4 Free Tasty Apps for Foodies

Photo (cc) by Debs (ò‿ó)♪

Cookbooks are as American as Mom and, well, apple pie recipes. But these days, both cookbooks and moms have been replaced by electronics. A new study by research firm Hartman Group (cleverly titled Clicks and Cravings) polled more than 1,600 computer-savvy adults and found…

While 31 percent say they are inspired by food shows they watch on TV, 25 percent are inspired by recipe websites or phone apps, and 17 percent are inspired by restaurant review websites or phone apps.

Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Except the study laments the old days when “we learned our recipes from mom or a cookbook, and we ate our meals together around a table.” But 29 percent of those surveyed “have used a social networking site while eating or drinking at home in the last month” and 32 percent have texted during their meals.

I plead guilty to both charges. But often I’m eating while surfing my Android phone about food. I have a half-dozen food apps and subscriptions to 11 recipe blogs, and I’m always re-tweeting recipes and advice from famous chefs. While I still occasionally call Mom for food advice, I get most of my new recipes from my apps.

Food apps beat a phone call to Mom or a page from a cookbook because you’re getting pictures, recipes, and reviews on thousands of dishes free. (Not that Mom charges, but cookbooks aren’t cheap.) Whether you’re an iPhone or an Android person, there are some great free recipe and review apps out there. Here are my favorites…

1. BigOven

Available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows phones

BigOven boasts a giant collection of user-submitted recipes – more than 200,000 and growing. But that’s not so special these days. Here’s what is: With the “Use Up Leftovers” option, you type in three ingredients currently in your refrigerator, and the app finds a recipe you can use. I usually don’t use BigOven until I’m running low on pantry supplies, but that one feature has helped me stretch my food budget and stop wasting leftover ingredients.

2. All Recipes

Available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows phones

How much do I love the All Recipes app? It’s pinned to my home screen. It has thousands of user-submitted recipes, complete with photos and ratings. And once you find something you like, you can add it to your “recipe book” for next time. My recipe book is full of home-style cooking – everything from the perfect pot roast to zesty lasagna.

3. Epicurious

Available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows phones

Epicurious is my go-to app for culinary inspiration. The app collects recipes from some of the best culinary magazines – like Bon Appetite – and stores them in a database. You’ll also find high-resolution photos, ingredient prices, and an ingredient finder. I like that Epicurious lets me dream big, but it also keeps my food budget realistic. Since the price and accessibility of different ingredients are listed on the recipes, I know if I’m better off skipping the “grilled redfish with Andouille reduction sauce” before I run to Whole Foods and spend half my checking account on pricey items.

4. Urban Spoon

Available for the iPhone and Android (no Windows yet)

UrbanSpoon is my answer to “but-nothing-sounds-good” syndrome. When I don’t feel like cooking and want someone else to do the work, I just shake my phone – yes, shake – and UrbanSpoon picks a nearby restaurant for me, based on hundreds of user reviews. If you’d rather make your own life choices, you can browse through the full list. If the place exists, UrbanSpoon has a review on it. And if you’ve got an iPhone, you can use the “dineline” feature to track everywhere you’ve eaten.

For more money-saving food advice, check out…

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Things I Always Buy at Costco
8 Things I Always Buy at Costco

From bacon to birthday cakes, here are my favorite deals at the popular warehouse store.

10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card
10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card

Sometimes it’s simply safer to keep the plastic tucked away.

7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree
7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree

Downsizing your home offers many benefits, including some you may not have anticipated.

The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction
The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction

These are the only homeowners insurance companies to earn above-average scores for customer satisfaction.

15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer

Study these strategies to make your golden years gleam.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Seniors With COVID-19 May Display This Unusual Symptom
Seniors With COVID-19 May Display This Unusual Symptom

Largely asymptomatic seniors may experience a symptom not commonly associated with the coronavirus.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

18 Early Black Friday Deals on Amazon Today
18 Early Black Friday Deals on Amazon Today

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card
Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card

Credit cards offer many conveniences and protections, but sometimes it’s simply smarter to keep the plastic tucked away.

13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

8 Surprising Household Items You Can Sell for Fast Cash
8 Surprising Household Items You Can Sell for Fast Cash

Sometimes, the humblest household items are worth the most money.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.