I don't always do a weekly meal plan and even when I do, I don't always follow it! And I rarely make a meal plan before I go grocery shopping. The only time I make a menu and then, grocery shop for specific items based on the menu, is when I am planning a special meal for an occasion like a party or a religious event.
Instead, what I do on a regular basis is, I grocery shop according to what's on sale that week and the few items I always need, such as milk, and then, plan the week's meals based on what I've bought and what's in the freezer and pantry. This approach seems to work out best for me.
But, however loosely I meal plan, having a list of possible meals is helpful. It's one less thing to think of when coming home after a long day at work and I feel a little more organized.
So, every week, I come up with a weekly meal plan based on menu options: options for breakfasts (which I almost always take with me to eat at the office), lunches (usually leftovers, and again, usually packed to take to the office), and dinners (usually eaten at home). We don't mind having leftovers, or eating the same items 2 or 3 times a week, so, often, I'll cook in quantity and have that during the week. Weekends are a bit different, in that we tend to have brunches instead of breakfast and lunch.
Here's this week's meal plan: I didn't go grocery shopping this weekend, and don't have any bread on hand, so, those 2 factors shape this week's meal plans.
Brunch: scrambled eggs, chicken chorizo sausages, fried potatoes
Tea: zucchini bread (previously baked and frozen)
Dinner: rice, salmon (sauted with onions and tomato), sauted green beans; fruit salad with ice cream for dessert
Breakfast: choice of zucchini bread or cereal for me; daughter is home and can make herself a cooked breakfast, if she likes - she has a choice of pancakes in the freezer (onion, taro, mung beans) as well as oatmeal, eggs, sausages, etc.
Lunch: pasta with meatballs and garlic bread (leftover from Friday's dinner), salad; fresh fruit
Dinner: Leftover salmon from Sunday, with rice or pasta (menu options!), cucumber salad; fresh fruit
Breakfast: choice of zucchini bread or cereal
Lunch: leftovers from Monday dinner
Dinner: rice, beef curry, cashew curry, sauted cabbage; last of the frozen eclairs for dessert
Breakfast: choice of cereal, granola bars, or crackers with cheese/peanut butter
Lunch: leftovers from Tues. dinner; fresh fruit
Dinner: smoked sausages stir-fry with vegetables (carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc.), rice; chocolate pudding
Breakfast: same as Wednesday's choices, unless I buy a pastry from the weekly farmers market near my office
Lunch: leftovers from Wed. dinner; fruit
Dinner: something with ground beef from the freezer, with choice of rice, potatoes, pasta and veggies; leftover chocolate pudding for dessert
Breakfast: choice of cereal, etc.
Lunch: leftover from Thurs. dinner; fruit
Dinner: probably fried rice or various bits of leftovers from the week! Or eggs and potatoes.
Brunch: pancakes or eggs and hashbrowns.
Dinner: at friend's house
That's the plan for the week; subject to change, of course, depending on mood, energy levels, etc.
Anyone else meal plan for the week?