Food on the Table imports the sale pages from grocery stores near your home, and suggests recipes based on the sales. You can indicate meal preferences (specific ingredients, types of meals like soup, dietary restrictions like vegetarian, etc.). Food on the Table provides recipes, but also lets you input your own. It creates a grocery list from your recipes, organized by type (meats, produce, bread, etc.), and you can easily remove items already in your pantry or fridge. You can also add other items that you need, but may not appear in your recipes. You can then print your grocery list (and your recipes, if you choose). The site also has a mobile app for smartphones.
Cons — you must type, or copy and paste, your recipes into Food on the Table, which is time-consuming if you prefer to use your own recipes rather than theirs. They recently updated the site’s layout, and the “Create Recipe” page is difficult to find. The site is also not free.
PepperPlate does not import sale pages. Its biggest advantages over Food on the Table are that the site is completely free, and the ease of importing recipes from supported websites. Most of the big recipe sites (FoodNetwork.com, BonAppetit.com, etc.) are supported. Simply copy the URL of the recipe into PepperPlate, and it stores the ingredients, directions, and a picture (if there is one). You may also type or copy and paste recipes from unsupported sites (like blogs). The site creates a printable, organized grocery list. PepperPlate also has a smartphone app. Another feature that Pepperplate offers that Food on the Table does not is the option to plan a menu (rather than just a weekly meal plan). This allows you to organize recipes for special occasions, like a holiday meal, and create a grocery list for the meal.
Though Food on the Table makes it easier to plan meals from the grocery store sales, I found Pepperplate more user-friendly and intuitive to use and I simply had the local circular open in another browser window. So, below is our weekly meal plan, courtesy of PepperPlate.com. All recipes (except the Trader Joe’s Gnocchi) are from FoodNetwork.com.
- Sunday (breakfast) — Steak and Eggs with Beer-Molasses Steak Sauce
- Monday— Chicken and Mushrooms with Couscous
- Tuesday— Pesto Pork with Polenta
- Wednesday— Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
- Thursday— Steak Pizzaiola
- Friday— Honey-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks with Sugar Snap Peas
- Saturday— Trader Joe’s Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina