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

Have you ever bought certain groceries intenting to use them, only to have them sit in your fridge until they go bad? If so, you’re not alone. Food waste is a huge issue, and often, food is wasted because you don’t remember you have it.

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

What Does the EmptyMyFridge App Do?

Put simply, the EmptyMyFridge app works to reduce food waste by monitoring the contents of your fridge. This ensures that no food gets pushed to the back of your fridge and forgotten, only to be thrown out 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 dedicated to answering customer concerns because they often add a feature shortly after it’s requested in a review.

But how exactly does the app work? Can it really help you reduce food waste and effectively meal plan? Check out the app’s best features!

Download: EmptyMyFridge for Android | iOS (Free)

1. Monitor the Contents of Your Fridge

Initially setting up your fridge in the EmptyMyFridge app can take some time, but after this, it doesn’t take much to keep your fridge updated.

On the home screen, there’s an Add button on the bottom navigation bar that you can tap to quickly add a new food to your fridge. You can search for an item or use the app’s pre-built lists to add multiple items at once. These are the pre-built lists you can search through:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Spices & Seasonings
  • Dairy & Alternatives
  • Baking & Grains
  • Paste & Sauces
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Legumes
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Desserts & Snacks
  • There are pros and cons to each method of adding new foods. Right now, neither method allows you to customize the quantity of the item you’re adding. If you use the search bar, it’s easy to immediately sort each item into your Fridge, Pantry, Freezer, or Preserve lists. But it’s a bit time-consuming to manually search for each item.

    On the other hand, if you use the pre-built lists to add foods, it’s super easy to add multiple ingredients one after the other. However, you don’t get to choose where the food goes at this point, so it’s all sent to your Fridge. You can sort foods later, but it’d be nice to be able to sort as you add with both methods (and customize the quantity, too!).

    Lastly, there’s a built-in AI barcode scanner, so you can easily scan anything that’s packaged. Most items will be found through the scanner, but sometimes they come into the app as food items that aren’t recognizable for recipe matching.

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

    For that reason, 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 find the perfect recipe to make. Simply navigating to the Recipes tab will automatically populate recipes that match the ingredients in your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry. On this screen, you can use the dropdown menu at the top to select between No Diet, Vegetarian, or Vegan.

    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 in a recipe together and then look through all the customized results.

    Meal planning can be a difficult task, especially because there are so many unique ways to do so. For some, planning and cooking meals for the entire week on Sunday works perfectly, and for others, this results in wasted food because you get bored with eating the same thing. You might try learning to meal plan with SideChef or another app. However, with the EmptyMyFridge app, weekly meal planning isn’t as necessary. At a glance, you can see which ingredients you have and use the in-app recipe links for inspiration when you need it.

    3. Keep Up With Expiration Dates

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