Shoppers want convenience at the tap of a finger, and now that Apple reports over 85,000 apps for the iPhone, shopping applications have gone mainstream. Apps can assist, inspire and inform you while grocery shopping. Different programs help you build a shopping list, find a recipe that suits your dietary needs, cooking capabilities and contents of your kitchen.
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The following nine mostly free apps will hopefully help make the process of shopping and cooking easier and more fun.
1. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner -- Free
Select your ingredients, your meal preference and how much time you want to spend cooking and AllRecipes provides the details. Filters allow you to select dishes for vegetarians, the lactose intolerant, gluten-free diets and more. Includes recipe reviews and ratings.
2. Grocery Gadget Shopping List -- $3
Recommended by Rachel Ray Magazine and tons of users, this full-featured grocery list app also manages your other shopping lists, whether for holiday meals or the office. The app learns the order of items at the store as you shop and checks them off your list. Next time you shop, the items appear in the proper order. You can also name the categories in each list with the aisle numbers at that store. A handy and unique feature allows you to share and sync lists with family members.
3. Betty Crocker Mobile Cookbook -- Free
Betty Crocker and Joy of Cooking are my kitchen bibles, so having immediate access to over 4,000 of dear Betty's recipes is heaven sent. Searchable by type of dish and ingredients with detailed photos and informative explanations. Unfortunately, it appears Joy hasn't developed her own app yet.
4. Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List -- Free
Epicurious receives rave reviews from users and bloggers alike. Over 25,000 recipes in a gorgeous wrapper with online access to the epicurious.com collection from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and other magazines. Too much advertising but the app is otherwise delicious and includes a shopping-list builder.
5. Ucook -- First version is free
Search over 60,000 recipes from the Grocery Shopping Network by ingredients, region, available kitchen tools and more. Includes weekly specials, circulars from your favorite grocer, nutritional information and a shopping engine.
6. VeganYumYum Mobile -- Free
VeganYumYum Mobile lets you search, view, and organize all your favorite recipes from the award-winning food blog VeganYumYum.com. Includes scrumptious photos and step-by-step preparation directions.
7. Whole Foods Market Recipes -- Free
Designed to help those interested in preparing meals and dishes from natural and organic foods. Filter by categories such as budget, cooking with kids, and quick and easy, gluten-free, lowfat and vegetarian/vegan. Builds shopping lists from recipes with one click or add your own items.
8. Jamie Oliver 20-Minute Meals -- $4.99
Rather pricey, but Oliver's searchable app has 50 brand new recipes with step-by-step photos to help you shop for, prepare and cook all sorts of delicious meals. Includes shopping-list function and demonstration videos and hints.
9. Open Table -- Free
For those days when you just can't face cooking. Open Table connects you to restaurants in your area with open tables for your desired date and time. You can also do a more detailed search by region and add refinements based on cuisine and expense.
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