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Popcart Keeps Cooks From Coming Up Short

One thing I spend a great deal of time doing is browsing the internet for recipes. Most often I use them as inspiration for creating one of my own, but I know there are people who require a recipe in order to make dinner happen. The other day we looked at Forage, which is a new service that sends you the prepped ingredients you need to make a recipe, and now we’re going to go in a slightly different direction with Popcart.

Popcart is a browser add-on that allows you to create an error-free shopping list from that recipe you’re currently drooling over. You know how sometimes you miss an ingredient when you’re making your list, and then there you are in the middle of making dinner when you discover you have no (whatever)? Popcart will eliminate that little problem, because not only does it make a grocery list based on the recipe you want to make, it’s associated with FreshDirect. For those of you who don’t know, FreshDirect is an online grocery store.

Now, I can already hear some of you thinking, “But what if I don’t need everything in the recipe?” I did too, because I have quite a decently-stocked kitchen. Popcart allows you to customize your shopping list, adding or subtracting items based on what you have or need. Things like oil, or basic seasonings such as salt or pepper are put in a separate section, and you have to add them manually. But using Popcart is ridiculously easy! Just highlight the ingredient list of any recipe and click the “Popcart it” button. In seconds, you’ve got a grocery list in front of you, complete with amounts and pricing.

Popcart Keeps Cooks From Coming Up Short

This is kind of neat: If a recipe calls for only a portion of something, Popcart will offer you recipes to use the remainder along with other ingredients you’re buying. Because have you ever in your life used an entire bunch of celery without throwing at least 1/3 of it away? I know I haven’t. One thing to be aware of is Popcart automatically defaults to fresh, organic items whenever they’re available. If you prefer cheaper options, you’ll have to change them, but you can easily swap out different types of ingredients.

There are a couple of drawbacks, however. FreshDirect only delivers in the greater New York area, although they’re planning to expand over time. And Popcart is also looking to expand beyond FreshDirect, which means those of you who have your own favourite grocery store (and those of you who, like me, prefer to pick your grocery items in person instead of online) will be able to use Popcart without having to worry about the limited delivery area. Until then, the online shopping portion of this particular program won’t work for most of us.

The other drawback is price. FreshDirect does not have cheap groceries by any stretch of the imagination. I quickly ran the side dish I made for dinner tonight through the program, and it came up with almost $9.00 US (I actually paid less than $5.00 for the ingredients). But you’re paying for the convenience of not having to make a list or go to the store, so I’d expect to pay a little more. It also has trouble finding some ingredients that I thought were pretty common, but the folks at Popcart are aware there are bugs and they’re working on fixing them.

If you want to try out Popcart, head over to their website, where you can get the “Popcart it” button for free. It’s actually kind of neat, even if you live in a place where you can’t get delivery as I do, just to see what you need. I’m probably going to use it in making my grocery lists for the store, because it is quite handy.

Source: Fast Company

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