We tend to spend a lot of money on food. One of the ways we've been trying to whittle our budget down is by planning our meals.
Meal planning allows us to have a better grasp of what we will need, it helps us to plan to use up foods more efficiently (e.g. before the sour cream turns on us); it saves time - we don't grocery shop nearly as often as we used to, and we don't get home from work hungry, worrying about what to cook. The best benefit is that we've been able to cut back on the "I'm bored with my choices - let's eat out" nights in a significant way. We eat out at least 50% less than we used to. That adds up.
Each weekend, we take 10 minutes to rummage through the cupboards and freezer, and we sit down and plan out what we'll be eating the following week. We've really cut back on what we waste this way, and we're more conscious about using up what we already have.
This week's menu is fairly typical.
Monday: Scrambled eggs with corn & zucchini, corn tortillas, spanish rice and refried beans
Tuesday: Salmon burgers, sweet potato oven-fries, steamed kohlrabi, salad
Wednesday: Spagetti (homemade sauce), salad, broccoli, bread
Thursday: Halibut (from our neighbors' trip to Alaska!), green beans, rice pilaf
Friday: Homemade pizza