Mealtime lets users pick several meals to prepare each week ... (Courtesy of Mealime)

... Then the app helps users shop for and cook them. (Courtesy of Mealime)

Being single has its advantages. For one thing, you never have to compromise when it comes to making dinner. But there are disadvantages as well; you’re always the one who has to make it, and it can be tough to come up with ideas on your own. Every weekend, I say I’m going to cook enough meals to last through the workweek, but more often than not, the end of a workday finds me making a fast-food run or reaching for a Lean Cuisine.

I decided to try Mealime, an app designed to take the stress out of meal planning. Created by three friends whose poor eating habits began to weigh (literally) on them in their mid-20s, Mealime promises to guide users to healthy meals without requiring “superhuman willpower or effort,” according to the site.

To start, users can customize their eating preferences. Allergic to shellfish? You can mark that, so the app won’t recommend meals you can’t eat. Hate mushrooms and olives? You can mark them as well.

Mealime prompts users to select a meal plan of two to six meals for the week. The app then presents a couple of choices for each meal; users can swipe to see more options. Once a user selects meals for the week, the app creates a grocery list with all the required ingredients. Users can adjust ingredient amounts for two or four servings.

The app also includes a list of kitchen items needed to prepare each meal and step-by-step instructions. If users wind up especially liking a meal, they can mark it as a favorite.

For $5.99 a month, Mealime Pro allows users to view previous meal plans, nutritional details and more.

I started with a two-meal plan. For my first meal, I made Roasted Garlic Rosemary Chicken & Pears with Butternut Squash Mash. With list in hand I went to the grocery store, bought all the ingredients and made the dish one night after work. The instructions were simple, though I found myself wanting to add to the light seasonings. All in all, I was happy with the dish.

I bought all the ingredients for Meal No. 2 — Fettuccine Alfredo With Asparagus — but let a few of them go to waste; making time to cook was more of a challenge than I expected. The upside is that, given the small list of ingredients, I didn’t spend that much money and was able to use the remaining ingredients in other ways.

If you find yourself short on ideas, Mealime is a good resource for light, nutritious meals that are easy to prepare. Just remember: It can’t cook them for you.


NAME: Mealime

COST: Free on iPhone, Android and Web; $5.99 Mealime Pro upgrade


CREATOR: Mealime Meal Plans

USER RATINGS: iTunes, (436 ratings); Google Play, (147 ratings)

REVIEW’S BOTTOM LINE:Setting a weekly meal plan for one just got easier.