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3 easy ways to save your favorite recipes (or, life after Ziplist)

If you've been using Ziplist to save recipes from The Perfect Pantry, and from other favorite blogs and websites, I'm sad to report that the company is closing on December 10, 2014. I just learned this and wanted to share with you as soon as possible, as they will no longer support the recipe box, shopping list, and recipe saving features after December 9.

I have removed the blue "Save Recipes to Ziplist" button from my recipe posts here, as well as the "Recipe Box" link at the top of the page.

How to preserve recipes currently in your Ziplist recipe box

First, download all of the recipes you've stored in your recipe box. You need to do this before December 10, and as it takes just a few minutes, why not do it this weekend? Here's how: http://get.ziplist.com/what-you-need-to-know/.

3 easy ways to save recipes 

Now, what's the best way to continue to save recipes (your own, and those you find on this blog and other sites)? Ziplist recommends you create a recipe box on Epicurious.com and transfer the recipes you've already saved. It's a great option, and it's free, especially if you already use the Epicurious site to search for new recipes.

I have three additional ideas for you.

Pinterest

Free web site. By far the easiest way to collect recipes you find online. Think of Pinterest as a bulletin board in your kitchen, with recipes cut out of magazines (and a photo of each one) and saved from your favorite blogs, all tacked up on the board. There's an easy-to-use Pinterest app for your smart phone or tablet, so what you save on your desktop can go with you to the market. You can sort your Pinterest finds into recipes for desserts, chicken, soup, slow cookers, or any other way. And you can even share your Pinterest boards with friends -- especially helpful if you're planning a holiday meal or party menu together. (Here's a peek at the boards I've created on Pinterest. It's so easy, you won't believe it.)

Note: to add something from The Perfect Pantry to your Pinterest "bulletin board", just click the big red P that comes up when you position your cursor on the recipe photo, or use the "share" button at the top or bottom of each post, and you can add that recipe to Pinterest with just one click.

Evernote Food

Free app for iPhone, iPad or Android. When I asked on Facebook recently how readers were saving their recipes, Evernote Food was the most popular response. I've just downloaded it, so I can test it for my personal use. Evernote Food lets you save recipes from blogs and web sites, add your own recipes, and discover new ones. It takes a bit of setting up, but once you do it, the set-up syncs across all of your devices.

Note: to add recipes from The Perfect Pantry to your Evernote account, click the green elephant button at the end of each recipe.

Paprika

An app for iOS, Android, Kindle, Nook or Mac desktop, Paprika isn't cheap ($19.99), but it has a visual interface like Ziplist, can make grocery lists and meal plans, and will sync across all of your devices if you're a Mac addict like me. It has hundreds of 5-star ratings in the iTunes store.

If you discover other apps or web sites that work well for saving recipes, please leave a link in the comments here.

Special thanks to Ziplist employees who worked so hard to create a great user experience over the past few years. 


Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.

Comments

Hi Lydia. Thank you for letting us know about this! I started using a pay-program called "Plan to eat". It stores all the recipes with the picture and link to where you originally found them. You can then pick the recipe that you want and plan a menu for a meal, day, week, month... it will also create a shopping list for you. Although it's not free, it works great (looks like it runs on a MS Access back-end). Just figured I would share another alternative that works for me. Happy Friday!

Delicious, the link saver, has worked great for me for years

Lydia, thank you so much for posting this.
I opted to have my recipes e-mailed to me in a zip file (For those who might not know, a zip file is a way to compress many files into one e-mailable folder and is not related to ziplist).

For those who want to save their shopping list, this option will do that. It took only minutes; I have received the file already.

It is an excel file with the recipe title listed alphabetically and the link to the recipe in the second column. Easy to save to your hard drive.

The shopping list was also in the folder.

Again, Lydia, many thanks. You're the best!

Excuse me! Just a moment of your time please!
I have been using Paprika for over 2 years (on iPad & Android both) and I have yet to pay a single dollar for this wonderful service ... your saying it cost $20 is questionable at best. How come I've never been asked for any money? I have over 2,500 recipes in my Paprika account and I absolutely LOVE it!
That's Paprika Recipe Manager, not any of several other apps named Paprika related to cooking.
FYI: PepperPot is ok too, but not nearly as useful as Paprika.

Hi Lydia,

I think you should also suggest that your readers might reasonably opt to save recipes on their own computer's hard drive - and then perform back-ups regularly, to another PC or on a key drive or external drive or on CDs - whatever you wish. If you are the extremely nervous type, you can also give a back-up CD to a friend to keep safe for you.

Every browser (well, there are many - the mainstream browsers, at least) allows one to 'Print to File' and then produces a PDF, in the directory you indicate and named by you. That's probably the fastest way to save anything from a webpage.

There's always, also, old-fashioned cut-and-paste into a word processor. More old-fashioned yet, you can print recipes and save them in files or notebooks....

Your data is NOT safe unless you keep it, on *your own* physical premises, under *your own* control.

Pat Meadows

I use Pepperplate, ever since Food.com made it impossible to access anything easily. They have a bookmarklet that makes it very easy. Any recipes on sites not partnered with Pepperplate can be quickly cut and pasted.

Thanks, everyone, for your advice, suggestions, and options. Keep 'em coming. There is no one perfect way to save recipes (I'm a bulletin board person in my kitchen, but a Pinterest person on the computer). Shoe boxes, notebooks, apps -- one of them will be right for you.

I may have discovered Delicious at The Perfect Pantry, and I still use it. While I've had some frustrations, it has worked well for me. One problem is that links may no longer work, but that seems to be due to the disappearance of the site itself. I guess in the end the most dependable, if less convenient, is the old fashioned hard copy.

I use regular evernote. Have notebooks for each letter of the alphabet and sort that way. The search function is amazing. I can type in "turmeric, spinach, potato" and I'll see all the recipes with those ingredients. Great for using up stuff close to use by date. Only problem is you have to spend some time standardizing ingredients (eg: eggplant/aubergine, coriander/cilantro green onions/spring onions/eschallots etc etc...)

Another option is spoonacular. You can upload your own recipes or use the recipe saver to save recipes from other sites. Plus the meal planner includes nutritional information, which is really important to me: https://spoonacular.com/weekly-meal-planner

Dear Lydia, Thank you so much for giving us this information and for the other comments. I never would have known Ziplist was gone until it was too late without your posting this notice! You are a blessing to those of us who are recipe-obsessed and a bit out of touch sometimes. I love your website and all the care you put into it and care for us. We can't thank you enough for you being you!

Meal Planner Pro provides the best solution to download and save ZipList recipes. They make it super easy to import all of your ZiplList recipes complete with any notes that you've added. It's completely free and they offer all of the same features that ZipList had. Grocery lists organized by aisle, a recipe clipper, recipe search engine, free meal planning calendar etc.

All of my saved ZipList recipes display and work perfectly.

You can check out their ZipList download instructions at http://mealplannerpro.com/save-your-ziplist-recipes

Cheers!

Hi Lydia,

I can see that it's been a very frustrating experience for many people in figuring out what to do now that ZipList is closing. This is understandable considering all the time and effort it takes to discover and save your favorite recipes. I've been doing some testing to see who provides the best solution.

Pepperplate makes it easy to upload your Ziplist recipes but they have a low success rate in converting the recipes back into their original format. You receive a lot of recipe error messages. Meal Planner Pro also makes it easy to upload your Ziplist recipes but have a much higher conversion success rate. I also like that they offer a recipe clipper plugin to continue to clip and save recipes from my favorite sites into their recipe box.

Both solutions and sites are free of charge. It doesn't hurt to try both and see which one works best for you. Below are links to each of their sites and their Ziplist download instruction pages.

http://mealplannerpro.com/save-your-ziplist-recipes

https://pepperplate.zendesk.com/entries/59964600-Ziplist-Import

One tsp is another alternative to ZipList for recipe clipping (from other sites), manually creating recipes, and building shopping lists. We provide a fast mobile website so you can always get to recipes wherever you go. Many of our users like One tsp because it is simple to use ad uncluttered (no ads, etc.)

If you are transferring from ZipList, we can help move your recipes over automatically and give you a free year subscription to our Pro Accounts ($5/year) to get started:
http://onetsp.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/move-your-recipes-to-one-tsp-a-great-ziplist-alternative/

Please note: as a public service, I am allowing links to recipe-saving resources on this post. Generally I do not publish comments that contain links to commercial sites. I will be deleting this post within a couple of weeks, after the date Ziplist closes down.

Lydia, I am cook on a private yacht and a huge fan of your site! I don't have space for lots of (any!) cookbooks, so Paprika is my very valued storage space (downloaded several years ago when it was free!). Unfortunately, your recipes do not download to Paprika automatically...have to use cut and paste ( same with your pal Kaylyn). Would love if they could download automatically ( which gives the source as theperfectoantry)! Otherwise, when I cut and paste, I always acknowledge the source as you.

Busy and trying to save a step,
Cindy

The feature I liked most about Ziplist was the ability to generate a shopping list and have it automatically link to your Smartphone. I was very pleased to see that Epicurious works the same way. I can generate a shopping list from a chosen recipe, selecting what I do/don't need, and find it categorized on my phone in the Epi app. A great option if you loved that Ziplist feature or one to try if you haven't. And like Ziplist, you can save recipes from other sites or create your own.

Hey Lydia! Would love for you to check out http://recipehero.in/ too :) Something I've been working on for a really long time and completely free.

I switched to Copy Me That when I heard of Ziplist closing and it's been great!! They moved all my recipes automatically - I had more than 1000 so I could not have done that myself. They also included my notes and tags, PLUS they added the directions.

And they just came out with a better shopping list. I like being able to add my own items, not just the stuff that's in the recipes.

The Copy Me That button is great. It copies recipes from any website. I tested it for fun and it really works on some weird sites (yeah, I'm a bit weird myself!)

http://www.copymethat.com

Have you heard if Paprika has made it easy to convert Ziplist files? I contacted the company and even sent them my recipes, but have not heard back. I am leery to pay 19.99 if my recipes can't be converted.

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