We recognized how much time meal planning can cause, especially for busy young professionals and students who have little experience cooking. We wanted to provide an easy way to buy healthy, sustainable meals for the week, without compromising the budget or harming the environment.
What it does
Similar to services like "Hello Fresh", this is a webapp for finding recipes and delivering the ingredients to your house. This is where the similarities end, however. Instead of shipping the ingredients to you directly, our app makes use of local grocery delivery services, such as the one provided by Loblaws. The advantages to this are two-fold: first, it helps keep the price down, as your main fee is for the groceries themselves, instead of paying large amounts in fees to a meal kit company. Second, this is more eco-friendly. Meal kit companies traditionally repackage the ingredients in house into single-use plastic packaging, before shipping it to the user, along with large coolers and ice packs which mostly are never re-used. Our app adds no additional packaging beyond that the groceries initially come in.
How We built it
We made a web app, with the client side code written using React. The server was written in python using Flask, and was hosted on the cloud using Google App Engine. We used MongoDB Atlas, also hosted on Google Cloud.
On the server, we used the Spoonacular API to search for recipes, and Instacart for the grocery delivery.
Challenges we ran into
The Instacart API is not publicly available, and there are no public API's for grocery delivery, so we had to reverse engineer this API to allow us to add things to the cart. The Spoonacular API was down for about 4 hours on Saturday evening, during which time we almost entirely switched over to a less functional API, before it came back online and we switched back.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Created a functional prototype capable of facilitating the order of recipes through Instacart. Learning new skills, like Flask, Google Cloud and for some of the team React.
What we've learned
How to reverse engineer an API, using Python as a web server with Flask, Google Cloud, new API's, MongoDB
What's next for Fiscal Fresh
Add additional functionality on the client side, such as browsing by popular recipes