I remember when I first started meal-planning after I got married. It started out as bi-weekly planning to fit Wade's bi-weekly paycheck's (since I only got paid once a month), and then went to weekly planning when my work switched to bi-weekly payrolls. It ended up falling on the opposite week of my husband getting paid. It made things easier, as far as the planning goes, to just plan dinners and lunches for the week and go get what we need. Though, the hassle of going grocery shopping weekly gets old, I still loved the easiness of weekly planning.
You can say I'm a bit of an oddball. Once I got the hang of planning meals out and such, and forming grocery lists, I ended up learning to enjoy it. I loved the feeling knowing that I had a "flexible" plan of meals, and thanks to the planning I would know that when I went grocery shopping I would have everything down on the list that I needed. I wouldn't have to worry about not having some ingredient to make a specific meal, because I'd already planned for it.
However, since we are about to be living on one income, a dramatic cut in money, I'm trying to figure out a new strategy to my meal planning, which I think to be even more important now that we will be budgeting for everything. So do we now go back to bi-weekly, since he still gets paid that way? Do we plan monthly? I'm not sure what is the best way to go. Planning monthly seems so intimidating. I'm not a very good "guesser". I don't like to guess. I like to "know"! What happens if I guess on buying this much bread to last us the month, and it doesn't?
I know it isn't the end of the world, and I know a lot of it is trial and error, learning to see how fast each family goes through different food items.
I need advice. Do you do monthly meal plans? How much do you budget for food and household items? What is the best way to plan for the month? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!