I plan my dinners a month at a time. I do this because I'm a control freak and love lists. :) It also allows me to really stick to my budget. I can do several cheap meals and then splurge on a bigger one. I do one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month. I have to make a couple of smaller trips through out the month for milk, bread, produce, etc.
Now even though I am a control freak, I do allow for flexibility. Let's say I am short on time. The menu says that we are supposed to have meatloaf. I will look ahead to something that is prepared in less time (tacos, salad) and just swap the days. No biggie.
Here is the menu for October. I already had to change a day because I didn't go shopping. I felt a nap was much more important at the time. :)
1- Stuffed Chicken (Changed to grilled cheese)
2- Pasta with meat sauce and salad
3- Grilled chicken salad
5- Baked or grilled chicken
6- Turkey sloppy joes
8- Chicken Parmesan
10- Chef Salad
12- Baked or grilled chicken
13- Breakfast sandwiches
15- Oven "fried" chicken "nuggets"
16- Left overs
17- Grilled Chicken Salad
18- Chicken Fried Rice and wantons
19- Baked or grilled chicken
20- Hot dogs
22- Grilled chicken soft tacos
23- Left overs
24- Taco Salad
26- Baked or grilled chicken
27- Tuna sandwiches
30- Left overs
31- TBD (We may be having friends over. If not, I will be able to come up with something.)
I always have salad and veggies on hand for side dishes. The same goes for rice, pasta and taters. Wednesday is Waffle Wednesday because waffles are just awesome.