Here is our menu for the week. I don't schedule as much on the weekends as I do during the week. It is a great way to use leftovers, grab a quick sandwich or heat some soup. Some weekends we are out and about and will grab lunch somewhere while we are out.
I know I save money and frustration when I take the time to plan our meals, but I am still learning what works best for us. I don't want to over plan, because I end up spending more and have more food waste, but I also don't want to under plan, because then we are tempted to eat out too much. I try to have healthy snacks available, but try to not have too much that is perishable. I normally pack Kip's lunch and a snack for morning and another for the afternoon. Lots of days he only eats one of his snacks, so if I plan too many snacks that might go bad, I end up with food waste.
The menu board on the fridge also helps me save time, As I am cleaning up from on night's dinner, I can see what is for the next night and I can go ahead and pull out anything that needs to be defrosted and stick it in the fridge. If I already have something defrosting, it is much less tempting to forget the menu plan and go out.
The menu board also helps Kip know what is available if I am not here. As the name of this blog suggests, I mostly buy what he considers "ingredients" and not "food" that can be eaten as is. On Thursday nights I have a crochet group that I meet with and he is on his own. Sometimes we have lots of leftovers and foraging for his dinner is no problem, other times there aren't any and he has to come up with dinner on his own. I try and keep sandwich stuff and a few things in cans that he can heat and eat.
Menu planing helps me keep within my food budget and has almost eliminated food waste. It is still evolving though and I have to tweak it a bit every once in a while.