Monthly meal planning has taken me YEARS to develop. One thing to note is that there are 3 adults rotating the cooking in my family. My parents live 2 doors down from us and we decided many years ago that it was easier to feed 7 than 2 (for them) and that mom didn't mind cooking for 7 twice a week if it meant she and dad would be fed by us several nights per week. Some weeks that looks different.
Since my husband and I both commute about an hour each way to our jobs, and he works night shift, my mom may have to cook 3 times some weeks. Kids' sports and school activities can also affect our cooking rotation. Let's look at monthly meal planning with a few good tips or rules to get you started:
Now let's look at each question in more detail:
Pro tip: track what you are currently eating for a week or two
as you are mentally preparing yourself to begin this process.
Just like "getting on a budget" - it is extremely helpful to see
what you are currently eating as a family.
If you are eating out 5 out of 7 nights, it is unfair to expect you
will start cooking 5 out of 7 nights immediately.
That is a recipe for disaster! Pun intended!
Maybe try cooking 3 nights at first. START SMALL!
Good luck and just remember:
it doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be planned.