Menu planning is as personal as everything else, so it is highly unlikely that my menu plan will be appropriate for your family, but I hope it will give you some ideas.
I menu plan because it takes the guess work and stress out of daily cooking. I have some “rules” for it. Monday night is Stir Fry, Tuesday night is Curry, Wednesday night is Beef Mince, Thursday night is other Chicken, Friday night is Pizza (and Movie!), Saturday night is Favourites and Sunday is a Roast. Several years ago now, I sat down and made a list of all the meals that our family liked and then fit them into the menu.
My menu plan is not set in stone; when I look at it at the beginning of each month, I also look at my diary, see what we are up to and move things around if need be. Similarly, if we change our minds on a specific day, the ingredients can usually just be put in the freezer and used the next week, or the next month. Meals fall in and out of favour, if the children aren’t so keen on a meal, it can be swapped out the next month, then perhaps reintroduced a few months later.
Most meals I cook from scratch (having a Thermomix is a real bonus) but I also batch cook a lot. With 2 out of my 4 children on the Autistic Spectrum, I like my meals to be straightforward to make so that I am not emotionally invested in them and don’t take it personally if they decide not to eat it. There is (almost) always some part of the meal that they will eat, so they eat that bit. I don’t stress it and I only cook one meal.
My husband plans and makes lunches for the grown ups, as our children make their own, very straightforward, lunch every day. Lunches are more interesting generally than dinner and satisfy his need for more variety in our diet. He likes to get out the recipe books once a week and see what he fancies making. The pictures here are his creations, not mine!
We use an app called Bring for our shopping. We update it as we go along each week and then we shop twice a week. It allows us to be flexible, but not wasteful and, as we have it on our phones, it’s easy to share.