How to Import Ingredients to Make a Better Shopping List (Mobile)

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.

If you are using the mobile app, you will follow the steps below. If you are using the website, please click here.

General Ingredient Tips

  • The ingredients are imported to match the original recipe as close as possible.  The quantity, units of measurement, and item are listed on a row with any notes being listed in smaller font above and below the ingredient.  
    • In the example below:
      • the quantity is 2 1/2
      • the unit of measurement is tablespoons
      • the ingredient that will appear on the Shopping List is avocado oil
      • the notes are shown in the blue boxes (the blue boxes will not appear in the app, they are for demonstration purposes only in this article)


  • Not every ingredient requires a unit of measurement
    • 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 usually 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 1/4 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.
  • The import tool cannot recognize a range as the quantity. 
    • For example, 1 - 2 pounds of chicken would need to be entered as either 1 pound chicken or 2 pounds chicken instead of 1 - 2 pounds chicken.
  • Remove any extra characters from the quantity for an ingredient
    • For example, 1-1/2 should be entered as 1 1/2 using only a space to separate the whole number from the fraction
  • When an ingredient is labelled as ‘optional’ (e.g. 1/4 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.
  • Before you click Save, verify that the correct ingredients were entered. If an ingredient line is left blank because the ingredient was not recognized, then the ingredient will not be added to the Shopping List.  Be sure that the ingredient appears on the correct line (as shown in the image above) and is not listed on one of the lines for notes.

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 1/4 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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