The way I do my meal plan is to plan every two weeks.There are several reasons why I do it that way.
Number one is that I plan along with our pay schedule. I shop at the beginning of our pay period and if I do things right, I won't have to shop again until the next paycheck.
Number two is that it saves time. With a toddler and a newborn getting to the grocery store is a hard task. Especially if I want to go alone. ( Which I HIGHLY recommend.)
Number three is that it saves money. Shopping twice a month with your list in hand will eliminate impulse spending on things you don't really need. How many times have you gone to the store for milk, and walked out with three bags full of junk?
When I'm planning out our meals, I make sure to check our calendar to see what the next two weeks look like. If we have any nights that we will be out and need to have a quick dinner, if the hubby will be in school all night, if my day looks busy and it needs to be a crock pot day, ect... This will help you to be efficient and plan for your families needs/schedule.
I also make sure to plan our "fresher" meals for the beginning of the cycle, ( Think dinner that involve produce that will go bad before the two weeks are up like fajitas, salads, ect) and plan meals that won't "expire" or go bad toward the end of the cycle.
I keep my meal plan or menu visible in my kitchen. This serves as a good reminder through the day/weeks and helps keep me on track. Having a visual reminder is very helpful to me and it doesn't have to be fancy. It was be a list on your fridge, a whiteboard, whatever!
Use your meal plan as a guide instead of a strict schedule. Most the time I am good at following the plan exactly as I wrote it down, but some days I might not be in the mood for what's planned that day. Simply switch two of the meals, but always choose something on your menu so that you aren't going out and spending additional money.
Plan for date nights or nights out. Everyone likes to go out to eat, and you still should. I plan for one date night a week. Usually Friday or Saturday where we can go out to eat or order pizza or something.
Plan your side dishes as well.
If two weeks seems daunting or too much for you to handle, start with one. This is about having a plan that works for your family.
Start with planning just dinners, so that you aren't overwhelmed. When you've got that down then you can start planning for lunches and breakfasts. When I am planning my menu I plan out all my dinners and have 3 or 4 suggestions for lunches and breakfasts.
Forgive yourself and move on if (and when) you have an off day and forget dinner. It happens to all of us.
I hope this gives you a starting point for fixing your dinner woes, if you have any questions feel free to comment below and I will address them promptly!
Happy planning everyone!