It's also good to help with our budget and to curb unnecessary spending. AND Jay's started doing the grocery shopping for me! (He's always picked things up, but I've always gotten the big orders.) He is a great husband, but I really need to know what I need in advance for him to do this!
I started using my meal planning system again and thought I'd share. I start with categories like: meat, chicken, crockpot, pasta, soup and/or sandwich, ethnic night (usually Indian or Mexican), seafood, an easy night like chicken strips, or pizza.
I don't assign specific meals to the days of the week but use this form because it helps me organize my meal ideas, write out the ingredients I need and it's pretty. :o)
As I go thru my cookbooks and magazines, I put the meals I want that week under the category in which they fit. I used to put down how long each recipe took too so I had a clue when I woke up in the morning what time to start things. And I'd put the cookbook and page # if necessary.
This is a little messy because I wasn't planning on posting it but I wanted to include a photo for you. It's a great little system for us and it helps knowing when 2 meals need sour cream or cheese so food doesn't go to waste. I cross things off as I cook them.
The last thing I do is write down what we had for supper on my kitchen calendar. If we eat out, the day gets an X. This is a good visual of what I've made and keeps me feeling motivated.
Hope it might help someone if you're struggling with the same things as me!