Menu planning can be overwhelming at times, but I find when I don't plan, we don't eat well. I wind up relying on fast food or we eat too much junk unless I plan. Everyone has a different planning style but here is what works for me:
1. Ask the family if there is anything they are hungry for or anything they do not want that week. Sometimes this will fill the majority of my week with little effort, sometimes it doesn't help a bit.
2. Dig through my cabinets and freezer and see what I need to use up then search the internet for a recipe.
3. Go through my recipe binder and see what appeals to me. This one works the best when I'm in a rut. I have a 3-ring binder where I stash all of the recipes I print off the internet or find in a magazine. Most of the recipes are stuffed in the pockets and then every few months I sort them by category and put them in the appropriate section of the binder. I did that this weekend and I was amazed at how many yummy recipes I wanted to put on the menu in the next few weeks. In fact, I was able to plan for more than one week so that was nice.
How do you plan your meals?