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Cookbook/ Recipe Organizing Software

1853 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  silva
I'm considering buying some sort of recipe organizing software. I've tried using MS Access and Excel to help me organize my recipes and make grocery shopping easier but can't seem to get it to do what I want it to. I took an MS Office college class and it should be workable.

I'd really like to be able to imput recipes, create meal plans, and from those lists create an organized grocery shopping list. I currently do this by hand in Word, and though I have dozens of menus that I can copy/paste into new ones, it just takes forever.

Anyone have suggestions on a good organizer? Does anyone do this with Access and Excell and have pointers?

When I did a search on VB I came up with this really old thread and laughed so hard at the 6th post
That just cracked me up!

p.s.- I have no idea where this thread should go. I picked the food discussion but if that's wrong please use your magic mod powers to move it. Thanks!
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That MasterCook program mentioned on that thread actually sounds very nice. I have been thinking of looking for something like this for quite sometime. I have hundreds of recipes I would like to organize. and Amazon have pretty good reviews for it.
I've thought about using recipe software but it just doesn't seem very convenient. Do you print the recipes out anyway when you go to make them? Write them down? Do you take a laptop into the kitchen?
I looked at the MasterCook Program and am not sure that's what I want. Though some of the reviews on Amazon were glowing and positive if you click through to the 1-3 star reviews you see that it's hit or miss.

I really just want to be able to organize my own recipes. I'd rather not pay a ton of money for a meat-and dairy filled recipe collection that I'm never going to use. All the programs I've seen boast huge recipe collections already installed and, like you Shamandura, I have hundreds of my own.

I've been diligently cutting down food waste and find the best way to do that is to meticulously meal-plan. I hate grocery shopping
so I try and get in and out of there as quickly as possible. Having all my ingredients written out and grouped by areas in the grocery store is the best way to go for me. Plus, when I open the cabinets and stare blankly at the contents not knowing what to make I just glance at my "meals" list and pick something from that. I just wish I could find a blank program that fit this.
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've thought about using recipe software but it just doesn't seem very convenient. Do you print the recipes out anyway when you go to make them? Write them down? Do you take a laptop into the kitchen?
Sometimes I print them but usually I just jot down the basics on an index card and slip it in a sheet protector thing. I really want it for meal-planning and grocery shopping. But I hear what you're sayin about convenience
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Yes, the 8,000+ added recipes would be an unnecessary waste of space on my hardrive. If I knew they were just part of a bonus disk that I dont have to install, I would perhaps purchase it since the price isnt bad. There is one on eBay right now however, that is under $5.00 with free shipping. I'm sure if I change my mind, I might be able to find one really cheap again.

I think I will just wait for more ideas on this thread.
I just downloaded the free trial for eChef. So far it seems very simple. It has a shopping list and all the basic expected features. It does come with some sample recipes that can be deleted, there is maybe 20.

It doesnt have nutrition fact info for food, which I don't mind since it seems like it would be difficult to keep accurate by doing yourself. Kind of pricey if you decide to purchase it after the 30day trial. I'm going to fiddle around with it for a while.

Here's the sites link:

Here's some reviews I found somewhat helpful on Recipe/Cookbook Software; it's from someones blog:
I use Living Cookbook -

You can download a free trial and if you decide to buy it's $30. I needed a place to organize all of my online recipes and the ones I had lying around on scrap pieces of paper. You can upload photos of the recipes which I like, and organize the recipes by "cookbooks". For example I have a bread cookbook, a pasta cookbook, etc. You can search for recipes by ingredients or recipe type (e.g., soup, main dish, side dish, etc.).

If you really want to get involved you can also keep track of your pantry items and create grocery shopping lists. If you update your pantry items it will tell you what things you already have and what things you need to buy (I haven't really gotten around to taking stock of my pantry yet though). You can even add in the price of ingredients and it will calculate how much each serving of a meal costs. There is also a calendar feature so that you can plan menus.

Okay so I'll stop my raves now. The reason I got this one is because I liked it once I used the free trial and $30 didn't seem ridiculous to me. It was a lot better than the freeware programs I had tried (don't really remember any names of the top of my head).
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Oh I also forgot to add that if you have a list of your pantry items, you can also search for recipes you can make without buying anything new.

Wow, after all this raving I'm motivated to finally take stock of my pantry and use these features.
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Originally Posted by lobsteriffic View Post

Oh I also forgot to add that if you have a list of your pantry items, you can also search for recipes you can make without buying anything new.

Wow, after all this raving I'm motivated to finally take stock of my pantry and use these features.
If you purchase it, do they mail you the software or does it just give you a keycode to keep the downloaded version?

Looks like eChef just gives you a key, meaning if I buy another computer I am going to have to save my hardrive. I have so many photos saved on my current computer anyway I have planned on it unless it goes toast. It would just be nice to have it on CD to load on multiple computers.
You can do it either way. I had the trial version downloaded so I just got the key to enter. You can also get the software mailed to you if you prefer. Not sure if it works on multiple computers with the same key - you would have to ask about that.
Ooo all good ideas! Thank you both!

I swear I spent like 3 hours looking stuff up and I finally decided to go with this:

It was free and got some good reviews on other sites. I fiddeled with it last night for awhile and started putting in recipes and deleting the meat/dairy stuff. What was neat about that was that it only came with about 300 recipes and even had a vegetarian section as well as Indian, smoothies, juicing, and agave sections. That was kinda cool though a lot still had to be deleted like the Betty Crocker sections.

It's not the "prettiest" software (it's very basic looking) but it's super easy to use, has fairly accurate nutritional analysis, grocery lists, menus, monthly planners, and everything is customizeable. Did I mention it was free lol? So I may have solved my issue, I'll have to use it for awhile and see how I like it.
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Check out Ezyeating. That's what I use. I did try Excel for a while, but I like this much better. It comes with recipes, but I mainly put in my own because my teens are so picky. I can search by ingredient and it gives me a daily or weekly menu plus a grocery shopping list. It's a lot simpler then others I looked at and it costs a lot less. You can find it at
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My idea was to create an iBook. I'm a Mac user and you can type (or copy and paste stuff) in Pages and then with a menu command turn it into an iBook that can be read on an iPad. which can stand up in your kitchen. Also, you can send you iBook to your friends and they can read it on any device capable of displaying an epub file.

I think this was a good plan but like a lot of stuff I do, I fell behind and gave it up.

Recently i have some health issues and have been using Cronometer religiously. I discovered the "recipe" feature and anytime I make something with more than 4 ingredients I turn it into a recipe. The number one cool thing is that Cronometer automatically gives you all the nutritional info. Number two cool thing is that you can add the directions into the "notes" section".

also, all your recipes are pretty easy to find. You can even "tag" your recipes. I might want to do some thinking ahead about names and tags. But so far I like it and have cronometer on my MacBook and my iPhone.

It doesn't make grocery lists but I have an old app called Grocery Gadget that I really like
See less See more is what I've been using. Use a click and the recipe is added to your collection, easily modified, has shopping list features.
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