I'm a little type one.
I meal plan.
It really helps me avoid eating out or eating cookies for dinner when I have a plan detailing what I'm cooking when. It's more work for the first hour but so much less work all week. No more should I say, "What should we eat for dinner tonight?"
It is also great because it insures I don't forget about the bunch of spinach in the back of the fridge and then it spoils before I can eat it because I went to chipotle for lunch. Hypothetically.
I sit at a quiet place and drink some coffee. I look at cookbooks or blogs or pinterest. I get inspired. I think about what we have in the fridge, sometimes I take an inventory. I think about what's in the cabinet. I think about how I can use red cabbage in 7 meals because I bought a giant head of it at the store forgetting that I only cook for two people.
I create meals and then assign them to nights, sometimes randomly and sometimes based on how long it takes it make. I pick lunches that are easily packed and assign them to days, I try not to have tacos for lunch and enchiladas for dinner on the same day.
I put recipes with foods that are about to go bad on monday. I try to pick one or two things I really really want to make and have those recipes later in the week. It gives me a mid-week inspiration boost.
Please tell me, Do you meal plan? How do you pick your menu? Do you tell your family or let them be surprised?