12 Best Apps for a No Waste Kitchen

12 Best Apps for a No Waste Kitchen

Technology has taken up its own place in the kitchen. Try some of these apps to replace some of the paper waste your kitchen may create.

Some of the most common paper waste in the kitchen comes from creating grocery lists and meal plans. Many families go to the grocery store at least once per week and that means having some type of grocery list for each trip. There are so many apps available that can combat this paper waste.

Also, think about how much paper and resources are used to create a recipe book. I know, sometimes it’s nice to have a physical book when you are cooking, but if you can avoid that, why not try?

We keep an old iPad in the kitchen and I use that for all of my recipes. The only cookbooks I have in the kitchen were all purchased second hand or given to me for free.

Yes, paper can usually be recycled, but it’s best to work on REFUSING the paper to begin with. Or, at least, REDUCE the amount that you use. See how this plays into the 5Rs as well?

Originally Published On: September 19, 2018

Last Updated On: July 30, 2020

What to Look For

Ease of Use

If you choose an app that’s overly complicated, you are less likely to use it. Try to find something simple. Many grocery list apps separate the items into sections such as meats, dairy, breakfast, etc. By having this categorization, you can easily find the area you are at the store and get everything there.

You also want one that’s easy to add your list items to. Again, simplicity is key here. If you have to go in to the app and search for an item and add an amount and choose a section…. that’s way too much work. You’ll probably revert back to paper.

Device Supported

Probably the most essential thing to research if you are looking for a new grocery list app is what devices are supported. For example, I have an iPhone so anything that’s only available for Android won’t work for me.

I also like to have a web browser option so I can easily add things and view my list from the computer when I am working on my meal planning. That’s when I add the most items to my list, so I need it to sync to an account on the computer as well.


While most of the grocery list apps in the Apple app store are free, there are some that have a paid component. Most of the time, paying for the app gives it to you without ads. So, it’s up to you on whether it’s worth a few dollars to not have to deal with ads.

Green plant sprout from a pile of coins

Grocery List and Meal Planning Apps

Grocery List Apps

As I mentioned, I only have an iPhone, so these are all apps that are available through the Apple store. Most of them, though, are available across multiple devices and stores.

Our Groceries Shopping List

  • Syncs across multiple devices so the whole family has access to the list and can add items as needed
  • Use Siri to add items to the list
  • Cross items off the list with a single tap as you are shopping
  • Create multiple shopping lists
  • Organize by category or aisle
  • Create recipes so you can add items by recipe
  • View and edit lists on web browser

Ratings: 4.8/5 Stars

Cost: Free with optional premium upgrades

ShopList (Grocery List)

  • Sync shopping lists
  • Create your own categories
  • Create multiple shopping lists
  • Build your “product database” as you go for quick search

Ratings: 4.6/5 Stars

Cost: Free with optional premium upgrades


  • Organize grocery lists and recipes
  • Share lists
  • Use Siri to add items to the list
  • Create multiple lists
  • Categories automatically separated
  • Create your own categories
  • Reorder categories to match layout of your store
  • Save items as favorites
  • Each person can create their own account so only specific lists are shared
  • Create recipes or copy/paste to add ingredients
  • Organize recipes by type or occasion
  • Search recipes by name or ingredients

Ratings: 4.9/5 Stars

Cost: Free with optional premium upgrades

Two cookbooks, a cell phone, a piece of paper with a grocery list, and an LED tablet all on a wooden surface

Meal Planning Apps


  • Store your recipes
  • Create meal plans and grocery lists
  • Pantry inventory
  • Import recipes from websites or add your own
  • Organize recipes by category
  • Search recipes by name or ingredients
  • Manage recipes through browser interface and account
  • Create meal plans by day and meal type
  • Make templates for meal plans
  • Recipe prep notifications
  • Mark meals as leftovers
  • Export to calendar app
  • Add non-recipe items to the grocery list
  • Grocery list sorted by categories
  • Input grocery prices to see total
  • Move bought items to your pantry inventory
  • Specify expiration dates of pantry inventory
  • Use barcode scanner to input pantry inventory
  • Sync across multiple devices
  • Fully customizable

Ratings: 4.4/5 Stars

Cost: $3.99 on Apple app store

Plan to Eat – Meal Planner

  • Collect and organize recipes
  • Add recipes to meal planning calendar
  • Create shopping list based on meals
  • Able to access information offline
  • Syncs with web browser and account
  • Import recipes from websites or enter manually
  • Edit recipe categories to fit your store
  • Use staples list to add frequently-purchased items to your list
  • Syncs with browser and account

Ratings: 4.8/5 Stars

Cost: Free for first 30 days, then $39 annually

Meal Planner Pal

  • Customizable meal templates
  • Grocery list
  • Calorie tracker
  • Meal plans created on a daily basis
  • Grocery list created based on meal plan
  • Email meal plan and grocery list to others
  • Set number of days in a meal plan (plan for two weeks, one month, etc.)
  • Create your own meal library
  • Drag and drop meals onto the plan
  • Set reminders directly from the ap
  • Track and calculate grocery prices
  • Pantry inventory

Ratings: 3.7/5 Stars

Cost: Free


  • Comes free on almost any device
  • Create a separate “calendar” for your meals to make them a different color
  • Add a calendar event for your meal and set reminders for when to take out anything frozen, when to start, etc.
  • Use a synced calendar and the entire family can see what’s on the menu
  • Does NOT interface with stored recipes or grocery lists
  • Perfect if you already use your default calendar for other life events

Ratings: NA

Cost: Free

Recipes and eReaders

Recipe Storage Apps

Recipe Gallery

  • Save recipes from magazines, cookbooks, recipe cards, and web sites
  • Little to no typing needed
  • Uses the camera with OCR to capture, index, and store recipes
  • Search by name, ingredients, instructions, and notes
  • Available offline
  • Uses iCloud and Air Drop to share with other devices
  • Write notes with the recipes
  • Built-in web browser to find recipes online to add to the app
  • Type recipes from scratch, dictate, or copy/paste
  • Syncs through iCloud only
  • Create custom categories
  • Assign recipes to multiple categories

Ratings: 4.8/5 Stars

Cost: $2.99

Recipe Keeper

  • Recipe organizer, shopping list, and meal planner
  • Enter favorite recipes and custom organize
  • Automatically import recipes from popular recipe websites then edit as needed
  • Add ingredients to shopping list from a recipe
  • Plan meals for the week and month
  • Attach photos to recipes, add notes, rate recipes, flag recipes
  • Search recipes by ingredients, directions, or ratings
  • Share recipes on social media

Ratings: 4.6/5 Stars

Cost: Free


  • Made for more than just recipes
  • Create a notebook for your recipes
  • Share the notebook with other family/friends to share recipes
  • Manually type in recipes as notes or scan handwritten notes
  • Add photos and link to websites for recipes on the web
  • Use tags for your categories to add multiple categories to a note
  • Search will scan the entire note for words
  • Syncs with web browser and account
  • Copy/Paste recipes from the web into a note to never lose them

Ratings: 4.2/5 Stars

Cost: Free with optional premium upgrades

Cookbook on woman's lap

eReader Apps

iBooks/Apple Books

  • Browse library including cookbooks
  • Download PDFs to the reader to open on the device
  • Organize the library with collections
  • Syncs over iCloud between devices
  • Official Apple app

Ratings: NA

Cost: Free


  • Browse the entire kindle library through Amazon
  • Syncs across all devices
  • Send PDFs to the reader to view on your device
  • Organize library into collections

Ratings: 4.8/5 Stars

Cost: Free

More No Waste Kitchen Ideas

36 thoughts on “12 Best Apps for a No Waste Kitchen”

  1. I can’t believe I have never heard of these apps before! I am forever throwing vegetables to the bin because we don’t seem to go through them quick enough, and it drives me mad that my family won’t eat a piece of fruit if it hasn’t been cut for them (and they can’t cut it themselves!) so frustrating! Thank you so much for sharing these!

    1. We like to head that off by cutting and slicing a lot of the fresh fruit and vegetables when we get home from the store. It’s easier for our boys to eat and we are more likely to grab them for ourselves and the kids if it’s convenient.

  2. I am SUCH a planner when it comes to meals and I plan them out consistently every week along with my grocery list. These apps are so helpful and such a great resource to have! (I’m still using a good only pen and paper!). However, we’ve started using Google Keep for a small running list and it’s helpful because my husband and I always know what’s on the list without calling each other. This is a great post! I can’t wait to check out some of these apps for my own food prepping. 🙂

    1. I’ve never heard of Google Keep, I’ll have to check that out. We have the Amazon Echo, so usually keep a running list in there before we move it to an app to actually make a list.

  3. This is a fantastic compilation of apps you shared! I agree…we shouldn’t be using too much paper anymore if it can be helped. I even opt out of getting copies of my receipts and just have it emailed to me.

    1. I love places that will just email receipts instead of paper copies of them. I use the Walmart Pay when we go there, and the receipts go directly into the app.

  4. wow I don’t pay enough attention to apps. I literally use a google keep notes for my grocery list and that syncs to my husbands phone so we both can add to it. I also use dinner spinner but most foods things are in my head.

    1. The number of apps just continues to grow! When I was searching for some a few years ago, none of these were even available. And they continue to improve the functionality to make them better and better.

  5. It’s so convenient now how we can find an app for everything which makes our life easier. I did not know about no kitchen waste app but I can assure you I am going to start looking and get myself one.

  6. These are some great apps you have mentioned here. Technology is truly amazing! I’m going to look into one of these apps to minimize kitchen waste.

    1. There are so many options, and you can start slow. Pick one thing to switch to an app, and see how it works before diving in. At least, that usually helps me to not get overwhelmed.

    1. I hope you find one that works for you! The ones I listed are only a few of the many apps out there for meal planning.

    1. I love using Alexa for the grocery list, too! It makes it so easy when I’m in the kitchen and hands are dirty but need to add something before I forget.

  7. Now this is something I need in my life to keep my meals and shopping more organized. I’m definitely checking out the Recipe Gallery app..

  8. I definitely want to check out Mealboard. It sounds like something I could really get the most out of. I love that it totals the groceries for you as well.

    1. It would definitely help to keep the grocery budget in check if you know what you’ll be spending before you even leave the house!

  9. A lot of these are new to me! I’ll have to check them out. I love how much technology can help us simplify and streamline.

    1. It’s amazing how much it changes. Just a year ago I hadn’t heard of any of these apps when I was searching for some to use personally.

  10. I love grocery store apps!!! They make it not only easy for no waste, but you can totally budget and spend exactly what you want!

    1. Me too, especially when the specific store you shop at has their own app so you know it’s kept up to date.

  11. There are all awesome apps that I’ve never actually used! I’m going to download the Meal Planner Pal app tonight!

    1. I hope it works well for you! It’s amazing how many apps there are that can save so much time and resources.

    1. It is pretty nice to have your grocery list on the phone. You can’t forget it at home as long as you have your phone!

  12. I’ve never thought to use an app for kitchen purposes. I have an app that’s a TO DO list – which I use ALL DAY every day, but otherwise, that’s it!

  13. I use apps for everything, but I don’t have any for recipes or meal planning! I can’t wait to try some of these apps.

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