Organization Hack: Recipes

 

 

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When I got married 18.5 years ago, my mom gave me a recipe box where she had typed out all of our family’s favorite recipes on index cards.  It was one of the best things she could have given me as a new wife who had never really cooked a whole lot before. That list of recipes has grown over the years as I have discovered new dishes that my own family loves.  The dilemma now comes because all of those new recipes are all over the place.  Some are in cookbooks, some are hand written, some are cut off of boxes, some are bookmarked on my computer, and some are printed and folded multiple times to fit into my recipe box.  I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people that has to have a recipe to follow when I cook every meal.  I can’t just throw random things together and produce a great dish.  I have a lot of friends that can do that, and I think it is awesome, but it just doesn’t work that way for me.  I can’t even make dishes from memory that I have cooked hundreds of time.  I always have to look at a recipe every single night.  I think that the only thing that I make from memory is a quesadilla recipe that I created myself.  It’s one of very few recipes that I have created, and it has 3 ingredients. It’s the most basic thing on the planet. Anyway, my problem comes every night when I get ready to cook. First, I have to remember where the recipes came from. Then, I have to dig through a very crammed recipe box that is no longer organized, search through numerous cookbooks, or look to find it on my computer in the midst of hundreds of bookmarked things. That takes up precious time that I don’t have to waste.

 

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I really needed a way to organize all of my favorite recipes so I went on a hunt for the best way to do that.  I could go through them all and hand-write them, which would probably take me forever and I just don’t have time for that. I even thought about typing them all into my computer and printing them on index cards like my mom did because that would be faster than writing them by hand. Then I realized I would have to figure out the right size to type them and then get them all lined up and spaced correctly on an index card, which would be a nightmare for my OCD self.  Now what? I decided to get on the Internet and see what method others used.  I was thinking that surely someone had come up with a brilliant idea, and I was right. I came across several online recipe sites that looked promising.  I weeded through several of them until I found one that seemed to be the best in my opinion.  I discovered BigOven, which is an online app that can store all of my recipes in one place, and the best part is that I can access them on my computer, phone, or tablet anytime and anywhere.

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BigOven was created by a guy that loves to cook and wished he could access his family recipes when standing in the middle of the grocery store. Their mission is to help home cooks get inspired and organized, in the kitchen and on the go. This app allows you to not only save all of your recipes in one, easy to access location; but it also allows you to create grocery lists straight from the recipe, has hundreds of new recipes that you can browse and try, and even has a leftovers section where you can input 3 leftover ingredients and it will search for a recipe for you using those 3 ingredients.  There are multiple ways in which you can add recipes to your account.  You can type them in, copy and paste to import from any text, upload a photo or scan in a handwritten recipe, and clip it from any recipe site on the Internet. On top of all that, you can even upload your own pictures of your favorite dishes to go along with the recipe. It’s so easy.  You can choose to make your recipes public and viewable by other cooks or private and only viewable by you. You can also easily share any recipe with a friend or family member whenever you want.  My one problem with this format is inputting the recipes because it won’t let you save the recipe if you don’t fill in all of their specified fields like the type of cuisine or the total time and active time to make the dish, which is information that I don’t really need or care about personally. Other than that, it is an awesome app.  It takes some time getting it all set up with all of your personal recipes, but it is easy to use and makes finding a recipe so much easier. I personally love that I can type it all in on my computer, add things to my grocery list, and then be able to access that all on the app on my phone when I am at the grocery store.  Have you ever gone to the store and thought of a dish that you would like to make but couldn’t remember all of the ingredients that you needed to make it? That happens to me all the time.  I used to have to call my mom or grandmother to ask them what the ingredients were.  I no longer need to do that because I can just pull up the recipe from my phone that I inputed months ago and be all set.  It really is that easy.

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Now, I know you are wondering what this is going to cost you.  The basic plan, which allows you to do everything I mentioned above, is absolutely FREE.  That’s right, it doesn’t have to cost you a thing.  However, if you would like to have a few more very cool options, you can purchase a Pro-Membership.  Guess what? The Pro-Membership is affordable, and it won’t break the bank.  You can choose to purchase it for one yearly cost of $24.99 and save, or you can purchase it for a monthly fee of $2.99 a month.  Why would you want to pay when you can get so much for free you may ask? Well, let me tell you the cool thing about the Pro-membership.  With it you get access to a meal-planning calendar.  It allows you to plan out your meals days, weeks, or months in advance.  You can plug your recipes right into the calendar easily and then generate your grocery list.  Don’t know if you would really use the meal planner? Well, you can try it for FREE for 30 days to see if you like it.  If not, it’s no big deal.  All of your recipes will still be in one place and you can access them or your grocery list anywhere.

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Here is a breakdown of what you get with the FREE Basic Membership and what you get with the Pro-Membership.

Basic Membership-(Free)

  • Discover 500,000+ recipes
  • Basic search
  • Create a grocery list (it even sorts it for you by department)
  • Save up to 200 recipes
  • Use up leftovers feature
  • Access on web, mobile, tablet
  • 3 RecipeScans which transcribes recipes

Pro-Membership ($24.99/year or $2.99/mo)

  • Everything in the Basic Plan plus more
  • Remove all advertising
  • Save unlimited recipes
  • Organize recipes into custom folders (get organized the way you want by creating your own collections of recipes)
  • Meal planning calendar (plan your meals on a calendar, then add entire meal plans to your Grocery list)
  • Copy and customize recipes
  • Add private notes
  • Access specially curated collections
  • Detailed nutrition facts (search recipes based on dietary restrictions, get the nutritional breakdown for recipes)
  • Search using dietary filters
  • 25 RecipeScans which transcribes recipes
  • 30-day free trial

The BigOven has been featured in multiple media outlets and everyone is raving about it.  Check out what some of them had to say about this awesome app.

I highly recommend this app.  It has really made cooking and grocery shopping so much easier for me.  Check it out and try it for yourself.  What do you have to loose?

Anchored and Organized,

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