I love cooking

I love cooking

I use an Android phone and the following two programs are proving a godsend to me, and they are both available on a desktop browser as well.

First of all, a great shopping app. I have looked at a dozen and discarded eleven! There are two things I like about this one. I shop at Ocado, Waitrose, Aldi, Tesco’s, a local Indian shop for spices, a local Polish shop for their delicacies, and this app allows me to have all of them on the same app. After I had used it for a few weeks, it had everything I had bought from any particular shop, all crossed out at the bottom. Now, when I set up the week’s shopping, I just have to unpick the items so no more typing in! Another good point is, if an item disappears from the shelves of one shop, you can switch it to another shop. Lovely! And the name? OurGroceries. I recently wrote about it but deleted the article as one of the two apps is similar to this.

You can set it up on your desktop, and your spouse can set it up on their phone. This can be useful as the one at home can add an item whilst their partner is shopping. My wife has the knack of adding something just after I have left the shop!

The second program is Food Planner. This is something else!!! We have four weekly set menus for breakfast lunch and dinner, Menu A through to Menu D and run them over a four week period. On the back of each menu's A4 page is a shopping list. This has been very useful but can be a little boring as it doesn’t allow trying out new menus.

We started out with Food Planner, putting our menus in each week, over the four weeks. Once you set up the week in the Calendar and add the meals, you can save the week’s meals in another part and name them in case you want to repeat them. We have saved them as the original Menu A through to Menu D. The program has a shopping list facility and the great thing against each item, is that you can add the name of the shop you use. I have typed my above list of shops into it. It also has an inventory, and you go through the larder, fridge, freezer and cupboards and add the amount left in each jar, packet etc. You only need to do that once. My wife is dreading helping me to do this! But we can do it in stages.

Then when you buy the food, it adds that to your inventory and each day, it takes the food out of the inventory. All automatically.

Until we get used to it, we are keeping to our four weekly menus. Soon we will explore the web looking at some of the millions of recipes--choosing what we like and adding the recipes to our meals.

One we don’t have on our list as we only want it for special occasions is Bobotie; I’ll add it to my website soon. You do most of the work a day or so before so it is a wonderful dish for a dinner party. Pop the prepared meal in an oven and sit down enjoying your first course with your guests!

We have simple categories, Breakfast, Lunch [M] Lunch [V] and Dinner [M] and Dinner [V] See if you can guess what the [M] and [V] stand for?

Answers on a postcard to ...