Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I try TimeChop for free?

You bet! Download TimeChop on the App Store free. It comes with a two week free trial.

So download for free today. Just for the health of it.

I've limited kitchen experience. How difficult are the meal recipes?

We designed TimeChop for someone who has limited experience in all aspects of having healthy meals.  We specify the kitchen tools to use for each recipe step, and provide preparation photos to guide you. Each recipe instruction is detailed to assist an inexperienced cook. And if you don’t need the details, the application interface makes it easy to speed through it.

How do I subscribe? How much is a subscription?

TimeChop is free to download and includes all features in a two week free trial.  To get access to all TimeChop kitchen connected menus, select the “Subscribe” button and choose your subscription length. TimeChop is $.99/month or $9.99/year. Yep. We want TimeChop to be available to everyone.

What Do You Mean by Simplified Home Cooking?

Plans created from the TimeChop kitchen are based on real, whole foods. They eliminate highly processed ingredients and provide the variety of nutrients to fuel your body. Also, TimeChop meals use basic, tried and true cooking techniques and simple kitchen tools. Nothing fancy, just easy and nutritious.

Connected menus also save you time. From creating a weekly meal plan in 5 minutes, using the automated shopping list to speed you through the grocery store, to optimizing your time prepping and cooking your meal, TimeChop can reduce your weekly meal time by nearly 30%!

When you have a plan, you shop for what you need, not what you might need. TimeChop also minimizes the frustration you feel when you throw food food away at the end of the week. And, having a plan helps you cook more meals at home, saving money from those, “I don’t know what I’m having” fast food dinners.

What do you mean I can create a grocery list in 30 seconds!

Use Favorites and History. These are two sections on the For You page enable you to quickly choose a menu you’ve favorited or used in the past. There’s fast, and then there’s TimeChop fast.

Is TimeChop a meal kit delivery service?

While meal kits are great for some, they are very expensive and include a lot of excess packaging. TimeChop meals are just as easy to cook, provide lunch options for the week, and include enough dinner selections for the entire week as well.

You can display macronutrients?

By default, macronutrient display is set to “on”. To turn it off, go to your “Profile” and tap the slider for Nutrient Display.

We’ve entered our recipe ingredients into various nutrition databases to get estimates on fat, protein, and carbohydrates (all in grams). Did you know that depending on the source, you get different macronutrient answers?

Because there isn’t a single, correct answer to the nutrient question, we’ve taken a very simple approach to calculating calories. TimeChop estimates calories based on the following formula:

(Fat(gr) x 9) + (Protein(gr) x 4) + (Carbohydrates(gr) x 4) = estimated calories

At TimeChop, we prefer not to focus on calories, but instead the amount and percentage of calories coming from various macronutrients. For example, those following a keto diet may want 70% of their calories from fat. Additionally, some may want to keep their net carbohydrates (which we’ve simplified to total carbohydrates – dietary fiber since our recipes rarely have sugar alcohols) to 10 grams or less each day.

FODMAPs & Nightshades? You can do that?

Working with a few of our TimeChop users, we were shocked to hear how difficult it is to effectively plan and eat on a low FODMAP or Nightshade elimination diet. The complexity of knowing what is a low, medium or high FODMAP seemed way to difficult and frustrating. While there are apps out there that enable you to look up each ingredient individually, we thought there must be an easier, more efficient way.

TimeChop launched its FODMAP and Nightshade Assist capabilities in June 2018. If you are following a low FODMAP diet, or eliminating Nightshades, simply turn these capabilities on in your profile. Every ingredient will now be identified for each recipe and on the automated shopping list, allowing easy elimination or re-introduction.

What is Allergen Assist?

Allergen Assist can be activated in your profile by selecting any of the top 8 allergens. TimeChop then identifies suspect ingredients and places the appropriate icon on the menu and meal cards, and on the ingredient and shopping lists. The “octagonal stop sign” indicates an identified allergen, and the “triangle yield sign” indicates a possible or unknown allergen ingredient.

How do I use the Purchased Snacks feature?

Purchased snacks show up on the TimeChop home page. It lists the snack items you’ve purchased so you know what’s available to eat and helps you avoid an unhealthy option.To use the snack feature:

  1. Use the Quick Add to add an item you want to buy to the shopping list. Make sure you put it in the “Snacks” category. It then shows up on your shopping list.
  2. During your shopping trip, mark the item off your shopping list. Your snack will show up on your home page under “Purchased Snacks”.

You can now see all the snacks you have and delete them once consumed.

How can meals be under $5 each?

Our goal is to eat healthy meals for less than $5/meal. It’s amazing how inexpensive healthy eating can be when you  don’t buy processed food and you cook what you buy.

TimeChop also doesn’t specify where you buy fresh food.  We’ll give you tips on the best ways to buy certain items to be most cost effective.  We also don’t require you to buy organic fruits or vegetables, or grass-fed beef for example. Instead, TimeChop specifies how much to buy, how much to cook and how much to set aside. This reduces what you toss out at the end of the week.

Whether or not you want to spend that extra buck on an organic pepper instead of an inorganic one is really up to you.

Looking broader, knowing what you have for snacks, or what you are making for dinner is a great way to reduce the number of times you eat out. TimeChop is all about empowering you to make amazing meals for yourself while working with time constraints and a tight budget. More at-home cooking discourages you from eating out and saves you money.

Can I plan for more that one week at a time?

TimeChop provides for two planning periods so you can be eating healthy this week, and creating your healthy eating plan for the future.

How much time can I really save with TimeChop?

So let’s talk real world use: You’ll save time with the automated shopping list by shopping for what you need and not wandering around the aisles thinking about what you could make. You’ll save time knowing what you’ll be cooking each day. You won’t waste time stressing over what you’ll have time to make for lunch or dinner.

The better question is: How many lunches and dinners are you going to make? With TimeChop, the more you cook, the more time you’ll save later in the week.

Let’s get specific. You’ll cook 1 Core Meal each week that will take between 30 – 50 minutes. That’s the investment. Now the payoff: Each Fresh Dinner made will take between 15 – 25 minutes and each leftover or Carryout will take no more than 10 minutes. And these are filling, healthy meals.

Connected Meal Basics

What's the difference between Express, Speedway and Adventure Connected Menus?

All TimeChop menus are nutritious and full of healthy ingredients. To easily understand the time involved for a week of healthy lunches and dinners, the TimeChop kitchen menus include one of these names to signify the time it will take for planning, prepping and cooking.

  • Express plans are the fastest way to a week of healthy lunches and dinners, and will take less than 2 1/4 hours
  • Speedway plans take up to 2 3/4 hours and include a few more fresh ingredients
  • Adventure menus offer incredible flavors and simple ingredient substitutions all from easy scratch cooking. These plans are best when you have to know exactly what you are eating. They take around 3 hours for a week of healthy meals.

Regardless of the menu you select, TimeChop will save you time.

How Often Do You Launch New Connected Menus?

We launch a new connected menus every 4-8 weeks. We also feature guest chef’s who have created their own connected menus.

What’s special about your Trader Joe’s Connected Menus?

Ever review the Trader Joe’s product guarantee? Every Trader Joe’s private label product means: No Artificial colors, No Artificial Flavors, No Artificial Preservatives, No Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and No MSG.  Sounds like a perfect fit with the healthy, complete meals from TimeChop. We’ve designed our Trader Joe’s Connected Menus not only to save you time in the kitchen, but also at the store.

Enjoy one stop shopping while you get all the ingredients needed for a week of tasty, healthy meals in one place.

Disclaimer: TimeChop is not affiliated with Trader Joe’s. All other products, brand names, company names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners, used merely to identify their respective products, and are not meant to connote any sponsorship, endorsement or approval.

What's a Connected Menu?

Core Meal, Fresh Dinners & Carryouts; these are the components of a connected menu. Together they provide options for seven lunches and seven dinners which cover a full week of meals. To save you time and money, the TimeChop kitchen has done the time consuming work of figuring out what dishes work together, optimizing ingredient use, preparation and cooking time.

Start by selecting a Core Meal and the day you will make it. Then, day by day, choose from the Fresh Dinner and Carryout options available. What you see on the screen are the meals available to make that day. In 5 minutes you will have your personal schedule for a week of healthy, tasty meals.

What's a Core Meal?

People ask us, what’s so important about the core meal? Why do I have to choose a core meal first before selecting lunches and dinners? Think of the core meal like selecting a major in college; it puts you on a path for what classes you take in the future. The core meal includes cooking some ingredients that will be part of future meals. For example, your core meal might include short grain brown rice as a side dish.  TimeChop knows to instruct you to make enough brown rice for the burrito you are having later in the week, and also tells you how much to set aside for future meals. Core meals can take 40 minutes or more to make and are always the first meal made in the connected menu.

OK, what's a Fresh Dinner?

Our Fresh Dinners are completely different meals than the core meal, but may share one or two of the ingredients made in the core meal. They usually take 25 minutes or so to make. Since they are dependent on the core meal for an ingredient or two, you have to choose the core meal before you can select the fresh dinners. Fresh dinners give you the variety you need to be healthy, and something completely different than a leftover.

Is a Carryout the same as a lunch?

Yep, we could have called it lunch, but in our view it’s a a lot more than a PBJ or ramen. Each Fresh Dinner has a Carryout that can be placed in a lunch slot on your meal plan. Carryouts take about 10 minutes to prepare, and include some of the ingredients from the Fresh Dinner. These are lunches you’ll be proud to eat and also show that you know your way around the kitchen. You can schedule the carryout anytime after its connected fresh dinner is made.

Can I schedule leftovers with TimeChop?

We recognize that leftovers are a very quick meal and very healthy when coming from TimeChop, and it’s not that hard to make an extra serving. That’s why you can select a leftover from any core meal or fresh dinner.  Saving time is a great idea!

What is the serving limit for each meal?

Each Core Meal and Fresh Dinner selected can be increased to 4 servings.

Tell me about the automated shopping list.

Once you create your personal menu, TimeChop builds an automated shopping list designed to speed you through the grocery store.  The list is grouped by food categories so you spend less time searching for items. Simply check off the items as you get them. TimeChop also lets you add items, minimizing those one-off trips to the store for the forgotten item.

Can I plan breakfast using TimeChop?

TimeChop focuses on lunch and dinners, the two meals that people spend the most time and money on. You can use the Quick Add feature to place your preferred breakfast ideas on the shopping list.

Connected Meal Service

I'm a recipe creator? Can I include my recipes in TimeChop?

You sound like us! We want to inspire others to eat a healthful diet, and making it easy is critical. We’ve created the Connected Meal service to help you reach a larger audience with your recipes and guide you through the process of creating and sharing connected menus. Sign up here or email us at

Other Considerations

I want to gift TimeChop. Can I do that?


And it’s easier than you think. TimeChop is free to download on the App Store and comes with free trial Connected Meal Plans. Just share the app with your friends, or you can purchase a gift certificate from the App Store. Missed National Heavenly Hash day on February 2nd? Check out our pork hash connected meals. National Tortellini day on February 13th? Tortellini stoup, anyone?  Worried about National Cook a Sweet Potato day on February 22nd? We’ve got you covered. Even National Everything You Do Is Right day on March 16th is a winner with TimeChop.