Manually merge ingredients on your shopping list

Ingredients on your shopping list are automatically merged based on the their title and grocery category. Words not related to ingredients like "chopped", "organic", etc. are ignored when merging ingredients and these variations are listed below each ingredient.

Sometimes ingredients are not merged properly and you may want to manually merge two items. To do this, click the edit (pencil) icon next to one of the ingredients and change the name and/or category to match the other ingredient.

If you allow the changes to update any associated recipes, you should not have to manually merge the same ingredients for future meal planning.

How Plan to Eat combines similar ingredients for a cleaner list (and what to do if it isn’t what you want):

Not combining due to nomenclature:


Let's say you have 3 recipes that each call for salt in different ways:

  • Salt Pinch [A]
  • Salt 1 1/2 teaspoons [B]
  • Salt and pepper to taste [C]

Plan to Eat will group and scale the units; “cups”, “tablespoons” and “teaspoons”, but will not combine units such as “pinch” with “teaspoons”. Plan to Eat does not know how much a “pinch” is, so we keep it separated on it’s own line for you to reference.

If you prefer all of your salt to be on one line in your shopping, you can assign a value to a "pinch" in the recipe. How much is a “pinch?” 1/8th of a teaspoon? 1/16th of a teaspoon? You decide.

“Salt and pepper” is not the same thing as “salt.” Instead of stashing salt and pepper somewhere in your list for the sake of neatness, we would rather you know that you have a recipe that calls for an undefined combination of salt and pepper to your preferred tastes.

If it is not helpful to you to have that item on your shopping list, you can remove items from your shopping list.

Not combining due to unit differences:


Let's say you have 2 recipes that each call for Russet potatoes in different ways:

  • Russet potatoes 4 [A]
  • Russet potatoes 6 pounds [B]

These two ingredient listings for Russet potatoes do not use the same unit type; one of them is quantity while the other is a weight. Plan to Eat will list these separately so that in addition to the 6 pounds of Russet potatoes that you need for the one recipe, you will know that you also need to grab 4 more potatoes, of your choice, for the other. We would rather you have the information you need to decide which potatoes you would like to select at the grocery store for those particular recipes.

If hand selecting your produce for a particular recipe is not important, take a guess at how many pounds 4 potatoes would be (it’s about 1.5 pounds). Click on the "Russet potatoes 4" in your shopping list to change the ingredient units to pounds for the associated recipe. When the two recipes are using the same unit measurement the two items will combine. Whenever you use that recipe in the future the measurement will be in pounds.

Not combining due to adjectives in ingredients:


Let's say you have 2 recipes that each call for Onions in different ways:

  • Chopped Onion
  • Onion

Many times adjectives in recipes will end up in the wrong place. If this recipe, which contains "Chopped Onion", was updated by moving "Chopped" to the notes for this ingredient in the recipe, the two items would be combined together on the shopping list, and the note for “chopped” would be displayed after the combined ingredients.

How are shopping list items combined?

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