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This repository contains all source code for hosting your own app. is a webapplication to manage your own recipes, planning your meals for the week and it automatically creates a groceries list for you to do shopping. is built by Jurian Sluiman and its design of is opinionated how I perform my meal planning and grocery shopping in the last years.

Screenshot of the home page

Functional design

The basic idea is you do you groceries weekly and plan the meals ahead for that week. You can skip days if you plan to eat outdoors, this is your planning for meals you cook yourself.

You can quick search a known recipe for a certain day. Otherwise, you can browse the recipes for a certain day and filter on a variety of options. These recipes can be planned on a certain day.

Recipes are entered beforehand manually and contains ingredient listings. If you plan a recipe on a certain day, ingredients are automatically added to your grocery shopping list.

When you haven't a recipe entered but know what meal you want to schedule at a certain day, you can enter it as free text yourself at that day. You can also provide short notes which can act as guidelines for the meal prep itself. Please be aware when you schedule meals manually this way, no ingredients are mapped so you have to add those to the groceries yourself.

The process above is set out in a functional flow diagram below:

Flow chart of functional design


Some ingredients are part of you pantry and you buy them in bulk. will automatically map those for you. When you plan a recipe, the pantry items are assumed to be available and not added to your groceries list. As part of above flow chart, mind you have to check your pantry and make sure all pantry items as ingredient are present. If you haven't enough stock, just select the pantry item to add those to your groceries.


A recipe has a default servings. You are able to change the servings when you plan your meals. will automatically adjust the amount to your needs.

To be more precise, a recipe ingredients listing contains a scale factor. By default the scale factor is 1, which means that the ingredients are scaled linear by the servings you need.

However, some ingredients (like, salt) don't need to double when you double the servings. You can adjust the scaling factor by the scale parameter. When the scale for salt, for example, is 0.5, this means doubling the servings means the amount of salt will be 1.5 of the original recipe.

Please note you can also scale down servings. Most recipes will serve 4 people, if your household is only 2, will recalculate the ingredients for 2 people. The default servings of a recipe to be calculated, can be set in the settings menu.

Technical design

UML of the data models

Basically the application is a simple CRUD system around recipes and meals. In the domain model, a recipe is a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish, including the the list of ingredients required. A meal is a dish planned at a specified date.

Recipe organisation

To help categorize the recipes, a Category is offered. A category has a one-to-many relationship with a recipe, to mark a recipe as starter, main or desert. This helps greatly in filtering recipes. You can also state which categories must be shown at default in a recipe listing. If you mainly use for dinner meals, you can filter out drinks, breakfast or lunch.

Another way or organisation is the Tag. A tag has a many-to-many relationship with recipes and adds reusable labels to the recipe. Think for example about the cuisine (Italian, Indian, French etc) or mark recipes as vegetarian, gluten-free or whatever organisation you can think of.

Meal planning

A meal is a planned dish at a certain day. If a recipe is required for the meal, the meal scheduler will provide the recipe for you. If you don't have a recipe but you know what to eat, you can simply enter a title of the meal. For later reference, you can add a note which help you memorize what to prepare.

Note that is not opinionated on the time the meal is planned or the amount of meals you plan at a certain day. This enables users to plan breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Or, you can schedule a starter, main course, side dish and desert at the same day for a large menu.

Grocery list and pantry items

When you use the meal scheduler, several recipes will be planned at some days in your week planning. The ingredients for the recipes will be added to your grocery list. The quantity of several ingredients is not only based on the recipe, but also based on your default settings of servings and your (optionally entered) servings in the meal scheduler.

When using a manually planned dish in the scheduler, you can add grocery items yourself. Please be aware these manual items aren't linked to a meal. This means when you remove a meal from the schedule, these ingredients won't disappear from the grocery list.

Another set of items are the products from your pantry. You can enter pantry items yourself, but they can be linked from recipes. When you schedule a recipe, the pantry items won't be added to your groceries automatically, since it is assumed you have plenty in stock.

Source code and software dependencies

The source code is a Flask application with the help of the uwsgi-nginx-flask docker image. It is powered by several great projects:

  1. uwsgi-nginx-flask: is a single docker image based on uwsgi-nginx-flask. This image contains the last Flask release and includes nginx as web browser and uWSGI to run the python application.
  2. Flask-Login: to provide user management in Flask applications
  3. Flask-Babel: to provide i18n (user translations) in Flask applications
  4. Flask-Migrate: to help users to keep the database up to date with new releases of If you (re)start a docker container, it will automatically migrate your database to the version from the container.
  5. Fomantic UI: as CSS framework to quickly build an interface for this app


The docker image is meant to be ephemeral, which means the container can be stopped and thrown away without losing data. The user generated content is stored in a database, which can be a SQLite database in a docker volume, or a (SQL based) database in a linked docker container separate from this application.

Furthermore it is advised to create a volume container for your image uploads, so these images are kept separately from the application container as well.

Build the image from source code

The image will be available on Docker Hub later, but you can already create the image yourself with the source code.

Clone the repository first to your local machine

git clone

Create the docker image from source

docker build -t .

Run the container

To run an image which you just created, it simply is docker run:

docker run -d --name -p 80:80 -e SECRET_KEY='my-secret-here'

This will spin up nginx inside the container and will serve the site at port 80 on your host machine. If you want to use a different port, for example 1234, change the port argument to -p 1234:80. More information about the SECRET_KEY parameter can be read at the section about flask sessions

If you need to run Flask in development setup, you can use the below command to run it with the built in webserver. Mind this is not meant to scale for production!

docker run -d --rm --name -p 1234:80 -v $(pwd)/app:/app \
 -e -e FLASK_DEBUG=1 -e SECRET_KEY='my-secret-here' \
 flask run --host= --port=80

Run outside the container

Alternatively you can run development mode outside of a container. This can be useful to speed development when you need to frequently restart the server. To do so you'll need to set up a Python virtual environment with the prerequisites:

python3 -m venv ve
source ve/bin/activate
pip install -r app/requirements.txt

After that you'll need to manually create a database file and run the migrations:

cd app/ FLASK_DEBUG=1 SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI=sqlite:///tmp/test.db flask current FLASK_DEBUG=1 SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI=sqlite:///tmp/test.db flask upgrade

This will create a database file at /tmp/test.db. After that you can start the app and tell it to use the database file: FLASK_DEBUG=1 SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI=sqlite:///tmp/test.db SECRET_KEY=something-secret flask run --host= --port=10020

You can then reach the development server at

If you need to create database migrations you can do so with: FLASK_DEBUG=1 SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI=sqlite:///tmp/test.db flask db migrate FLASK_DEBUG=1 SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI=sqlite:///tmp/test.db flask db upgrade

Database and persistency

By default Flask uses SQLAlchemy with a database URI sqlite:///db/app.db. This creates as SQLite database in the /app/db/ folder of the image. Please be aware the container should be ephemeral and removing the container will destroy all your data.

You can persits the database storage in several ways:

Use a docker volume

Create a docker volume and mount the volume at /app/db so the database file will be created inside the mounted volume.

docker volume create groceries-db
docker run -d --name -v groceries-db:/app/db -e SECRET_KEY='my-secret-here' -p 80:80

Use a SQL server

The more performant method is to create a separate container with an SQL server, for example myself and link that container to the container.

It is possible to change the database URI from SQLAlchemy as the URI is stored in the Config object. This object contains all default config variables but they can be overridden by a docker env flag:

docker run -d -e MY_CONFIG_KEY='my-custom-value'

Knowing this, it is possible to create a MySQL container, link it to the application container and change it's SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI key with the new database server. The format of the URI is dialect+driver://username:password@host:port/database.

docker run -d --name groceries-db \
    -e MYSQL_DATABASE='groceries' \
    -e MYSQL_USER='groceries' \
    -e MYSQL_PASSWORD='my-random-password' \

docker run -d --name -p 80:80 \
    --link groceries-db \
    -e SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI='mysql+pymysql://groceries:my-random-password@groceries-db/groceries?charset=utf8mb4' \
    -e -e SECRET_KEY='my-secret-here' \

Flask session and SECRET_KEY

In all examples a variable SECRET_KEY is provided to run the docker container. This env variable works similar to the SQLALCHEMY_DATABASE_URI env variable, as it overwrites the configuration value of the Flask Config.

You must provide a secret key to Flask to make sessions work. The session is required for CSRF protection and to keep users logged into the application.

There are security measures by Docker using docker secret to keep variables secret in a Docker environment. However at this moment docker secrets are not supported in