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Free Online Tools Benefitting Time-Starved, Cost-Conscious Home Cooks

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- While several popular services on the Web charge fees to access recipe databases, weekly meal plans and grocery shopping lists, many consumers don't know that these and other food-related resources are actually available online completely free of charge - and with capabilities that meet, and even exceed, their for-fee counterparts.

"Our site offering free access to our specialized recipe search engine and weekly meal and grocery list planner is really resonating with time-stressed, budget-conscious consumers - particularly during these tough economic times," notes Howie Wang, founder of - a leading food portal.

Below are a few representative tools offers free of charge to help frugal food-lovers spend more time cooking, eating and socializing rather than planning, shopping and tirelessly searching for food-related information online:

--Meal-Plan-of-the-Week: Intended to save busy, budget-conscious individuals time and money by taking the guesswork out of low cost meal planning, grocery shopping and recipe preparation in full 7-day increments. Each plan features seven lunch and seven dinner recipes from culinary experts that utilize economical and seasonal ingredients while also uniquely accounting for left-overs, which are incorporated into recipes later in the week. Each plan also comes complete with a corresponding grocery list to ease and expedite the shopping process.

--One-Stop Recipe Search Engine: Negating the need to visit individual Web sites to search for recipes one by one, this unique and convenient recipe search engine allows users to quickly and easily query ALL of the Internet's leading recipe sites - including,,, as well as boutique food sites and key food blogs - simultaneously from one single search tool. Search by ingredient, keyword, dish name, cuisine, chef, special occasion, dietary program or restrictions and more. The results are then sorted by relevance and user rating, also presented with refining "narrow down" options, making it nearly effortless to find the most popular, promising recipes.

--Social Networking: Food-o-philes may share ideas and interact through an array of social network features, which include the ability to add, view and edit "Foodie Friends," a "Fridge Door" bulletin board system for public comments, Private Messaging, personal Photo Galleries, Restaurant Lists, Reviews Lists, Cooking Book and Gear Wish Lists, and more.

--"Recipe Roundup" e-Newsletters: Each week a guest food writer selects a delicious food topic and guides readers through his or her favorite recipes from around the Web. Newsletters are e-mailed to subscribers and archived on for continuous consumption.

--Metro Restaurant Guide: Those not in the mood to cook may find the perfect restaurant for their palate and budget using this comprehensive guide, which compiles "Best Of" lists and reviews for restaurants in 9 major markets - Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. Search by restaurant name, cuisine category, price point or geographic location.

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