Ever since Sean & I have been married, I've used a monthly menu plan. (I've posted a sample before.) There were some years it was more on the back shelf, but because it's a great tool and makes my life easier, I've been pretty faithful at using it. I've got four weeks laid out, and just cycle through them. Monday is my grocery day, so I pull out the list, adapt the week's menu to suit our week, and make my shopping list from that.
When setting up the plan, I kept in mind a balanced diet, our weekly schedule (piano after school Tuesdays means a shorter prep time, Friday can be a meal that's not great for leftovers), and food likes and dislikes. I plan for six days - the last W means weekend, which for us is usually flexible; as long as I've got the fixings for one meal on hand, we're good.
Where there are two meals listed, I alternate and make one one month and the other the next. I often switch up which chicken meal I make, too. I have the Company's Coming Chicken Cookbook and like lots of the recipes in there.
M - Spaghetti
T - BBQ Steaks / Shepherd's Pie
W - Honey Baked Chicken
T - Lazy Perogie Casserole
F - Fish in Brown Butter
W - Burgers
M - Tortellini Alfredo
T - Hamburger Helper / Meatballs
W - Parmesan Chicken
T - Lasagna
F - Tacos
W - Stirfry
M - Van Raes Mac & Cheese / Penne Rose
T - Perogies & Sausages
W - Chinese Chicken
T - Hamburger Casserole / Canelloni
F - Fish Sticks & Fries
W - Frozen Pizza
M - Roast Beef
T - Sloppy Joes / Hot Beef Sandwiches
W - Any Chicken Recipe
T - Chicken Lasagna
F - Pork Chops / Mexican Fish / Experiment with Something New
W - Chicken Fingers & Fries
Do you use a menu plan? What are some of your family favorites or standbys?