Fresh or Amazon Prime Pantry: If you’re an avid Amazon user, consider ordering groceries from the same platform. You know the gist — delivered to your front door quickly, guaranteed.
- Ralphs & Safeway: Owned by the same parent company, both these stores offer online purchases! Safeway delivers within 1-hour of the purchase, and Ralphs allows you to pick-up pre-packed groceries from the store.
GROCERY LIST ORGANIZING
When your grocery list is organized and easily accessible, you’ll know exactly what to pick up when you arrive at the store. You’ll cut down on wasted time wandering the aisles, save money from limiting the impulsive selections, and reduce the hastle of forgetting what you need! Here are our top 3 grocery list apps to try:
- Grocery IQ: This app by Coupons.com is perfect for coupon lovers. When entering items, the app displays any coupons available. It also scans barcodes so you can easily add items from your pantry or grocery aisle.
- AnyList: This app is perfect for sharing shopping duty with a partner because you can both update it from different devices. There’s also the ability to upgrade for meal planning features. For a more detailed review, check out this thorough list of features.
- Evernote: We use this religiously because we love keeping all our notes/lists in one location. If you’re already using Evernote, consider creating a folder for recipes and grocery lists. Just make sure to keep a permanent list so you can easily access past items without having to retype them every time.
QUICK PREP MEAL DELIVERY
There are two tricky parts of prepping home-cooked meals: Having all the right ingredients and having the right coamount of ingredients. What we love about the following service is that it combines convenience with learning new recipes. We love the idea of using the following service for a busy week or a creative date night at home.
- Blue Apron: This service delivers perfectly portioned ingredients and a corresponding recipe so you can cook at home without any food waste. It’s great for trying new recipes and seasonal ingredients without having to buy excess that will ultimately sit unused in the pantry.
- Plated: Similar to Blue Apron, this service delivers perfectly portioned ingredients and a corresponding recipe list to your front door!
- Fleshly: This company has chefs pre-cook fresh meals that are delivered to your door, so that you can have them ready for mealtime by giving them two-minutes in the microwave. This is perfect for someone looking to eat healthier than takeout, but without the desire or time to cook a meal at home.
Sometimes takeout is needed because a hectic week means no time for cooking. Sometimes takeout is needed because it’s delicious and convenient. Here’s our favorite takeout delivery service because it takes convenience to the next level.
- GrubHub: This website accesses nearby restaurants that deliver and allows you to order online in one easy dashboard. I find this more convenient than ordering directly from the restaurant because the website has my credit card, address, and order history stored and ready to go. Plus, I can tip directly in the order so all I have to do is sign when they arrive. Think Amazon Prime meets hot food delivered to your door in 45 minutes. It’s the best.
- Eat 24 (by Yelp): If you’re already a big Yelp user, this is a not brainer. Yelp allows you to order food directly through their app and website and have it delivered directly to your door.