How to Import Ingredients to Make a Better Shopping List

We know that our subscribers love to import recipes into their Recipe Box.  Sometimes it can be difficult to get the ingredients in the imported recipes to combine with the ingredients in the Real Plans recipes on the Shopping List.  The following tips will help you enter the ingredients in your imported recipes.

General Ingredient Tips

  • Not every box needs to be filled in on the ingredient confirmation screen.  You may see a warning saying that there are blank boxes, but it is actually ok to have blank boxes.  
    • If you want 1 egg in your ingredient list, it is not necessary to add it as “1 whole egg” to fill in all of the boxes. You would just need to enter 1 egg, leaving the unit of measurement blank. 
    • The units of measurement “whole” and “each” should be used sparingly. They are unnecessary in most situations. 
  • It is important to use similar types of units for like ingredients.
    • The shopping list is only able to combine like ingredients that have compatible units of measure.  
    • For example, it can combine 1 pound of sausage and 8 ounces of sausage into 1 ½ pounds of sausage on the shopping list.  Unfortunately, if you enter 1 pound of sausage and 1 link of sausage, it cannot combine those because they are different types of measurement since one is a weight and the other is an individual unit.  
  • If you enter more than one option for an ingredient, the first ingredient you list is the one that will appear on the shopping list and determine if the recipe meets the dietary restrictions in settings.
    • Both options will need to be the same units.  For example, “1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil” would be allowed, but not “2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or ¼ cup coconut oil.”
  • Enter only 1 unit of measurement per ingredient. 
    • For instance, 1 pound (453 g) ground beef needs to be entered as either 1 pound ground beef OR 453 g ground beef.
  • When an ingredient is labelled as ‘optional’ (e.g. ¼ cup salsa, optional) the word optional will appear next to the ingredient on the shopping list (unless the ingredient is required in another recipe).
  • We do not use brand names for ingredients in Real Plans.  If you add an ingredient that is a brand name, it will create a custom ingredient specific to your account.  The nutritional information is not provided for custom ingredients.
  • When you click Save, verify that the correct ingredients were entered by using the drop down list in the ingredient column, and make any changes as needed.

Produce Tips

  • All produce is assumed to be “medium” by default, so it is not necessary to enter medium for any produce item. 
    • If the item is considered to be medium (1 medium bell pepper), you can enter it without the unit of measurement as 1 bell pepper.
    • If you would like to specify a size such as small or large (e.g. 1 small zucchini), you will need to enter that as the unit of measurement.
  • Enter produce as you would buy it at the store.  For example, 1 small zucchini instead of ¼ cup chopped zucchini.
  • Remove any preparation steps from the ingredient name.
    • You can add a note after the ingredient if you would like, so it could be entered as 1 1/2 onions, chopped.

If you need assistance, please send us an email at support(at)

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