Ingredients on your shopping list are automatically merged based on the their title, measurement, and grocery category. For items to merge, their title and units must match. Notes 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 pencil icon next to one of the ingredients and change the name and/or category to match the other ingredient.

If you select for the changes to update the ingredient in associated recipes, you should not have to manually merge the same ingredients for future meal planning (more on this below).

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 in addition to the 6 pounds of Russet potatoes that you need for the one recipe, you will know you also need to grab 4 more potatoes for the other. 

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 two recipes use 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 to manually merge items on your list:

  1. Find an item that you would like to edit on your shopping list
  2. Click on the pencil icon to the right of the item name.
  3. Edit the item
  4. Press Save Changes
  5. Items that are updated will automatically merge on your list.

You can also update the recipe listing from the edit window on your Shopping List, so that your items will begin automatically merging when planned in the future:

  1. Find an item that you would like to edit.
  2. Click on the pencil icon to the right of the item name.
  3. When you make your changes to the item name in the edit window, you’ll see a box appear, giving you the option to change all recipes with the same title to the new ingredient title you are adding.
  4. When you select this box, all the recipes with ingredients of that title will update for easier merging in the future. (This option will only be available when editing an item’s title, not units.)


  This makes merging items more streamlined for your shopping list in the future. However, this change cannot be undone.

A few important notes:

  • If you edit an item’s title to match another’s and it still doesn’t merge, it could be the units are also not matching.
  • Even if the titles match, but the units don’t, they cannot be merged. You’ll need to also edit the unit to match to make the merge.
  • Changing the measurement on your shopping list to merge items does NOT alter the ingredient amount within the original recipe.
How are shopping list items combined?