How to Use the EmptyMyFridge App to Plan Healthy Meals and Reduce Food Waste

Have you ever bought certain foods to use only to have them in your fridge until they go bad? If yes, you are not alone. Food waste is a big problem, and often food is wasted because you don’t remember you have it.

With take-away and frozen meals as easy options after a long day at work, it’s easy to ignore the fresh groceries in the fridge. Luckily, there’s an app that can help you use up your groceries before they go bad: EmptyMyFridge.

What does the EmptyMyFridge app do?

Simply put, the EmptyMyFridge app works to reduce food waste by monitoring the contents of your fridge. This ensures that food doesn’t get pushed to the back of your fridge and forgotten, only to be thrown away when it’s finally discovered.

It was originally released for Android and iOS in 2021. Created by Felix Lambert and Jinri Kim, the EmptyMyFridge app has received numerous updates since its initial release. Based on the app’s reviews, it’s clear that Lambert and Kim are committed to answering customer concerns, as they often add a feature shortly after it’s requested in a review.

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But how exactly does the app work? Can it really help you reduce food waste and create an effective meal plan? Check out the best features of the app!

Downloads: EmptyMyFridge for Android | iOS (free)

1. Monitor the contents of your fridge

Initially setting up your fridge in the EmptyMyFridge app may take some time, but after that it doesn’t take much to keep your fridge up to date.

There is one on the home screen Add to Button on the bottom navigation bar that you can tap to quickly add a new food item to your fridge. You can search for an item or use the app’s pre-made lists to add multiple items at once. These are the pre-made lists you can browse:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • Spices & Spices
  • Milk & Alternatives
  • Baking & Cereals
  • Pasta & Sauces
  • nuts
  • oils
  • legumes
  • meat
  • seafood
  • Desserts & Snacks

Each method of adding new foods has advantages and disadvantages. At the moment, none of the methods allow you to adjust the quantity of the item you are adding. Using the search bar makes it easy to sort any item into yours instantly refrigerator, pantry, freezeror Maintain lists. However, it is a bit time-consuming to search each item manually.

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On the other hand, if you use the pre-made lists to add foods, it’s super easy to add multiple ingredients one at a time. However, you cannot choose where the food goes at this point, so everything will be sent to you refrigerator. You can sort groceries later, but it would be nice if you could sort using both methods as you add them (and adjust the quantity too!).

Finally, there’s a built-in AI barcode scanner that lets you easily scan anything that’s packaged. Most items are found via the scanner, but sometimes they come into the app as foods that aren’t recognizable for recipe matching.

For example, a can of Target generic black beans would scan as “Good & Gather Low Sodium Black Beans” and not just “Black Beans”. When the EmptyMyFridge app tries to match recipes to your fridge’s current ingredients, it can match “Black Beans” but not Target’s longer, more specific title.

Because of this, it may be better to enter foods and ingredients manually.

2. Find recipes based on your ingredients

Unlike many other meal planning apps, the EmptyMyFridge app uses ingredients you already have on hand to help you come up with the perfect recipe. Simply navigating to the Recipes tab will automatically fill in recipes that match the ingredients in your fridge, freezer and pantry. On this screen you can use the drop down menu above to choose between No diet, vegetarianor Vegan.

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If you know you want to use a specific ingredient in a recipe, you can use the filter button at the top right. You can select up to three essential ingredients that must be included together in a recipe, and then review any adjusted results.

Meal planning can be a daunting task, especially because there are so many unique ways to do it. For some, planning and cooking meals for the whole week on Sunday works perfectly, for others it leads to food waste because it gets boring to eat the same thing over and over again. You can try to learn the meal plan using SideChef or another app. However, with the EmptyMyFridge app, weekly meal planning isn’t as necessary. You can see what ingredients you have at a glance and use the in-app recipe links for inspiration when you need them.

3. Keep up to date with expiration dates

One of the most common reasons for food waste is forgetfulness. People don’t intentionally waste food; They do this by mistake because they forgot the ingredient was even in their fridge or couldn’t think of a way to use it.

When you add an ingredient to EmptyMyFridge, it usually already has an expiration date set, depending on what the item is. For example, adding “banana” sets the expiration date to five days from today. Adding “eggs” sets the expiration date to 21 days from the current day.

It’s easy to adjust the expiration date for each food item if you don’t like the date that’s automatically set. On the refrigerator On the app’s tab, find the ingredient you want to edit and long-press its icon until you see that food detail screen appears. On this screen you can change the quantity and expiry date of the ingredient, whether it has been opened or not and whether you want to store it in the fridge, freezer or pantry.

When an ingredient has only five days left until its expiration date, you’ll see a green bar on that ingredient’s icon that says “5 days left.” If a food item has one to three days before it expires, this notification bar will turn orange. When you have reached the expiration date, the bar will turn red.

One of the worst parts of meal planning is figuring out which ingredients for a recipe you have and which ones to buy. Finding a recipe to cook it is tedious, but then you have to spend time looking at the ingredient list and comparing it to your fridge and pantry. And sometimes you still manage to miss items!

With the EmptyMyFridge app, you can find recipes tailored to the ingredients in your household and easily see what ingredients you’re missing from a recipe. Then, with a simple tap, you can add all or some of those missing ingredients to an in-app shopping list.

You’ll become a Meal Planning Pro in no time

Sure, there are some people out there who enjoy planning meals, but most people probably don’t. If you already have a job, schoolwork, or anything else that’s taking up your time, it’s a big hassle to spend time deciding what to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week. But with EmptyMyFridge — and other helpful meal planning tools — meal planning just got a whole lot easier.

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