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AccuChef, brought to you by Sivart Software, is recipe-based software with handy meal planning integration, and we're pleased to include it in our meal planning software review. This multi-featured menu planner allows you to collect and organize recipes and plan menus, organize shopping trips and create shopping lists.

The meal options include breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, main entrée, main vegetable and late night snack. AccuChef can create meal plans per day, week or by the month, and meal plans can be shared. The meal planning software allows you to print your meals and easily switch dates you’re working on by clicking the calendar integrated into the Meal Planner tool.

Another advanced meal planning tool this software includes is the ability to choose recipes based on items you have on hand, and it supports complex search functions for finding these recipes. You can also flag and rate recipes and add media to recipe files. AccuChef can also calculate the nutritional value of single ingredients or for entire meals.

Saving time and making your life easier are the main purposes of meal planning software. Organizing your shopping trips is another useful function of meal planning software, which AccuChef does by instantly adding your recipes, meals or menu ingredients to your shopping list. The application will organize your entire shopping trip aisle-by-aisle and by store. For added convenience you can print out your shopping list in aisle order, which saves time and prevents backtracking while you’re at the store. Another practical shopping tool in AccuChef is its built-in coupon database, which is a great for organizing your coupons.

AccuChef allows you to print out cookbooks using your own recipes (with a table of contents, headers, footers, page numbers and pictures), as well as 3x5 and 4x6 recipe cards. You can use AccuChef to create webpages (HTML files) to upload to your website, which is a nice feature when sharing recipes and meal ideas.

AccuChef also offers extras you won’t find anywhere else, such as a Body Mass Index Calculator and a Caloric Requirements Calculator. The Caloric Requirements Calculator configures your personal caloric daily needs based on your weight goal and daily activity levels.

AccuChef has a refreshingly intuitive interface to make your recipe management and meal planning a stress-free process. The application uses two main screens: the browser and the editor. While browsing through your recipes (or their recipe database), you can press the Enter key to view or edit any recipe. To insert a new recipe into the database, you simply press the Insert key and the software will add it instantly.

Unfortunately this software runs best on Windows XP. If you install this software onto a PC running Vista or Windows 7, be sure to explicitly follow their download instructions. They plan to add CHM help file format to support Windows Vista and 7 in their next release.

You can contact Sivart Software by email or by U.S. Mail. They also post a lengthy FAQs page with comprehensive answers. An especially valuable support option they offer is free upgrades, even upgrades to full version upgrades via online download. However, we would like to see Sivart add phone support and free user guides with upgrades.

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AccuChef Summary:
7.3/10

AccuChef is a powerful database-type recipe and meal planning application; it can manage endless cookbooks and up to 2 billion recipes per cookbook. This meal planning software is applicable to those who want to manage numerous recipes, cookbooks and meal plans.

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AccuChef

Pros
AccuChef has an impressive built-in coupon database and supports unlimited cookbook files.

Cons
This menu planning software offers limited mobile support and does not manage inventory.

The Verdict
: 7.25/10

There are a few issues when running this software with Vista or Windows 7; however, XP users can benefit from this software.