Our meal planning has varied over the past few years, in both the way we meal plan, as well as the length of time our plans go for.
We've done plans ranging from 1 week, 2 weeks, a month to two months at a time (only once, when we were expecting Caedmon, I planned for two months, so in case I went past my due date, I didn't have to think about planning meals!) Our current planning consists of me working up a list of meals for one month at a time, as we have a membership to BJ's (much like Sam's Club or Costco) and we do one big shopping trip there and at our local grocery store once a month. We do stop weekly at our local produce stand, farmer's market or store for fresh fruits and veggies, bread and other perishables.
Our plans have also changed over the years as I've attempted to find which plan suits my personality the best.
I've tried a couple different methods:
Themes: I assigned each day of the week a theme. For example: Monday is crockpot day, Tuesday is casserole day, Wednesday is Italian day, Thursday is Mexican day, etc....
Repeating: I attempted to make a 2 week plan for the first half of the month (14 meals, a different one each day) and then repeating for the second half of the month.
The one I found that works for my personality? Just pick meals we like. I have a recipe blog and I just go through, pulling our tried and true favorites. To continually add new meals to my repertoire, I attempt to make one new meal each week. If it doesn't work, I don't stress over it. However, I do typically do 2-3 new meals a month, if not more.
I'm also not strict with my meal plan. For example, yesterday was supposed to be Chicken Divan day. I did not feel like having that, and wanted something simpler, so I decided on Tacos. And then the mail came, along with some cash from my inlaws for our anniversary with instructions to have dinner on them. A few text messages later, and my husband was stopping at our favorite local "fast food Japanese" place for hibachi chicken (extra yum-yum sauce, please!) and shrimp. Tonight? Tacos!
Do you meal plan? Do you have a specific method? What about some favorite meals?