WE ARE NO WHERE NEAR PERFECT!
In fact we fail - a lot!
This is what I have found out about having a meal plan.
1. You can plan your shopping better and get the most out of your grocery budget.
We are spending easily $100 over what we want to be spending. Part of this has to do with the fact prices went up. Part of this is we are not planning. Part of this is we are lazy. 2 of 3 of these things we can fix.
2. I get the most out of sales and my grocery budget if I have a plan for more than just this week.
For example, barbecue sauce is on sale this week. I have coupons for the barbecue sauce. We are not planning on having anything with barbecue sauce this week. I miss the sale and extra coupon savings. Next week we decide to have something needing barbecue sauce, now I only have my coupons savings.3. Plan all meals, snacks and sides - not just main dishes.
This will aid in keeping the family out of a rut. Even though Hubs eats something different than we do at lunch time it still helps to plan it all out. You will then have everything you need on hand. Money will not be spent in vending machines.4. Take your meal plan with you to the store.
This also relates to #2. If you have your plan with you and you find unadvertised savings you will have your ideas with you.5. Make your meal plan work for you.
I like things that are cute. Therefore I need my meal plan to be cute. This particular plan isn't really working for me because it seems to be too big. But I like that it fits right into my coupon planner for shopping purposes. - needs to be tweeked.
This is what I am using this week and I am thinking this might be what works well. I have this notebook on me pretty much all the time. I like markers and can doodle on it. I can keep track of our activities on it and plan meals accordingly. Like when all of a sudden I get a text ... "Demo at 5 today." This means that I am picking up Hubs an hour later. :)
Meal planning and couponing is a work progress. These are some of the things I have found that works for me. Maybe they will help you too.