Food On the Table is intended for two purposes: help families plan meals and save money. The application helps users create healthy weekly meal plans to help families eat better and spend less time cooking. To further decrease cooking time, Food On the Table helps parents plan recipes that are considered “easy,” which means they take less than 45 minutes to prepare and use common ingredients and basic cooking techniques. The application also assists with grocery shopping by giving users a way to link to their favorite local grocery stores. Food On the Table lets the user compare circulars to see who is offering the best deals. The user can generate a shopping list based on their recipes and store preferences that can be printed when it is time to shop.
Food On the Table was founded in 2009 by Manuel Rosso. The concept came from a personal need that Rosso felt when taking care of his family of four children. The application works very well for most users, although some complain that there are too many limitations. Must like other location-based services, Food On the Table does not include grocery stores in every community. Many are still lacking. This may improve in time, however that does not make the application as appealing to users who live in areas not covered by the Food On the Table grocery store list.
The most unique features built into Food On the Table include the grocery store and shopping list tools. Users in many communities can find their local stores and search for actual sales and promotions that can help them save money. This information can be used to generate a complete shopping list. The user can save even more money by sticking to their shopping list when it is time to visit the grocery store.
Food On the Table welcomes users with an upbeat color scheme in bright yellow and refreshing green. The user interface is well organized, with a white background and hints of greens and blues throughout to add contrast. The user can view embedded maps when selecting grocery stores. Recipes are presented with ingredients, instructions and star ratings. Food On the Table also tallies the user’s grocery list total and shows them just how much money they have saved. The application presents users with helpful, organized food details that are often much harder to come by when doing it all by hand.
A new user can get started with Food On the Table by clicking either the green “Start Meal Planning” button or the “Sign Up for Free” tab found on the homepage. The following page invites the user to register with an existing Facebook account or by submitting their email address. Those who enter an email address are logged in and can begin setting their preferences. The first step is to select local grocery stores followed by choosing food preferences then ingredients and recipes.
When signing up, the user is automatically given a free basic account. This membership costs nothing and allows up to three meal plans for each week. A premium membership is also available. Users can try it as a three month trial for $15. If they continue, the subscription costs $9.95 for each month after. Users can also receive a monthly discount by purchasing a quarterly subscription for $26.95, a bi-yearly subscription for $47.95 or a yearly subscription for $69.95. Paying users are given access to thousands of chef picked recipes as well as the ability to create more meal plans.
FoodOnTheTable.com is a helpful tool for any family that would like to eat better. The application helps families save money by planning their grocery shopping trips. Although these tools are appealing to almost anyone, users should verify that the grocery stores they visit are on the site’s list. Users living in communities not covered by Food On the Table may find the application less practical compared to alternative services.