We all want to unleash our inner culinary goddess but life is busy and keeping track of cookbooks, ingredient lists and meal planners can be a real hassle.  Many of us use our smart phones to stay organized so why not use them as a kitchen helper too?

There are an abundance of apps available that can make your life easier when it comes to planning and preparing meals.  We checked them out and came up with a list of five great ones that are worth downloading.

BigOven (free)

The BigOven app is loaded with more 250,000 recipes, offering new takes on old classics.  A cool feature is the ability to drag and drop recipes into a calendar so that you can keep track of your plans at a glance.  Upgrading to the Pro version ($15) also gives you the ability to automatically generate a grocery list based on the meals you’ve selected.

Perfect Produce ($1.99)

Want to eat more fruits and vegetables but are confused about buying, storing and using them?  Perfect Produce is a handy tool that will give you tips so that you can start planning healthier meals.  There really is a method behind the madness when you see people tapping on melons and smelling peppers. This app helps you take the guesswork out of picking the perfect produce!

Fast Paleo ($0.99)

It seems like everyone is checking out the Paleo diet these days but, as they get started, it can be confusing to determine what foods they can eat. The Fast Paleo app helps keep users on track with their caveman diet and offers a huge selection of tasty recipes.

Crock-Pot Recipes ($3.99)

For many busy moms, the slow-cooker can be their best friend.  Grab a roast, throw it in the pot, put it on low and come home to a tasty, hot meal.  Sounds easy, right?  The thing is that it can also be a little tricky and mundane.  This app provides clear instructions for making the best meals and offers a great selection of meal ideas.

Substitutions ($0.99)

How many times have you been in the middle of a glorious recipe, things are going great and then you look for a main ingredient and realize you don’t have it?  It’s so frustrating and it can also result in wasted food if you feel like you’ve got to abandon the meal.  This fantastic app will help you look for substitutions for your missing item so that you can continue on with your masterpiece.  It also works for those who are looking to modify a recipe to be low-sodium and gluten-free.

So many of the apps on our phones do little more than drain our batteries.  Hopefully, some of these apps will help you actually save time instead of waste it. And check out these meal planning apps while you’re at it!