It's hard enough getting them clothed and educated and free from deadly viruses. You're supposed to feed them too? And something that you actually want to consume as well? Luckily finding recipes and getting help planning meals has never been easier. With the help of mobile apps and websites, whipping up a good meal is only a click away. A couple of weeks ago asked you to share your favorite meal planning apps and websites. We've rounded up the most popular answers. Take a look, give them a try. And then come back and let us know what you think.

The web-based is certainly a comprehensive site. Especially helpful is the search option by ingredient. This can be a real money saver when you have the opportunity to stock up on sale meat or produce. You really can make good food inexpensively when you can take advantage of foods in season or overstocked — and the trick is knowing how to use them. This site is great for that. Also, if you're just looking for how-to information on basic cooking skills (like how to bake a fruit pie) they've got you covered. If you register on the site, you can keep track of all your favorites, submit recipes and photographs, and rate the recipes of others. And then, if you are in the mood, there is user-generated content like this wonderful story of Depression-era cooking, which made me want to cook and cocoon and write about childhood food memories.

Dinner Spinner

Technically, Dinner Spinner, is part of AllRecipes, but because it's an iPhone app, I really think people will use it in a different way. Let's start with the "spinner" interface. That's just fun! Spin the categories to get meal ideas catered to your ingredient or time constraints. In addition, building on the idea of taking advantage of sale times discussed above, this app is perfect for when you're at the store or farmer's market and see an amazing deal. Literally at your fingertips, you have a tool that tells you a) can you (would you) actually use the item on sale, and b) lists the other ingredients in the recipe so when you get home with ten pounds of okra, you can actually make use of them while you're still motivated (and before they go bad).


We were surprised to see cookbooks on the list. Not that there's anything wrong with using them, but for a web-savvy reader to take the time to comment that their technology of choice was a good old-fashioned book — well, that's kind of nice. There is something about the low tech nature of real cooking that pairs well with a bound book. And while no specific books were mentioned, you can't go wrong with these classics:

Honorable Mentions

A few other standout meal planning helpers rose to the top: