I love meal planning. It makes my life so much easier. I notice a huge difference in the way our evenings run when we don't have a plan in place for the week. I hate scrambling to get dinner on the table.
I generally do our planning on Fridays. Or, well, I try to. I gather up and print out coupons on Fridays and then hope that I have time to get the list together that evening. If Doug's off, though, or we have plans I pretty much always forget and then end up doing it Saturday morning while chugging coffee. When I do it that way I inevitably leave things off the list. Turns out I shouldn't make a list until I've finished at least one cup of coffee!
When I started meal planning, I made a handy little chart. I've updated it a couple times and it now looks like the one I'm sharing with you today. (Click on the chart to get a printable version.) I've found this particular chart to be especially useful for the Weight Watchers program, too. I don't plan out breakfast and lunch for everyone because Phee's at school and Doug's working. I do need that extra planning for myself, though, and it helps me keep my week on track.
Do you use a chart to plan your meals for the week? What's the biggest benefit of menu planning for your family?