Yup, I'm one of those very sad people who plan their meals in advance, usually 2 or 3 weeks ahead.
It kind of works for us as we only have to do a big shop every few weeks and there's no hassle over what to cook each night as it's all written out (not neatly though) on a weekly wall planner.
The way I do our meal planning is probably a bit long-winded but it seems methodical to me and it's worked for the past 3 years so for the moment, my way is the way we're doing it in our household.
1. First I get my notepad and write down all the dates for the next few weeks. Then I check our monthly calendar to see if there's any days where I know we'll be eating out or on holiday and I'll mark them in my notepad.
2. Next I give our two freezers and cupboards a quick once over to see if there's anything that needs using up and also what we've actually got. When we pop into our local shop we often end up with a trolley-full of reduced priced goods so even though we might have used up all our 'planned' food, we'll probably have some random stuff in the back of the freezer!
3. Then I get out my recipe file, a birdie-themed expanding box file from Wilkinsons with plastic wallets holding batches of similar recipes torn from magazines or printed from the internet.
4. I'll root through my recipes finding things which match what we might have in the freezer or just things we haven't had for a while. I'll try and arrange it so we have easy to make things when I know we need something quickly or something a bit more fancy if we've got people coming round, things like that.
5. After that, I basically put the pieces of paper in the order we'll be eating them, then write a shopping list from the ingredients on the recipes (obviously crossing off anything we've already got) and then I'll pop what we're eating each day on the weekly planner that lives on my kitchen noticeboard.
6. The very last thing I do is take the shopping list and visit MySupermarket to put together our online shop (always making sure I'm getting the best value for money). Once that's done we send our shopping basket to Mr T's, choose the cheapest delivery slot (usually the £1 ones late at night) and wait for the Tesco delivery man to turn up!
How about you? Do you plan your meals in advance?