I’ve waited a while to make this post, because I wanted to give it a lot of thought. Some of what I will say will seem really obvious, like “being disorganized will cost you money”, and you’ve heard it before. So, what to do about it?
You throw away a lot of food. There are many ingredients in your pantry and on your shelves right now that you forgot you had. Fresh food has such a short shelf life, and such good nutritional value, that you want to be sure to make the most of it as fast as you can with as little waste as possible.
A solution to this may be a recipe organizer. Software for your computer, smartphone or tablet that will allow you to maximize ingredients you have that you really want to use. And, a way for you to create your own recipes with the leftovers, so that none goes to waste.
I’ve been studying recipe organizer software, and this was my criteria:
- organize the recipe by included ingredients
- allow my own comments to be added to the recipes, that has nothing to do with ingredients and directions, such as “this was a handwritten recipe from my Grandmother, written in the early 1940’s, passed on to me in 2013”
- easy drop-down or fill-in fields when you are entering recipes … so that you aren’t typing the word “tablespoon” a zillion times … you just type in the first letter and get an autofill possibility of the available commonly used words
- calculate calories and other nutritional information
- generate a shopping list – so I can then compare prices and maybe even store lists for “perfect storm” events!
- categories beyond the obvious – we all know “appetizers, desserts, main dishes …” but how about “type of cuisine”, or “who I got this recipe from …” sort of thing
- easy to print on a single page in case I don’t want my computer or phone in the kitchen, or if I want to print it out and hand it out, like at the family reunion
- ability to upload a photo
- adjust an imported recipe – such as, when a cookie recipe makes 5 dozen, I rarely want that much. I do my own calculations and figure it for 2 dozen, but it would be great if the software could do that for me. Same as for main dishes – when we make fish recipes, because they so rarely are good re-heated, I prefer to make them for just the 2 of 3 of us at a time, and most dishes in recipes you find online serve 4 or more.
- … do all the obvious stuff … such as, allow a copy and paste from other recipe formats, plan meals and menus, organize favorites, etc.
I had narrowed my choices down to Living Cookbook, Master Cook, and Cook’N.
I decided on Cook’N. One bonus you should know about – when you go to their website, sign up for their newsletter before you buy the software! You will get an email that gives you a code for 20% off! I’m always looking for the best price and getting this bonus before I had bought it makes a difference.
Cook’N recipe organizer software with bonus 20% off, directly from the software manufacturer.
If you would prefer to buy it from Amazon instead, maybe you have other things you want to buy, here’s a link to get it at a discount from Amazon with free shipping: